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Friday, September 21

The Weekly Shtikle - Yom Kippur

    One of the highlights of the Yom Kippur davening is the review of the Kohein Gadol's avodah in the Beis HaMikdash on Yom Kippur. We recite the text of each of the three confessions - the first two on the bull and the third on the goat before its sending away. The first confession is for the Kohein Gadol and his family. The second is for the Kohanim as a whole and the third is for all of the nation.
    What has puzzled me for some time now is a little nuance which separates the third confession from the other two. In first confession, the Kohein Gadol confesses for his own sins and the sins of his family. In the second he confesses his own sins once again, along with the sins of the other Kohanim. In the third, however, he confesses for the sins of the nation without mentioning his own as he did the previous two times. Why is the third confession different in this way?
    The only answer I could come up with is that the Kohein Gadol is the head of his own household as well as the spiritual head of all of the Kohanim and thus, has a certain degree of responsibility for the group as a whole. Since he is not considered to be the leader of B'nei Yisroel as a nation, it is not necessary for him to confess his sins in conjunction with theirs. Maybe something to discuss over kreplach.
Have a gemar chasimah tovah (or is it gemar chasimah tov? see )
Have a good Shabbos and a good Yom Tov.


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