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Why can't a priest with a blemish serve in the Holy Temple?

by Rabbi Simcha Bart

  

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One reason for this is that the Honor Guard for a king consists of the most good looking and strong soldiers. So too the priests who worked in the Holy Temple had a special immaculate uniform, and physically, would need a certain uniformity in appearance.

On a deeper level: the priests who served G-d in the Temple simultaneously served as an example for the myriads of people who frequented the Temple on a regular basis. The priestly behavior personified dedication, proficiency, and efficiency. Similarly their perfection in physical appearance stood as a quick and constant reminder that in our service to G-d we must aim for perfection as well.

The priestly behavior personified dedication, proficiency, and efficiency.
Needless to say, the inability for a priest with a blemish to serve in the Temple didn’t make him less of a person or less of a Jew, just as the inability for the Israelite to serve in the Temple didn’t make him less of a person or less of a Jew. Also, even though he could not participate in the "service" he did take a share/portion of the sacrifices alongside his brethren who did serve.

The priesthood was a unique job for specific individuals, and if G-d created him with a blemish G-d obviously knew that this particular individual was created for another purpose.


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Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.