During the late Second Temple period, the Roman governors would often sell the position of Kohen Gadol to the highest bidder, sometimes even disposing one before serving a whole year.

What if, during this tumultuous time, someone accidentally killed someone, and had to go to an Ir Miklat (City of Refuge)? The halacha is that they get out when the Kohen Gadol dies -- but which one?

Is it whichever was in active service when he entered the city? Is it only if one dies in service? Or perhaps when any of the ones who served during his tenure in the city dies?


1 Answer 1


Rambam Rotzeah 7:9 (English)

אחד כוהן גדול המשוח בשמן המשחה, ואחד המרובה בבגדים; ואחד כוהן גדול העובד, ואחד הכוהן שעבר: כל אחד מארבעתן שמת, מחזיר את הרוצח.‏

If any of the current or former Kohanim Gedolim die, he goes free. As the Mishna (Megillah 1:9) states: the only difference between a current and former Kohein Gadol is that the bull offered on Yom Kippur and the daily meal offering are brought only by the current one.

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