Yoma 47 - May 28, 17 Sivan
Today's daf is sponsored by William Futornick in honor of Shira Futornick’s birthday. "Happy 17th!"
The Kohen Gadol takes a handful of incense using both hands and places it in a spoon in his left hand and in the other hand is the coal pan. The size of the handful depending on the size of the kohen's hands. Why was the incense taken in the left hand and the coal pan in the right? Why was the incense placed in a spoon and not brought directly in the Kohen Gadols' hands? The gemara delves into the size of the handful - what if the Kohen's hands are particularly large like Yishmael ben Kimchit, the son of the woman who was rewarded by having sons who became High Priests as the walls of her house never "saw her hair" due to her being strict regarding laws of head covering. Two stories are brought of Rabbi Yishmael that he left the Temple on Yom Kippur and met a gentile officer in the marketplace and the saliva of the gentile got onto his clothing and he became impure and his brother had to fill in for him. The gemara compares laws of the handful required for a meal offering and the handful of incense on Yom Kippur. These are both two of three activities in the Temple that were considered very difficult. What is the status of dough for the meal offering that gets stuck in between one's fingers - it is considered part of the kmitza or the remainder? What if the handful is taken in an atypical manner? The same is asked regarding the handful of the incense.
If you're interested in learning more about the halachot of head covering that stem partially from the description of Kimchit in today's daf, read Head Covering: How and Head Covering: Where by Deracheha.