Careful Thought by Binyamin Segal


The Pasuk in Parashat Emor states, “Almanah UGrushah VaChalalah Zonah Et Eileh Lo Yikach,” “A widow or one who is divorced or a profaned women or a harlot; these [the Kohen Gadol] shall not take” (VaYikra 21:14).  Why are the Halachot regarding whom a Kohen Gadol may marry different from those of a regular Kohen Hedyot?

The Moshav Zekeinim gives an answer.  On the holiday of Yom Kippur, when the Kohen Gadol goes into the Kodesh HaKadashim, he recites the Sheim HaMeforash of HaKadosh Baruch Hu.  While he is reciting the Shem HaMeforash, we are afraid that his thought might transfer to a married woman.  This terrible thought of the Kohen Gadol would lead to the premature death of this woman’s husband.  For this reason, the Torah allows the Kohen Gadol to marry only a Betulah who was never before married.  We learn from this that even the greatest leader of Bnei Yisrael can stand at the maximum height of spirituality, experience awesome revelations and still allow his Yeitzer Hara to overcome him.  If a man of such high holiness can possibly have these terrible thoughts, how much more so we, who are on a much lower level, must improve our lifestyles to prevent thoughts like this.

Thanks for the Punishment? by Avi Wollman

Accept the Power by Seth Feuerstein-Rudin