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Thanksgiving at Night or Day

Thanksgiving at Night or Day

Veyom Tov Haya Oseh


ויום טוב היה עושה בצאתו בשלום מן הקדש
“He would celebrate a festive-day for his coming out from the Holy of Holies in piece.”

QUESTION: Some say the Kohen Gadol made the feast at night and others say it was made on the following day. What is the basis for their views?

ANSWER: There are two reasons for this festivity:

1) When a person is in a dangerous situation and emerges from it safely, it is incumbent on him to make a thanksgiving offering (karban todah). Thus, the Kohen Gadol made a feast to express his thanks to Hashem that unlike other Kohanim Gedolim who were unworthy of the position or may have deviated in the incense offering and who would not come out alive from the Holy of Holies, he survived.

2) Because his service of the day was accepted by Hashem. This was proven by the fact that he came out in peace.

If the reason is that his services were received by Hashem, it makes sense that the feast should be at night, immediately following the service of the day. However, according to the view that it was a personal expression of thanks to Hashem and was in lieu of a karban todah — thanksgiving offering — he intentionally waited till the morning because a karban — sacrifice — can only be offered during the day and not at night.

(לקוטי שיחות חל"ב ע' 105, שפעת רביבים על סדר העבודה מחזיק ברכה להחיד"א או"ח סרי"ט)

Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky has been a pulpit rabbi for over thirty years, and is author of more than ten highly acclaimed books on the Parshiot and holidays. His Parshah series, Vedibarta Bam, can be purchased here.
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