Friday, October 04, 2013

Qoton Qlassic: Urim and Tumim, Prophecies of the Oracle

For all of my loyal readers (if there are any left):
I am proud to announce that I have revised my essay about the Urim and Tummim, entitled "Prophecies of the Oracle" (which was also printed in my book Prophecies of the Oracle and other Torah Essays). For those who don't remember what this essay is about, here is a short excerpt:
Was the “Urim and Tumim” extant during the period of the Second Holy Temple? Maimonides writes that the Urim and Tumim existed in the Second Holy Temple, but because the Holy Spirit of HaShem did not exist within them, they did not possess the powers to answer questions prophetically. In order for one to receive a message through the Urim and Tumim, one must possess Ruach HaKodesh (divine intuition), which during that time period, no one had possessed. Therefore, although present in the Second Holy Temple, the Urim and Tumim did not perform their intended function. Maimonides proves that they existed in the time of the Second Holy Temple because had they not existed, then the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) would have never been considered fully clothed because the Urim and Tumim are halachikly considered part of the eight holy vestments, which the High Priest must wear while performing the services in the Holy Temple. In providing this as evidence to the Urim and Tumim’s existence during the period of the Second Temple, Maimonides assumes that the Urim and Tumim are indeed considered part of the eight holy vestments of the Kohen Gadol; however, the Ra`avad, Rabbi Avrohom ben Dovid (1125-1198), disagrees with Maimonides’ view. The Raavad wrote that the Urim and Tumim were not essential components in the Kohen Gadol's holy garments. Therefore, according to the Raavad, since because their absence does not disqualify the Kohen Gadol from performing the sacrificial services in the Holy Temple, it is possible that they did not exist at all in the times of the Second Holy Temple.
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