Can Everybody be a Kohen Gadol?

Here I am back at the computer after a three-day Shavuos break. It was nice. Hot. We ate, napped, visited friends, and I got to catch up on some reading.

I was reading through a Jewish children’s magazine, Aim, when I came upon the following story. Thank you to my friend who scanned it for me!

(To those unfamiliar with the terms and customs, Shavuos is a holiday which celebrates the Torah being given to the Jews. The men stay up all night learning Torah. It is customary to eat dairy on this holiday, hence the obsession with cheesecakes. Bais HaMikdash is the Holy Temple that stood in Jerusalem thousands of years ago, and the Kohen Gadol is the High Priest that served there. His job was considered the holiest work one can do.)

On to the story: (Click to enlarge)

My initial reaction was – wow, they broached this topic? That there may be girls that aren’t interested in getting married and spending their lives in the kitchen. Then my skepticism kicked in and I said to myself that there is no way this could end the way that would make me happy. There are going to be apologetics.

And I was right. Although Miriam in the story didn’t accept the teacher’s explanation right away (bonus points), eventually she did. But will she ever be happy in that role? How does knowing that she is doing a job that is likened to the holiest and most important job in the Jewish religion make it any easier for her to conform herself to it? Not everyone can , or should, be a Kohen Gadol. And another question that arises: Why aren’t men encouraged to perform the most important job of cooking and cleaning so they can emulate the holiest job, which was in fact, held by a man?



About Sim

Learning how to merge my two very different lives.
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4 Responses to Can Everybody be a Kohen Gadol?

  1. Ask your boys what they learned in gemara about what the K’Gadol must do six days before Yom Kippur (“Shishah Yamin lifnei yom hakippurim….).

  2. Sim says:

    They don’t learn gemara yet.

  3. I had thought about that too, and the answers are: 1. Not everyone is tghe kohel godol. One person in each generation was! 2. The kohen godol didnt clean ALL DAY LONG! he did many other things, including the avodah, which is amazing, davening for all of klal yisroel, learning… that’s the point I always think, even the kohen godol didnt spend the entire day every day cleaning, cleaning, cooking, cleaning. But your other point – why would any girl choose NOT to get married & establish a family? In our velt, there isnt much else to do with your life. We dont go on to have careers or active social lives. Life is boring and lonely if you choose to remain single.

    • Sim says:

      Right. The cooking and cleaning was occasional. Come on, even my husband cooks and cleans a couple of times a year!

      But- life… is boring unless you marry? I recall someone telling me that there is so much she wants to do but can’t because her life is pre-prescribed for her, and that is to marry, raise kids, cook and clean.

      There is a LOT more to life that getting married. You have an identity, and your identity is not your husband. (He can be part of it, but he is not it.)

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