Mishnah/Seder Nezikin/Tractate Sanhedrin/Chapter 2/1
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Seder Nezikin, Tractate Sanhedrin
Chapter 2, Mishnah 1
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Sanhedrin deals primarily with the court and with court cases. The second chapter of Sanhedrin is focused on laws concerning the High Priest and the King.
The first mishnah of this chapter explains the rules for the High Priest.
- כהן גדול דן ודנין אותו, מעיד ומעידין אותו, חולץ וחולצין לאשתו, ומיבמין את אשתו, אבל הוא אינו מיבם, מפני שהוא אסור באלמנה.
- מת לו מת, אינו יוצא אחר המטה, אלא הן נכסין והוא נגלה, הן נגלין והוא נכסה, ויוצא עמהן עד פתח [ שער ] העיר, דברי רבי מאיר.
- רבי יהודה אומר, אינו יוצא מן המקדש, שנאמר (ויקרא כא) ומן המקדש לא יצא.
- וכשהוא מנחם אחרים, דרך כל העם עוברין בזה אחר זה והממנה ממצעו בינו לבין העם.
- וכשהוא מתנחם מאחרים, כל העם אומרין לו אנו כפרתך, והוא אומר להן התברכו מן השמים.
- וכשמברין אותו, כל העם מסבין על הארץ והוא מסב על הספסל.
The High Priest can judge and be judged himself, can serve as a witness and others can witness against him, can perform Levirate nullification and others can perform Levirate nullification for his widow, and others can marry her through Levirate marriage, but he cannot marry another through Levirate marriage, because it is forbidden for him to marry a widow. (Someone close to him) dies, he cannot follow the coffin, except when they enter he is not there, and they are not there when he enters. He can go out to the opening [gates] of the city, such are the words of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda says, he cannot leave from the Temple, as it is written (Leviticus 21:12) "And from the Temple, he cannot leave." When he comforts others, everyone passes by one after one, and an appointed person places himself between him and the people. When he is being comforted by others, everyone says to him, "we atone for him," and he says to them "you are blessed from heaven." And when he is fed in comfort, the whole nation sits on the ground and he sits on a bench.
This is an explanation of which parts of court proceedings apply to the High Priest. For the most part, he is treated as a normal citizen, with a few small changes, such as his inability to follow the coffin of his relative (presumably because a priest must not be exposed to a dead body or go to a cemetery). An explanation of important terms:
Levirate nullification/marriage - When a man dies and leaves a widow but he has not yet born children, the responsibility to bear heirs falls to the nearest of kin to the man. [This is the Levirate marriage.] If the man and widow choose not to fulfill this responsibility, he may take off his sandal and the widow spits in the sandal. [This is the nullification.]
Fed in comfort - This presumably alludes to a meal after a loved one dies, prepared for him by the community.