Here is what I know:

  1. When a kohen gadol dies we replace him. In fact we've got a replacement kohen gadol waiting in the wings on yom kippur just in case
  2. Any kohen who becomes kohen gadol gets anointed with oil
  3. There are 5 types of things which are forbidden on yom kippur including anointing and bathing (Yoma 8:1)
  4. Someone who already is a kohen gadol, on yom kippur must immerse in a mikvah

My question is if a kohen becomes a kohen gadol on yom kippur does he get anointed with oil or not?

  • You're missing the step that indicates the existence of the concept of "replacement Kohen Gadol."
    – Isaac Moses
    May 8, 2013 at 20:53
  • I was thinking about including it but then I thought it was too pashut. i'll add it back in
    – user2110
    May 8, 2013 at 21:03
  • Assuming you can't anoint him in advance, wouldn't the requirement to anoint override the d'rabbanan of anointing part of the body on Yom Kippur? (Incidentally, some hold that anointing even the entire body is a rabbinic prohibition).
    – Fred
    May 8, 2013 at 21:49
  • How do you know #2? I'm fairly certain it is inaccurate.
    – Double AA
    May 8, 2013 at 23:02
  • 1
    @not-vram As DoubleAA and Alex mentioned, it's a moot point because assumption #2 in the question is wrong. But regardless, the simple interpretation of Rabbeinu Tam is that the non-food/drink inuyim are entirely rabbinic (though the Ran interprets Rabbeinu Tam differently). In any case, the Semag and the Mabit (who hold anointing is d'oraysa) say that anointing part of the body is rabbinic.
    – Fred
    May 9, 2013 at 3:49

1 Answer 1


Rambam, Hil. Avodas Yom Hakippurim 1:3 (from Yoma 12a-b):

זה שנכנס תחתיו אינו צריך חינוך אלא עבודתו מחנכתו

"The one who replaces him doesn't need any inauguration; his performing the avodah [of Yom Kippur, which is reserved for the kohen gadol] inaugurates him."

So he doesn't need anointing at that time (and not after Yom Kippur either, because as Rambam goes on to point out, the original kohen gadol resumes his position then).

Incidentally, too, this question would have applied only during most of the era of the first Beis Hamikdash (and will again be the case in the third one, בב"א). During the last thirty or so years of the first Beis Hamikdash, and all of the second, there was no shemen hamishchah - it was hidden away by Yoshiyahu - and the kohanim gedolim were appointed by being clothed in the eight garments (Rambam, Hil. Klei Hamikdash 4:12).

  • Do you have a reason to assume we won't just continue with appointment via clothing (a perfectly valid method of appointment) when the Mikdash is rebuilt?
    – Double AA
    Aug 22, 2013 at 9:29

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