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Can Kohanim Eat On Yom Kippur?

I feel close to the great Rabbi Chaim Attar [1696-1743] author of the Ohr Hachaim on the Torah. My street is named after him and his shul is only seconds away from my apartment. [I grew up right off Central Park West. But I know nothing of the life of Mr. West and am baffled as to why his parents would name him "Central Park".]

In Parshas Acharei Mos [16/29] the Ohr Hachaim explains that one might have a notion that Kohanim would not have to afflict [refrain from eating etc.] themselves on Yom Kippur. In order to disabuse one from such a notion the pasuk went out of it's way to teach us that even Kohanim are commanded to afflict themselves on Yom Kippur.

Strange!!! Why would one possibly think that kohanim are not obligated to afflict themselves. Why should they be different from everyone else??

The great Polish Gaon Rav Meir Don Plotzki in his Kli Chemdah [one of my favorite sfarim on the Torah. If you don't have it - buy it!!!] explains that there is a rule that sacrificies must be permitted for consumption. Unkosher or otherwise forbidden animals are not allowed to be brought as sacrifices ["min hamuttar lýisrael"].
So I would have thought [please read with talmudic sing-song. Sing-song - sounds like a chinese name] that the kohanim are allowed to eat the sacrifices in order to make them permitted for consumption and thus permitted for sacrifice - comes the pasuk [excuse the bad english] to teach us that it is nevertheless forbidden even for the kohanim to eat!!!

But the question then arises. How are the sacrifices of Yom Kippur valid even though they don't fulfill the requirement of "min hamuttar lýisrael". If nobody is allowed to [theoretically] eat a sacrifice it is not kosher?!

I don't understand the כלי חמדה.
Doesn't an עולה have this rule as well? I don't know, that's why I am asking. But if it does then one would never have the ה"א that the כהנים have to be able to eat it on the day it is brought, I would think that it just has to be able to be eaten in general, which will demonstrate that there's no איסור involved.

I would have thought that the ה"א is with respect to חטאות. The גמרא says that the eating of the חטאת is intrinsically connected to atonement. Somehow, then, humans are involved in effecting כפרה.
One might have thought that this is necessary on יו"כ as well, otherwise there cannot be atonement. קמ"ל - on יו"כ the חטאות are not eaten, for the atonement effected can in no way involve man - it is כולו מהשם and therefore כולו להשם.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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