If (theoretically) the great Temple was built again, would there be Kohanim pure enough (physically, etc.) to perform the worship and sacrifices?

  • 2
    What do you mean by 'pure enough'? Pure/impure is generally viewed as a spiritual state, yet in your parenthesis you write 'physically, etc'. Can you please elaborate? Jan 31, 2016 at 1:16
  • Why do you ask about "[i]f (theoretically) the great Temple [were] built again"? Why isn't that a practicality?
    – msh210
    Jan 31, 2016 at 3:07
  • @msh i think he means were it built now
    – Double AA
    Jan 31, 2016 at 3:53
  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/40106/…
    – mbloch
    Jan 31, 2016 at 4:49
  • @DoubleAA you are correct--I meant if it was built today. Pure is spiritual, but it is also physical, based on a few material things mentioned below. Thank you for clarifying.
    – Digityogi
    Jan 31, 2016 at 7:25

1 Answer 1


The Raavad to Hilchos Nezirus 5(15) states that

הכהנים בזמן הזה טמאי מת הן 
Kohanim in our time are impure with טומאת מת.

So, no there would not be Kohanim pure enough (physically, etc.) to ideally perform the worship and all the sacrifices.

But when all or most of the community are impure from contact with the dead, sacrifices with a fixed time are permitted טומאה הותרה בציבור, so in effect they would be pure enough for a great portion of the Temple service.

  • They can do the avoda while impure from a corpse...
    – Double AA
    Jan 30, 2016 at 23:48
  • I edited the answer to take account of DoubleAA's comment. Jan 31, 2016 at 10:53
  • Incidentally the raavad was talking about kohanim in his day and it's not clear he'd think we are all vadai temei met since nowadays people usually die in hospitals, not at home.
    – Double AA
    Jan 31, 2016 at 14:15
  • But even kohanim who are taamei met can purify themselves using the ashes from the red heifer
    – mbloch
    Jan 31, 2016 at 15:12
  • @mbl if they have it then yes. But if the mikdash just appears in 5 minutes from now, we'll be in business right away, as far as purity of Kohanim is concerned. We won't have to wait a week to apply the ashes (assuming any are available)
    – Double AA
    Jan 31, 2016 at 15:34

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