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Zevachim 19b - Moshe, Aharon, and his sons

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1 Zevachim 19b - Moshe, Aharon, and his sons on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:58 am

Cohanim on Yom Hashemini

Zevachim 19b brings:
דאמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא: כל כיור שאין בו כדי לקדש ארבעה כהנים ממנו ־ אין מקדשין בו, שנאמר: ורחצו ממנו משה ואהרן ובניו. (פירש"י משה ואהרן־ תרין ובניו תרין שאף משה כהן היה בשבעת ימי המילואים ואע"ג דלא כהנו בבת אחת מיהו קרא להכי מידריש.)
It is clear from Rashi that Moshe Rabbeinu did avodah on the seven days of miluim, and Aharon and his sons on the eighth day.
Rambam Hilchos Bias Hamikdrash 5(13):
כמה מים צריכין להיות בכיור אין פחות מכדי לקדש ממנו ד' כהנים שנאמר אהרן ובניו והיו אלעזר ואיתמר ופינחס עמהם הרי ארבעה.
which is the posuk from Ki Sisa instead of the one from Pikudei (Kesef Mishnah).
The Kesef Mishnah there wonders, according to the Rambam [and his girsa in the gemara], what happened to Nadav and Avihu, who weren’t dead yet. According to Rashi you can ask the same question, but he answers that מיעוט בנים שנים, which does seem like a דוחק as well.

The Shitah M’kubetzes [ג] there asks as well, he says “Nadav and Avihu were already dead” in his initial question, I’m not sure when he thinks they died וצ"ע. But he shifts away from Rashi’s “even though they weren’t all at the same time”, and suggests that Moshe did avodah on Yom Hashemini; Aharon and his sons did the special korbonos of the day, whereas Moshe did all the normal korbonos. He brings the pesukim at the end of Parshas Pikudei as evidence for that, as they seem to say that Moshe was the one commanded to do all the regular avodos. He seems to imply that that would answer the question from Nadav and Avihu as well, since they were “already dead”, however that worked.

The Ramban on Chumash in the section of the burnt chatas has an extended discussion of the status of the sons on that day. He says that they maybe had a status of משוח מלחמה, which would explain why they were (unlike regular cohanim), not allowed to mourn or leave the mikdash. They still were not allowed to do avodah, as the gemaras in Zevachim (16a, 101a) imply: if they had brought the chatas it would have been posul, unlike Aharon.
He asks that all the korbonos seem to have been brought before Nadav and Avihu died, so how is this relevant, and says they were just discussing the halacha. But mefarshim answer (Tos’ Harosh, Rashi from Pesachim 82b) that only the special korbonos of Yom Shemini were already brought, but the regular korbonos of the day (like the chatas for Rosh Chodesh) were not all brought yet.

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