In the Mishna (Tamid 5, 2), it says that only a Kohen who had not done the K'toret yet could do it.

מסכת תמיד פרק ה - משנה ב

אָמַר לָהֶם, חֲדָשִׁים לַקְּטֹרֶת בֹּאוּ וְהָפִיסוּ. הֵפִיסוּ, ‏

But what would they do if there was nobody who hadn't done it before? i.e, if in this mishmar, there was a small family group, which had just been hit with a virus that attacks those below the age of 35. So now all of the young Kohanim are incapacitated, and only the ones who had done it before were left. What would they do?

  • Clearly someone else would do it. Do you mean how would they pick?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 19:19
  • @DoubleAA I suppose, yeah.
    – Mithical
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


מִי שֶׁלֹּא זָכָה בַקְּטֹרֶת כָּל יָמָיו יָבֹא וְיָפִיס. וְלֹא הָיוּ מַנִּיחִים לְמִי שֶׁזָּכָה בָהּ פַּעַם אַחַת לִשְׁנוֹת בָּהּ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּעֲשֶׁרֶת, דִּכְתִיב (דְּבָרִים לג) יָשִׂימוּ קְטוֹרָה בְאַפֶּךָ וְגוֹ' בָּרֵךְ ה' חֵילוֹ, לְפִיכָךְ לֹא הָיוּ מַנִּיחִים
‏לִשְׁנוֹת בָּהּ אָדָם, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַכֹּל מִתְעַשְּׁרִים וּמִתְבָּרְכִים בָּהּ

The Bartenura said only that the unique problem is in that if someone did never do it, it is not fair that someone else does it twice. If nobody is really hurt, e.g. "and only the ones who had done it before were left" as in your question, no problem.

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