Leviticus Chapter 10

16And Moses thoroughly investigated concerning the sin offering he goat, and behold, it had been burnt! So he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's surviving sons, saying,   טזוְאֵ֣ת | שְׂעִ֣יר הַֽחַטָּ֗את דָּר֥שׁ דָּרַ֛שׁ משֶׁ֖ה וְהִנֵּ֣ה שׂרָ֑ף וַ֠יִּקְצֹ֠ף עַל־אֶלְעָזָ֤ר וְעַל־אִֽיתָמָר֙ בְּנֵ֣י אַֽהֲרֹ֔ן הַנּֽוֹתָרִ֖ם לֵאמֹֽר:
the sin-offering he-goat: The he-goat of the רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ מוּסְפֵי, the additional offerings of Rosh Chodesh . On that day [Rosh Chodesh Nissan], three sin-offering goats were sacrificed: a) “[Take] a he-goat [as a sin-offering]” (Lev. 9:3); b) the he-goat of Nahshon [the son of Aminadab, leader of the tribe of Judah] (Num. 7:16); and c) the he-goat [of the additional offering] of Rosh Chodesh. Now, of all of these, the only one burnt was this one [i.e., this additional offering of Rosh Chodesh. And why did they burn it?] The Sages of Israel are divided on the matter (Torath Kohanim 10:52; Zev. 101a). Some said that it was burnt on account of uncleanness that had come into contact with it, [while] others said that it was burnt because [Aaron’s sons were] אוֹנְנִים, because this [sacrifice came under the category of] holy [sacrifices] that would also be sacrificed in [future] generations. [Thus they deemed it fit for burning, as the law would require for future generations.] However, when it came to holy [sacrifices] that were [brought] only at that time [like the other two goat offerings], they relied on Moses, who had said to them regarding the meal-offering, “eat it as unleavened loaves” (verse 12) [even though they were אוֹנְנִים, assuming that since that meal-offering was brought only at that time (see Rashi on verse 12), so must Moses’ command apply to all holy sacrifices brought at that time only].   שעיר החטאת: שעיר מוספי ראש חודש. ושלשה שעירי חטאות קרבו בו ביום שעיר עזים, ושעיר נחשון ושעיר ראש חודש, ומכולן לא נשרף אלא זה. ונחלקו בדבר חכמי ישראל יש אומרים, מפני הטומאה שנגעה בו נשרף. ויש אומרים, מפני אנינות נשרף, לפי שהוא קדשי דורות, אבל בקדשי שעה סמכו על משה שאמר להם במנחה (פסוק יב) ואכלוה מצות:
thoroughly investigated: Heb. דָרשׁ דָרַשׁ. [This double expression signifies] two investigations. [Moses asked:] a) “Why has this sacrifice been burnt?” and b) “Why have the other sacrifices not been eaten?” Thus it is taught in Torath Kohanim (10:52).   דרש דרש: שתי דרישות הללו מפני מה נשרף זה, ומפני מה לא נאכלו אלו, כך הוא בתורת כהנים:
[he was angry] with Eleazar and Ithamar: Out of respect for Aaron, Moses turned towards his sons and was angry [with them, even though he was angry with Aaron as well, regarding what had happened]. — [Torath Kohanim 10:53]   על אלעזר ועל איתמר: בשביל כבודו של אהרן הפך פניו כנגד הבנים וכעס:
saying: He said to them, “Answer my questions!” - [Torath Kohanim 10:53]   לאמר: אמר להם, השיבוני על דברי:
17"Why did you not eat the sin offering in the holy place? For it is holy of holies, and He has given it to you to gain forgiveness for the sin of the community, to effect their atonement before the Lord!   יזמַדּ֗וּעַ לֹֽא־אֲכַלְתֶּ֤ם אֶת־הַֽחַטָּאת֙ בִּמְק֣וֹם הַקֹּ֔דֶשׁ כִּ֛י קֹ֥דֶשׁ קָֽדָשִׁ֖ים הִ֑וא וְאֹתָ֣הּ | נָתַ֣ן לָכֶ֗ם לָשֵׂאת֙ אֶת־עֲוֹ֣ן הָֽעֵדָ֔ה לְכַפֵּ֥ר עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם לִפְנֵ֥י יְהֹוָֽה:
Why did you not eat the sin-offering in the holy place?: But had they eaten it outside the holy place? Had they not burnt it? What then [did Moses mean] when he said, “in the holy place?” But, [by phrasing the question in this way,] Moses was asking [Aaron’s sons]: "Perhaps that sacrifice went out of the hangings [of the courtyard], thereby becoming invalid [and that was why you burned it]?   מדוע לא אכלתם את החטאת במקום הקדש: וכי חוץ לקדש אכלוה, והלא שרפוה, ומה הוא אומר במקום הקדש, אלא אמר להם שמא חוץ לקלעים יצאה ונפסלה:
For it is a holy of holies: which becomes invalid by going out [of the hangings].“ They answered him, ”No.“ [So Moses] said to them: ”Well, since it remained within the holy place, why did you not eat it?" - [Torath Kohanim 10:54]   כי קדש קדשים הוא: ונפסלת ביוצא, והם אמרו לו לאו. אמר להם הואיל ובמקום הקדש היתה, מדוע לא אכלתם אותה:
and He has given it to you to gain forgiveness [for the sin of the community]: For the kohanim eat [the sacrifice], and [thereby] its owners are granted atonement. — [Torath Kohanim 10:54]   ואתה נתן לכם לשאת וגו': שהכהנים אוכלים ובעלים מתכפרים:
to gain forgiveness for the sin of the community: From here, we learn that it [the he-goat that was burned] was the he-goat of Rosh Chodesh, which atones for the sin of uncleanness concerning the sanctuary and its holy [sacrificial] food, for the sin-offering of the eighth day [of the investitures] and the sin-offering of Nahshon [Ben Aminadab] were not brought to effect atonement. — [Torath Kohanim 10:52]   לשאת את עון העדה: מכאן למדנו ששעיר ראש חודש היה, שהוא מכפר על עון טומאת מקדש וקדשיו, שחטאת שמיני וחטאת נחשון לא לכפרה באו:
18Behold, its blood was not brought into the Sanctuary within, so you should have surely eaten it within holy [precincts], as I commanded!"   יחהֵ֚ן לֹֽא־הוּבָ֣א אֶת־דָּמָ֔הּ אֶל־הַקֹּ֖דֶשׁ פְּנִ֑ימָה אָכ֨וֹל תֹּֽאכְל֥וּ אֹתָ֛הּ בַּקֹּ֖דֶשׁ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוֵּֽיתִי:
Behold, [its blood] was not brought: For if [its blood] had been brought [into the Holy], then indeed you would have been required to burn it, as it is said, “But any sin-offering some of whose blood [was brought into the Tent of Meeting to make atonement in the Holy, shall not be eaten; it shall be burned in fire]” (Lev. 6:23). - [Torath Kohanim 10:55]   הן לא הובא וגו': שאילו הובא היה לכם לשרפה, כמו שנאמר (ויקרא ו כג) וכל חטאת אשר יובא מדמה וגו':
so you should have surely eaten it: [I.e.,] “You should have surely eaten it,” even though you are אוֹנְנִים.   אכל תאכלו אתה: היה לכם לאכלה אף על פי שאתם אוננים:
as I commanded: you, regarding the meal-offering.   כאשר צויתי: לכם במנחה:
19And Aaron spoke to Moses, "But today, did they offer up their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord? But [if tragic events] like these had befallen me, and if I had eaten a sin offering today, would it have pleased the Lord?"   יטוַיְדַבֵּ֨ר אַֽהֲרֹ֜ן אֶל־משֶׁ֗ה הֵ֣ן הַ֠יּ֠וֹם הִקְרִ֨יבוּ אֶת־חַטָּאתָ֤ם וְאֶת־עֹֽלָתָם֙ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה וַתִּקְרֶ֥אנָה אֹתִ֖י כָּאֵ֑לֶּה וְאָכַ֤לְתִּי חַטָּאת֙ הַיּ֔וֹם הַיִּיטַ֖ב בְּעֵינֵ֥י יְהֹוָֽה:
And Aaron spoke: The expression דִּבּוּר [in Scripture, unless followed by the expression לֵאמֹר] always denotes boldness, as it is said, “And the people [thus] spoke (וַיְדַבֵּר) [against God and Moses, ‘Why did you bring us up from Egypt to die in the desert…?’” (Num. 21:5). Thus, in this verse, Aaron boldly responded to Moses’ investigation.] Is it possible that Moses addressed his anger to Eleazar and Ithamar, and Aaron answers? However, this [demonstrates to us that the behavior of Aaron’s sons] was only out of respect [for their father and their teacher]. They said, “It is inappropriate that while our father is sitting [in front of us], we should answer in his presence, and it is also inappropriate that a disciple should refute his master.” One might suggest that [the sons did not respond] because Eleazar was not capable [i.e., he did not have the courage] to answer. Scripture, [however,] says, “And Eleazar the kohen spoke to the men of the army…” (Num. 31:21). Thus, we see that when Eleazar wanted to, he spoke before Moses and before the princes [and hence, here, he was deliberately silent]. I found this [explanation] in the second version of the Sifrei. — [Sifrei Zuta on Numbers, ed. Horowitz, p. 329, Yalkut Bamidbar on Num. 31: 21]   וידבר אהרן: אין לשון דיבור אלא לשון עז, שנאמר (במדבר כא ה) וידבר העם וגו'. אפשר משה קצף על אלעזר ועל איתמר, ואהרן מדבר, הא ידעת שלא היתה אלא מדרך כבוד. אמרו אינו בדין שיהא אבינו יושב ואנו מדברים לפניו, ואינו בדין שיהא תלמיד משיב את רבו. יכול מפני שלא היה באלעזר להשיב, תלמוד לומר (במדבר לא כא) ויאמר אלעזר הכהן אל אנשי הצבא וגו', הרי כשרצה, דבר לפני משה ולפני הנשיאים, זו מצאתי בספרי של פנים שני:
But today, did they offer up: What is he saying? [He could have simply said, “Such tragic events like these have befallen me….”] Rather, Moses said to them, “Did you perhaps sprinkle its blood while you were אוֹנְנִים, and [as you probably know,] an אוֹנֵן who performs the service renders [that sacrifice] invalid?” So Aaron answered him,… הֵם הִקְרִיבוּ, i.e., “But did they who offer up [the sacrifices]?” They are ordinary kohanim [for whom the law of invalidation by an אוֹנֵן applies.] I offered [them] up! For I am a Kohen Gadol, and [a Kohen Gadol] is permitted to offer [a sacrifice] while he is an אוֹנֵן] [Zev. 101a]   הן היום הקריבו: מהו אומר, אלא אמר להם משה שמא זרקתם דמה אוננים, שהאונן שעבד חילל. אמר לו אהרן וכי הם הקריבו, שהם הדיוטות, אני הקרבתי, שאני כהן גדול ומקריב אונן:
But [if tragic events] like these had befallen me: [By these words, Aaron was effectively saying: “My point would be just as valid] even if those who died were not my sons, but other relatives for whom I am obligated to mourn as an אוֹנֵן like these,” such as all those enumerated in the parashah of the kohanim [i.e., Parashath אֱמוֹר, Lev. 21:13], for whom a kohen may become unclean. — [Torath Kohanim 10:59]   ותקראנה אותי כאלה: אפילו לא היו המתים בני אלא שאר קרובים שאני חייב להיות אונן עליהם כאלו, כגון כל האמורים בפרשת כהנים שהכהן מטמא להם:
and if I had eaten a sin-offering today: [Lit., “and I ate a sin-offering.” However, here the meaning is:] “But if I had eaten [the sin-offering],” would it have pleased [the Lord]?   ואכלתי חטאת: ואם אכלתי הייטב וגו':
[If I had eaten the sin-offering] today: [today it would not have been pleasing to the Lord; however, tonight I could have eaten it, because] an אוֹנֵן is permitted [to eat sacrifices] at night, for one is considered an אוֹנֵן only on the day of burial. — [Torath Kohanim 10:59; Zev. 101b]   היום: אבל אנינות לילה מותר, שאין אונן אלא יום קבורה:
would it have pleased the Lord?: If you heard this [special law that an אוֹנֵן may eat] holy sacrifices brought exclusively for a special occasion [like the people’s sin-offering goat and Nahshon’s goat, both offered just today], you have no right to be lenient [regarding this law] regarding holy sacrifices offered for [future] generations [like the sacrifice on Rosh Chodesh, about which you asked us, “Why did you not eat…?”]. — [Zev. 101a]   הייטב בעיני ה': אם שמעת בקדשי שעה אין לך להקל בקדשי דורות:
20Moses heard [this], and it pleased him.   כוַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע משֶׁ֔ה וַיִּיטַ֖ב בְּעֵינָֽיו:
and it pleased him: [Moses] admitted [that Aaron was correct,] and was not ashamed, [for he could have covered up by] saying, “I have not heard [of this law.” Rather, Moses frankly said to Aaron, “You are right! I did hear that an אוֹנֵן must not eat from sacrifices that will be offered in future generations, but I forgot!”]. — [Torath Kohanim 10:60; Zev. 101a]   וייטב בעיניו: הודה ולא בוש לומר לא שמעתי: