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Beit Midrash-Bible-The Rogatchover: Abraham The High Priest Print E-mail

BibleThe 11th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yosef (ben Fishel) Rosen of Dvinsk, the Gaon of Rogatchov, author of Tzofnas Paneach (1858-1936). His father was a leader of the Jewish community of Rogatchov in general, and of the Lubavitcher Chasidim in particular. When he was bar mitzvah, his father brought Reb Yosef to the Rav of Slutzk, Rav Yosef Dov Soloveichik, the Beis Halevi. Together with Rav Chaim (Rav Yosef Dov’s son), Rav Yosef learned with the Beis Halevi for an entire year. He then learned with Rav Yehushua Diskin in Shklov. When he was 18, he married the daughter of Rav Moshe Garfinkel, a Gerer chasid in Warsaw, who supported the couple for 8 years. In 1891, he took the position of Rav in Dvinsk, a position he kept until his death. The Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 25:6) states that the Patriarch Abraham was a Kohen Gadol (high priest). What difference was there if he was a regular Kohen or a Kohen Gadol? It is clearthat Abraham had to be a Kohen in order to perform any sacrifice. Yet, the Akeidah was unique, because in the process of performing the sacrifice, the Kohen would become an onan (one whose immediate relative has died that day), and only a Kohen Gadol can bring a sacrifice as an onan. Therefore it was crucial that Abraham be a Kohen Gadol, to complete the sacrificial order after Isaac's demise.
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