The opening Mishnah of Yoma teaches that a backup kohen gadol was to be prepared lest the kohen gadol become tameh, ritually impure, and thereby unable to perform the avodah, ritual service, on Yom Kippur. What happened in those cases where the backup actually had to fill in?
Thoughts from the Daf
“And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house” (Devarim 6:9). The mitzvah of mezuzah is a most beloved and popular one—and many a Jew far from traditional practice proudly identifies his home as a Jewish one.
Although it is mashechet Gittin (55b-57b) that records the stories relating to the destruction of the Temple, the famous Talmudic passage stating that the first Temple was destroyed because of the three cardinal sins of idolatry, adultery, and murder, and the second because of sinnat chinam is actually found in mashechet Yoma (9b).
About twenty-five years ago, a series of studies found that upwards of 50% of elite athletes would take a drug that would guarantee overwhelming success such as an Olympic gold medal, yet would kill them within five years. Later researchers questioned this study, with their research showing that "only" 6% of elite athletes would do such.
"Abba Chanan said, in the name of Rav Elazar: One verse says, 'make for you an ark of acacia wood' and one verse says and 'they (not you) shall make an ark of acacia wood'. How is it [possible]? This verse refers to when the Jewish people are doing the will of G-d, and this verse to when they are not doing the will of G-d" (Yoma 3b).
Seder Moed, the order of Mishnah dealing with our festivals, begins with Shabbat and includes such tractates as Pesachim, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkah and Megillah. One need not be well versed in Jewish law to immediately know the main theme of each of the above tractates. Yet the tractate dealing with Yom Kippur, instead of being referred to by the name of the holiday, is simply called Yoma, the day. Yom Kippur is a special day like no other, affording us the opportunity for forgiveness and a fresh start, the day of reconciliation, repentance, and renewal.
Mashechet Pesachim details the events of the busiest day of the year, beginning with the search for chametz the night before the seder, the destruction of such the next morning, and the bringing of the korban pesach in the afternoon; and concluding with the seder in the evening. The contours of the seder, the oldest of Jewish rituals, are detailed in the Mishnah.
With the destruction of the Temple, the focus of the seder menu shifted from the eating of the korban pesach to the eating of matza. The importance of eating the korban pesach is such that it carries the punishment of karet, excision, for those who neglect it (along with only one other positive mitzva, that of brit milah). The original paschal lamb was what allowed the Exodus to occur.
Great poetry resonates across generations and even cultures, with all finding different layers of meaning that speak to them. Yet at the same time, many great poets with the ability to speak on many levels are writing about themselves, reflecting their personal triumphs and tribulations, which in turn reflect the highs and lows of so many others.
The Netziv, in his commentary on Chumash, explains that the first verse of the priestly blessing "May G-d guard you and protect you" has different connotations for different types of people. For one engaged in business, we ask G-d to bless us with great material success, yevarechecha, and that such success does not destroy our character, veyishmerecha.