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The Oil of Anointment

The Oil of Anointment

Positive Commandment 35


The 35th mitzvah is that we are commanded to have ready1 specially prepared oil in order to anoint a kohen gadol who is being appointed, as it is written,2 "The kohen who is greater than his brothers, upon whose head the anointing oil has been poured...." It is also used to anoint some kings [i.e. those from the House of Dovid], as explained in the laws regarding this mitzvah.3

The Tabernacle and all its vessels have already been anointed, but the anointing of vessels is not a commandment for subsequent generations. This is because of the specific statement of our Sages in Sifri,4 that the act of anointing the vessels of the Tabernacle sanctified all future vessels.

The source of this mitzvah is G‑d's statement5 (exalted be He), "This shall be the holy anointing oil to Me for all generations."

The details of this mitzvah are explained in the beginning of tractate Kerisus.6


See Kapach, 5731, footnote 4, regarding whether the main mitzvah is making the oil or the actual anointing.


Lev. 21:10.


See beginning of Hilchos Klei HaMikdosh.


Num. 7:1.


Ex. 30:31.



Rabbi Berel Bell is a well-known educator, author and lecturer. He and his family reside in Montreal, Canada.
From "Sefer Hamitzvot in English," published by Sichos in English.
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