-1

Was the mitzvah of הטבת הנרות - preparation of the wicks of the Menorah incumbent solely on the Kohen Gadol or was it done by all kohanim?

The Midrash Tanchuma says that after witnessing the tribe leaders offerings, Aharon Hakohen became sad, because he nor his tribe was included in the procession. G-d comforts Aharon by giving the directive of the Menorah.

However, the Rambam rules (Bias Mikdash 9:7) that even a non-kohen may light the menorah (assuming it was brought out of the temple and brought out to the temple courtyard).

Rav Chaim Soloveitchik explains that the Rambam understood the that the mitzvah of Menorah is not that a Kohen must light the Menorah, but rather that it should be lit. The only thing incumbent on a kohen is the preparation of the wicks, but not the lighting. Thus even a non kohen may light the menorah.

However this law of הטבת הנרות is it done by even a Kohen Hedyot (a regular kohen) or must it only be done by the Kohen Gadol?

1

משנה יומא דף יד עמוד א

כל שבעת הימים הוא זורק את הדם ומקטיר את הקטורת ומיטיב את הנרות ומקריב את הראש ואת הרגל ושאר כל הימים אם רצה להקריב מקריב שכהן גדול מקריב חלק בראש ונוטל חלק בראש:‏

THROUGHOUT THE SEVEN DAYS HE SPRINKLES THE BLOOD AND BURNS THE INCENSE AND TRIMS THE LAMPS AND OFFERS THE HEAD AND THE HIND LEG; ON ALL OTHER DAYS HE OFFERS ONLY IF HE SO DESIRES; FOR THE HIGH PRIEST IS FIRST IN OFFERING A PORTION AND HAS FIRST PLACE IN TAKING A PORTION.

You can understand form this that on YK only the KG must prepare the wicks

See Rashi who mention clearly that the statement "ושאר כל הימים אם רצה" which points the optionality of the thing, is also linked to "הטבת הנרות":

ושאר כל הימים אם רצה. להיטיב ולהקריב את כל קרבן שירצה מקריב ואין המשמר יכול לעכב על ידו:‏

For the basics, see Yoma 24b:

זר שסידר את המנורה ליחייב איכא נתינת פתילה נתן פתילה ליחייב איכא נתינת שמן נתן שמן ליחייב איכא הדלקה הדליק ליחייב הדלקה לאו עבודה היא ולא והתניא (ויקרא א) ונתנו בני אהרן הכהן אש על המזבח וערכו עצים על האש לימד על הצתת אליתא שלא תהא אלא בכהן כשר ובכלי שרת הצתת אליתא עבודה היא הדלקה לאו עבודה היא

Let the common man who put the candlestick in order incur the penalty! - That is to be followed by the putting in of the wick. Then if he put the wick in let him incur that penalty! - There is the adding of the oil. Then if he put the oil in let him incur that penalty? There is the lighting.Then if he lights it let him incur that penalty! - Lighting is not considered a service. Is it, indeed, not [considered a service]? But it has been taught: And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay wood in order upon the fire - this teaches that the kindling of the wood of the fig-tree must be performed by a priest who is fit [for service] and with garments of ministration.

  • I don't see what you are seeing from this mishna. Could you elaborate a bit more? – Shoel U'Meishiv Jun 8 '17 at 7:21
  • @Shoel U'Meishiv I hope that the gemarot regarding baal mum for nerot 24b can help you – kouty Jun 9 '17 at 5:25
  • I'm assuming that English is not your first language? I find that you are very knowledgable but have a hard time communicating your intention. Thank you – Shoel U'Meishiv Jun 12 '17 at 8:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .