Parshas Acharei Mos

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By Rabbi Shloimie Lindenbaum

דבר אל אהרן אחיך ואל יבא בכל עת אל הקדש…בזאת יבא אהרן אל הקדש (פרק טז פסוק ב-ג)

As an introduction to the Yom Kippur service in the משכן , Hashem says that Aharon cannot frequent the קדש הקדשים (Holy of Holies), and only with the described service can he enter. Rashi, in one explanation, says that the command was just that Aharon shouldn’t often come to the קדש הקדשים , but he can come infrequently (even on days other than Yom Kippur), provided that he does the Yom Kippur service when he enters. The Vilna Gaon explains that this was a special allowance for Aharon alone, any other כהן גדול (High Priest) could only enter the קדש הקדשים on Yom Kippur. Aharon had a special privilege that he could enter with the service whenever he wants, but he was warned not to overuse it. R’ Aharon Leib Shteinman added that we can assume that although Aharon got this unique dispensation, he didn’t take advantage of it. He says that we are taught that learning Torah is more precious than pearls פנינים. which חז”ל explain to mean that it is more precious than the כהן גדול entering the innermost chamber he didn’t use his privilege to enter the קדש הקדשים, rather he spent that time in the elevated and exalted pursuit of the study of Torah.

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