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? – Salmononius2 Jan 31 '16 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 '16 at 3:07
  • @msh i think he means were it built now – Double AA Jan 31 '16 at 3:53
  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/40106/… – mbloch Jan 31 '16 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 '16 at 7:25

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 '16 at 23:48
  • I edited the answer to take account of DoubleAA's comment. – Avrohom Yitzchok Jan 31 '16 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 '16 at 14:15
  • But even kohanim who are taamei met can purify themselves using the ashes from the red heifer – mbloch Jan 31 '16 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 '16 at 15:34

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