Halacha Weekly- Acharei Mos: Wearing Gold on Yom Kippur

Halacha Weekly- Acharei Mos: Wearing Gold on Yom Kippur


“כתנת בד קדש ילבש ומכנסי בד יהיו על בשרו ובאבנט בד יחגר ובמצנפת בד יצנף בגדי קדש הם ורחץ במים את בשרו ולבשם” (ט”ז,ד’).

Rashi explains that the Kohen did not perform the avodah in the קדש הקדשים  with the שמונה בגדים.  The חושן,אפוד,מעיל וציץ all had gold on them andאין קטיגור נעשה סניגור  –  a prosecutor does not become a defense counselor.  The עגל was made from gold.  Therefore the עבודה in the קדש הקדשים could not be performed wearing gold.  The source for Rashi is the Gemara in Rosh Hashana דף כו. which states מפני מה אין כהן גדול נכנס בבגדי זהב לפני ולפנים לעבוד עבודה, לפי שאין קטיגור נעשה סניגור.

The ריטב”א says that a טלית מצוייצת – A Tallis with tzitzis that has gold on it is permissible to wear on Yom Kippur.  This is not considered an עבודה that was done לפנים in the קדש הקדשים rather an עבודת חוץ. In many קהילות however the מנהג is not to wear any gold on Yom Kippur.  In Prague the מנהג was not to use any of the gold and silver which adorned the ספר תורה.  This included the breastplate, the crown and the עץ חיים.

רבי עקיבא איגר in או”ח סימן תר”י quotes the פרי מגדים who writes in his ספר תבת גמא that the מנהג is not to wear any gold in the בית הכנסת on Yom Kippur.  However the לויים and women who did not partake in the עגל are allowed to wear gold.  The פרי מגדים ends by saying that nevertheless in order not to cause friction between the לויים and ישראלים and the women and their husbands, gold should not be worn by anyone.  The מטה אפרים also says that since it is considered one קהילה the ladies should not wear clothing with gold on them.

The שו”ת בצל החכמה discusses the halacha of wearing gold glasses and a gold watch on Yom Kippur.  He concludes that the rule of אין קטיגר נעשה סניגור only applies to articles that hint to and represent some sort of כפרה.  The wearing of glasses and watches in no way hint to anything to do with כפרה.

According to this the only real concern today are white clothing [which alludes to forgiveness] covered with gold.  For regular jewelry like earrings and rings that are not in any way connected to the clothing there is no קפידא not to be worn on Yom Kippur.  The משנה ברורה however says that מפני אימת הדין – because of the fear one should have for the יום הדין, ladies should only wear their weekday jewelry and not the jewelry they wear for Shabbos and Yom Tov.  Therefore if someone only wears his gold watch on Shabbos he should not wear it on Yom Kippur.[1]

Prepared by R’ Avrohom Yehoshua Ziskind

[1] Sources אוצר פלאות התורה,פסקי תשובות

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