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Yoma 31: Warming the Cold, Cold Water

Why does the Gemara take so much time and space for the 5 immersions and 10 sanctifications of hand and feet washing in Yom Kippur? Interspersed, he changes his garments from white linen to gold to white to gold to white. What pageantry! What a way to establish the tempo of the day! Plus: What is the source of these 15 various washings? Is it from the Torah’s account of Aaron’s conduct ? Or is it a logical inference? And is this difference of approach and ambiguity the reason for the ongoing discussion on the washings?


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Anne and Yardaena

Anne Gordon is the deputy editor of Ops & Blogs at The Times of Israel. She is a veteran educator, having taught in high school and post-high school institutions in Israel and America for several decades. Yardaena Osband is a pediatrician and teaches in her community and online. They both hail from Boston, proud alumna of Maimonides School, where they first learned Gemara. Talking Talmud is their conversation (via podcast) on the daf yomi. They say: "Learning the daf? We have something for you to think about. Not learning the daf? We have something for you to think about! (Along with a taste of the daf...) Join the conversation with us!"
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