subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


" A widow ......................he ( Kohan Gadol-High Priest) shall not marry ...............................(21:14)

The Moshav Zakanim ( Bible Commentary of the Tosafists) gives a very interesting reason as to why the Kohan Gadol was prohibit from marrying a widow as follows: The Torah was afraid that when the Kohan Gadol would enter the Holy of Holies during the Yom Kippur service he would pronounce The Sham Hameforesh (G-ds most sacred name). This name was very powerful. If this Kohan Gadol would have a desire for a married woman, it could possibly cause harm to her husband . (CHAS VESHALOM) Therefore , the Torah prohibit a widow to begin with so that a potential tragedy could be avoided. This explanation is very puzzling. We are talking about the Kohan Gadol , the greatest person of his generation. Could he possibly have such an inclination towards another's wife,and thereby wish him harm. At first glance, it seems to be an impossible scenario to say the least. I would like to , Bezrat Hashem , propose an original answer as follows:
We must first understand and appreciate the fact that the Kohan Gadol was a very holy person. He might not even be consciously aware that he even has such a desire for another's wife. It's for sure on a subconscious level, yet it exists nonetheless. However, the Torah wished to teach us the tremendous level the Kohan Gadol was on. How so?

Once the Torah prohibit a widow to the Kahan Gadol, this in it of itself would have prevented such a desire from ever entering the Kahan Gadol's subconscious to begin with. The Kahan Gadol was so attached to The Torah that any prohibition would have been so abhorrent to him as to it's very possibility was surely foreign and far removed from his very consciousness. This was also a great merit for Israel especially on Yom Kippur .................If such an individual as the Kahan Gadol could possibly be produced by the Jewish People, then G-d would for sure be inclined to forgive their sins. According to this simple interpretation, we learn that G-d is actively finding merit for his beloved people wherever and however it can be found.Shouldn't we atleast help Him in this most precious endeavor by loving the Torah in such a manner that the prohibitions of the Torah are so foreign to us that even our subconscious mind has blocked them from entering our very consciousness. Have a good Shabbos.......................


This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael
Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or
on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael
send mail to

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel

Feedback is Appreciated at