(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Yoma 66

YOMA 59-88 have been dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens N.Y. by his wife and daughters. Well known in the community for his Chesed and Tzedakah, he will long be remembered.


QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when the Kohen Gadol mentioned the Name of Hashem during the recitation of the Viduy on the Se'ir ha'Mishtale'ach (the third Viduy of the day), all of the people gathered there in the Mikdash would bow down and prostrate themselves. It seems that by bowing down upon hearing the Name of Hashem the people were giving honor to Hashem. (The Yerushalmi says that when they heard the Name of Hashem, the people who were near the Kohen Gadol would bow down, and the people who were far away would say, "Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso....")

A similar Mishnah earlier (35b) states that the Kohen Gadol mentioned the Name of Hashem during the first Viduy on the Par. Similarly, the Mishnah (39a) states that the Name of Hashem was used in the second Viduy on the Par. Another Mishnah (41b) states that the Name of Hashem was mentioned when performing the Goral to choose the Se'ir la'Shem. The Beraisa (39b) summarizes and says that the Name of Hashem was uttered ten times on Yom Kipur -- three times during each Viduy and once during the Goral.

Why does the Mishnah in all of those places completely omit any mention of the people bowing done during those Viduyim when the Kohen Gadol uttered the Name of Hashem? Why is it only mentioned in our Mishnah?


(a) The VILNA GA'ON deletes this text from our Mishnah and maintains that the Mishnah does not say that the people bowed down. (The DIKDUKEI SOFRIM, #100, also points out that many early manuscripts and printings of the Gemara did not include that line in the Mishnah.) According to the Vilna Ga'on, no mention is made in any of the Mishnayos about the people prostrating themselves. Even though it is true that they bowed down as the Beraisa and Gemara mention, the Mishnah does not mention it because it is not a detail in the laws of Yom Kipur, but rather it is a detail in the laws of Hazkaras Hashem, mentioning the Name of Hashem, and thus it does not have to be brought in the Mishnayos discussing the Avodos of Yom Kipur.

The Mishnah in Sotah (37b-38a) mentions the differences between the Birkas Kohanim that was recited in the Beis ha'Mikdash and the Birkas Kohanim recited everywhere else. One of the differences is that in the Beis ha'Mikdash, the Birkas Kohanim included the actual utterance of the Name of Hashem. The GEVURAS ARI here (see also Insights to 37) asks that the Mishnah should also mention prostrating (upon hearing Hashem's name) as a difference, since it was done in the Beis ha'Mikdash but not elsewhere. According to the Vilna Ga'on, the answer is that there is no need for the Mishnah in Sotah to mention it as a difference, because it goes without saying that whenever the Name of Hashem is mentioned the people bowed down, which is why the Mishnayos in Yoma also do not mention that the people bowed down.

(In the RAMBAM's text of the Mishnah, the fact that the people bowed down is mentioned in the earlier Mishnah (35b) discussing the first Viduy, which is the first time that the Mishnah says that the Kohen Gadol uttered the Name of Hashem. Thereafter, the Mishnah does not need to mention that the people bowed down, because it relies on the first Mishnah.)

(b) RAV YOSEF DOV SOLOVEICHIK (Avodas Yom ha'Kipurim, 37a) writes that perhaps the purpose of the prostration of the people was not in order to honor the Name of Hashem. Rather, it was a specific act related to the Viduy of the Se'ir ha'Mishtale'ach, and as such, it is fitting that only the Mishnah here mentions it and not the earlier Mishnayos.

RASHI (21a, DH Mishtachavim) writes that the people used to bow down when reciting Viduy in the Beis ha'Mikdash. If bowing down is related specifically to Viduy, then it makes sense that the people did not bow down except when the Name of Hashem was said during "the people's Viduy" (the Viduy which the Kohen Gadol said on the Se'ir ha'Mishtale'ach was for atonement for the sins of the entire nation)). Even though the Name of Hashem was mentioned during the Goral, the Goral was not a Viduy and thus they did not bow down. When the Name of Hashem was uttered during the first and second Viduyim, the people also did not bow down, because those two Viduyim were for the Kohen Gadol himself (in the second Viduy, the rest of the Kohanim also gained atonement, but only "mi'Kufya"). The Viduy of the Se'ir ha'Mishtale'ach, though, was the Viduy for all of the Jewish people, and therefore they bowed down upon hearing the Name of Hashem. (See TOSFOS YOM TOV here DH v'Hakohanim, who hints at such an approach but ultimately rejects it, without citing the Rashi on Daf 21a.)

As an aside, Rav Soloveichik points out that in the Tefilas Musaf that we recite on Yom Kipur, we bow down four times -- once for each Viduy and once for the Goral. Why do we bow down those four times? We should bow down ten times, corresponding to the ten times that the Name of Hashem was uttered and the people bowed down (i.e. according to the understanding of the Rishonim and Acharonim, or only during the Viduy of the Se'ir according to his own explanation)!

He answers (see also PERISHAH OC 621) that the prostrations which we do during Musaf on Yom Kipur are not done out of honor for the Name of Hashem, but rather we are acting out a representation of what was done in the Avodah of Yom Kipur in the Beis ha'Mikdash. We bow once during each Viduy to demonstrate what was done in the Beis ha'Mikdash. For this it suffices to bow once for each Viduy.

2) "TIT'HARU!"
In the repetition of Musaf on Yom Kipur, we paraphrase a passage from our Mishnah. The Chazan recites the text of the Viduy which the Kohen Gadol would say in the Beis ha'Mikdash. When he comes to the words "Lifnei Hashem" in the verse, "Ki ba'Yom ha'Zeh Yechaper Aleichem... Lifnei Hashem Titharu," he pauses, and everyone assembled says the next words in the Mishnah, "v'ha'Kohanim v'ha'Am... Hayu Mishtachavim" and everyone bows down (in some communities, the custom is for only the Chazan to recite those words and bow down). After everyone has bowed down, the Chazan continues and says "Titharu," the last word of the verse he started.

RAV SHALOM SHVADRON, zt'l, the well-known "Magid" of Yerushalayim, who served as the Ba'al Tefilah for many years on Yom Kipur (in the Chevron Yeshivah in Givat Mordechai, Jerusalem) pointed out that although it is true that in the Beis ha'Midkash, the people bowed down immediately upon hearing the Name of Hashem, there is no reason for the Chazan to split up the verse and mention the last word of the verse, "Titharu," *after* saying the other words of the Mishnah describing how the people bowed down. Rav Shalom claimed that there is absolutely no source for interrupting the verse without completing it, and therefore when he served as Chazan he would complete the verse and say, "Lifnei Hashem Titharu" before saying "v'ha'Kohanim v'ha'Am...."

(It is possible that the current practice originated in a practice of saying the word "ha'Shem" -- as in "Ana Hashem -- instead of the the Holy Name, Hashem, when quoting the verse "Lifnei Hashem Tit'haru," as proposed by the TUR in the name of RAV SA'ADYA GAON. Since the Name of Hashem wasn't used, there was nothing wrong with stopping in middle of a verse. Later, the practice was changed and the Holy Name of Hashem was recited by the Chazan as he said the verse, as the Tur cites from RAV YITZCHAK IBN GE'AS. Mistakenly, the printers of the Machzor did not correspondingly add the word Tit'haru to change the practice of interrupting in middle of the verse with "v'ha'Kohanim v'h'Am..." before finishing the verse. -M. Kornfeld)


Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,