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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 2 (Negative) -- Prohibition: 165 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 2 - The 365 Prohibitions of the Tora

165 - MINISTERING PRIEST LEAVING THE SANCTUARY


Leviticus 10:7 --You shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die, for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you." And they did according to the word of Moses.”
Leviticus 21:12 --Nor shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD.”

If a near relative of the high priest dies, the high priest may not follow his bier.* The high priest may officiate on the day on which his relative dies. The words of Sanhedrin** are as follows: “Nor shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God: but any other priest who does not go out of the Sanctuary does profane it” – meaning an ordinary priest who is not permitted to officiate because he is an onan.***

* Sanh. 18a (Sonc. ed. p. 91)
** Sanh. 84a (Sonc. ed. p. 555)
*** See Neg. Comm. 151

On learning of the death of a near kinsman a common priest, although under obligation to interrupt the service and permit another to complete it, is forbidden to leave the Sanctuary until the other priest has completed it. The reason is that his departure would constitute an act of disrespect to the divine service. Moreover, if it were permissible for him to leave the Sanctuary whilst in the act of performing the service without making provision for another priest to complete it, there is danger that that particular service might be neglected for some time, thus occasioning a still greater act of disesteem to the Sanctuary. Hence, he must wait until the other priest has completed it.*

* Mishneh Torah, Abodah, Hilchoth Biath ha-Mikdash II, 6, “Kesef Mishnah”

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