Project Genesis

Rope Around the High Priest

Question: There’s a belief that the High Priest had a rope tied around his waist when he entered the Holy of Holies in the Temple during Yom Kippur (to pull him out should G-d judge him unfit and take his life). Do you know the source of this belief?

Answer: Thank you very much for your interesting question. I discussed it with an experienced educator here in Baltimore, Rabbi Moshe Oppen, and he said that the source is actually in two places in the Zohar: in Parshas Acharei Mos (67a), and in Parshas Emor (102a). What it actually says is that a golden rope was tied around the High Priest’s leg.

Additionally, in the Artscroll Edition of the Talmud, Yoma Vol. II, on Daf 53b footnote 25, there is extensive discussion about this statement of the Zohar and it’s Halachic ramifications.

Take care,
Rabbi Aaron Tendler

[Reposted from the Archives]

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