ט״ו בטבת ה׳תשע״א (December 22, 2010)

Zevahim 42a-b – Sprinkling blood in the inner sanctuary

As we learned above (see dafor page, 39), there is a basic difference between the sin-offerings that were brought on the outer altar and those brought on the inner, golden altar. Regarding those that were brought on the outer altar, like the sin-offerings of a  – a king – or an ordinary person (see Vayikra 4:22-35), even if the actual requirement was to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice two times or four times, if one sprinkling was done, it would suffice. On the other hand, those offerings that were brought on the inner altar, like the sacrificial service of Yom Kippur, the sin-offering of the or the sin-offering brought by the great  on behalf of the entire congregation (see Vayikra 4:3-21), needed all of the sprinklings to be done properly, or else the sacrifice was invalid.

 

How many sprinklings were done on the inner altar? The Gemara on today’s daf brings a baraita that teaches that on Yom Kippur there were 43 placements of blood that were performed in the course of the sacrificial service, while the sin-offering of the High Priest and the Sanhedrin on behalf of the entire congregation each had 11 placements. Since all of these were essential requirements of the service, if the kohen had inappropriate thoughts at any time during the service, the sacrifice would be invalid.

 

Rashi explains the 43 placements of blood on Yom Kippur as follows:

8 times (1+7) towards the cover of the ark in the Holy of Holies (see above daf 38) from the blood of the bull (see Vayikra 16:14)

8 times (1+7) towards the cover of the ark in the Holy of Holies from the blood of the goat (see Vayikra 16:15)

16 times, repeating the above sprinklings, towards the curtain separating the Holy of Holies (see Vayikra 16:16)

4 times with a mixture of the blood of the bull and the blood of the goat that were placed on the four corners of the altar (see Vayikra 16:18)

7 times sprinkling the altar to purify it (see Vayikra 16:19).

 

With regard to the 11 placements of the High Priest and the Sanhedrin, there were seven sprinklings towards the curtain and four placements on the corners of the altar (see Vayikra 4:6-74:17-18).