Acharei Mos – Kedoshim 5778


ונתן את הקטרת על האש לפני ה’ (ויקרא טז:יג)

He shall place the incense upon the fire before Hashem (Vayikra 16:13)
כל הפרשה כלה נאמרה על הסדר חוץ מביאה זו שהיא אחר עשיית עולתו ועולת העם והקטרת אימורי פר ושעיר שנעשים בחוץ בבגדי זהב וטובל ומקדש ופושטן ולובש בגדי לבן ובא אל אהל מועד להוציא את הכף ואת המחתה שהקטיר בה הקטרת לפני ולפנים (רש”י ויקרא טז:כג)
After the performances… which were performed outside of the Holy of Holies in the gold service garments, he would remove those garments, immerse in a Mikvah and sanctify his hands and feet from the Kiyor. He would don his white service garments of Yom Kippur and enter the Holy of Holies to take out the ladle and coal-pan with which he raised the cloud of incense. That was in the very interior, the Holy of Holies. (Rashi Vayikra 16:23)

On Yom Kippur the Kohen Gadol would enter the קדש הקדשים, Holy of Holies. When the Kohen did service in the קדש הקדשים, he would not wear his usual eight בגדי זהב , gold service garments; rather, he wore the four בגדי לבן, white service garments. He immersed in the Mikvah for each change of garments.
The unique service of the day, offering the קטרת, incense, was done in the קדש הקדשים. The Kohen Gadol entered with a brimming coal-pan in his right hand and a ladle with his cupped-hands-full measure of קטורת in his left hand. The coals were taken from the מזבח החיצון, the outer Mizbeach. He placed the fiery coal-pan down between the poles in front of the Aron. Then, with great dexterity he emptied the ladle of קטורת into his hands and poured them on the coals. When the room filled with the cloud of incense, he left the incense filled pan to burn itself out and the ladle, then departed to continue the service of Yom Kippur.
After the קטורת and the other services within the קדש הקדשים, the Kohen Gadol changed back into his gold service garments to continue the service that was not done in the קדש הקדשים. Toward the end of the day’s service he would once more change into his white service garments in order to remove the coal-pan and ladle from the קדש הקדשים.
Reb Yechezkel Abramsky asked the following question one Rosh Hashanah. Although it is forbidden to wash oneself in water on Yom Kippur, the Kohen Gadol was permitted to immerse in the Mikvah for what was necessary for the service of Yom Kippur. Therefore, each time he had to change his service garments, it was permissible for him to immerse in the Mikvah. But, why was it necessary to remove the coal-pan and ladle that day? Couldn’t he just leave them there until the following year, and each year when he would enter to offer the קטורת he would remove the previous year’s coal-pan and ladle. Would they be bothering anybody if they stayed inside for a whole year? Is this a reason to require the Kohen Gadol to enter the קדש הקדשים one more time, resulting in him having to immerse himself in the Mikvah additional times?
(Indeed, there is a הלכה למשה מסיני, Torah tradition given to Moshe by Mt. Sinai, stating the number of times the Kohen Gadol immersed in the Mikvah. The sages derive from this source the removal of the coal-pan and ladle. Thus, it was clearly necessary to remove them, but for what purpose? Why was this required?)
He answered that we learn from this that it is impossible for something to be in the קדש הקדשים without any purpose. A coal-pan and a ladle have no purpose in the קדש הקדשים. Therefore, the Kohen Gadol is obligated to remove them on that very Yom Kippur, even though this requires additional immersions.
Reb Yechezkel concluded with the following thought. The Gemara (Horayos 13a) states that the Torah is more precious than the Kohen Gadol when he entered the קדש הקדשים. Therefore, if in the קדש הקדשים things could not remain without purpose, all the more so by Torah one cannot be without a purpose. One must be constantly learning Torah and improving himself. It is therefore not permitted for one to rest on his laurels, to maintain his status quo. By doing so, Reb Yechezkel informs us, he lacks having a Torah-centered purpose to justify his being.


At a recent Kiddush for a newborn girl, there was a note attached to a fruit display sent from grandparents who were unable to attend. “We are waiting to see Miriam in person and make a שהחיינו,” the note read. Yes, they are truly excited to see their new granddaughter, but is it permissible to make such a Bracha? (Bear in mind that the note was written by a Talmud Chacham and Rav.)
The Halacha is very clear when a son is born. When one’s wife gives birth to a male, both father and mother should recite the Bracha ofהטוב והמטיב . When there is an occurrence that is a Simcha for more than one individual, the appropriate Bracha is הטוב והמטיב and not שהחיינו . Since both parents rejoice in the birth of a son, this is the Bracha recited.
When a daughter is born, there is no mention in Shulchan Aruch of any Bracha being said. (See Aruch HaShulchan O.C. 223 for reasons.) Mishna Berura feels that there should be aשהחיינו recited by each parent the first time he or she sees the child. This should be no different from one who has not seen a dear friend or relative in at least thirty days. There the Halacha states (225,1) that a שהחיינו should be said; certainly, seeing a child for the first time qualifies for this Bracha! (Although the שהחיינו is not recited on seeing friends, those reasons don’t apply to a child. [See הליכות שלומה כג,יב;מנהג ישראל תורה רכה,א.])
Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach took a different approach to this issue. Sometimes, he felt, a שהחיינו should be said. He had a daughter and son-in-law living in Chutz Laaretz whom he didn’t see very often. On their infrequent visits, he really felt a שהחיינו was appropriate. However, due to the Minhag of not making the Bracha, he made sure to have a new fruit ready, and made the שהחיינו upon seeing the children.
Regarding the birth of a daughter, he felt strongly that there was no reason to recite שהחיינו . When one has a pen-pal and develops a close relationship, but has never met the person, no Bracha is said when meeting for the first time. If there has never been a face to face meeting, there cannot be that level of love for the person that requires making the Bracha upon seeing him. (M.B. 225,5)
When seeing one’s daughter for the first time, it is true that there is tremendous Simcha on knowing that this is his or her child. Since, however, it is the first time seeing her, one cannot say he or she recognizes the child. If a few minutes later he is given a different child, he might not realize the difference. Where is it written that a Bracha should be said on this initial seeing, which is similar to the above pen-pal? (Halichos Shlomo 23,10)
Igros Moshe (O.C. 5,43,5) concurs with the basic premise of Mishna Berura that there is sufficient Simcha to make the Bracha. He adds that although there is also the concern of having to raise and support the child, the parent has trust in Hashem that He will take care of that together with the rest of his Parnassa, and this concern does not detract from his Simcha.
Returning to the original query concerning a grandchild. Biur Halacha (223,1), discussing the Bracha of הטוב והמטיב , quotes a Rashba that this Bracha is not recited on just any pleasure, but on a pleasure which is also of benefit to the person. This includes receiving an inheritance or a new son who can take care of his parents in their old age. Biur Halacha concludes that a grandchild would not qualify for the Bracha.
Others disagree and feel that a grandparent can makeהטוב והמטיב . (see Ketzos Hashulchan 64 n.10). Some opine that even Biur Halacha agrees that a שהחיינו could be said when first seeing the grandchild. In this regard, a grandparent should be no different than a parent. (Piskei Teshuvos 223 n.15).
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach felt that even if a parent made theשהחיינו , following Mishna Berura’s Psak, a grandparent should not recite it. When he had his first granddaughter (after a grandson), he requested two types of wine to be brought to him, so that he could recite הטוב והמטיב on the wine. (Halichos Shlomo 23, n.43).
One last point to ponder. If the grandparent saw a picture of the grandchild, would he later be unable to make the Bracha? (see M.B. 225,2). (In an actual situation, a Rav should be consulted.)