לע"נ הרב משה בן הרב מנחם רייניץולע"נ רבקה רחל בת ר' מרדכי רייניץ
לרפואת ר' נתן חיים בן זעלדא בתוך שח"י
Let's be משתעשע . Some Torah that also connects to this week's parsha:
The Mishna says in Makkos [11b] that if there was a gmar din without a kohen gadol in "office" or if the kohen gadol killed or was killed then the murderer never goes free.
The Ritva writes as follows:
Explanation of the Ritva
Meaning: Rashi explains that the cases of the kohen gadol [= kg] who was killed or who killed are talking about instances where at the time of the gmar din a new kg was not yet appointed [because if he was then the murderer can go free upon his death].
Asks the Ritva that the simple meaning of the mishna is that we are talking even about a case where a new kg was appointed for the mishna never made a distinction between whether he was appointed or not.
Also, if Rashi's understanding is correct then the סיפא essentially repeated what the רישא already said. The רישא said that if there is no kg at the time of gmar din then the muderer never goes free. Why would the סיפא repeat that din???
So the Ritva asserts that the mishna is in fact talking even about a case where there is a kg at the time of the gmar din but it doesn't matter. If the kg was the murderer or murdered then the the murderer never goes free. The murder cannot have any relationship to the kg. If it does then "all bets off" and the muderer never goes free, even upon the death of the kg. The reason might be that the act of murdering the kg or a kg being a murderer is so severe that the is no possibility of being freed from the Ir Miklat.
Some explain that it is necessary for the kg who is מכפר [when he dies] to be around at the time of the killing as well - בעינן כה"ג המכפר שימצא בשעת רציחה. The gemara only mentioned the gmar din but he must also be around at the time of the killing.
The Ritva asks that according to this reason the mishna should have mentioned a case where the murder took place in between kohen gadols. In such an instance as well there is no kg at the time of the killing and כפרה. He answers that the mishna chose the cases that it did in order to teach us that even though there was a kg at the time of the murder, we don't say that the murder [of the kg] and kappara [as a result of his murder] come simultaneously.
The Ritva concludes that he is not satisfied with this latter opinion.
Summary of the 3 Opinions
It emerges that the Ritva mentions 3 shittos:
1] Rashi [who we don't have] that there is no special din about a kg that killed or was killed. It is just framed that way to teach us that there is no release from the Ir Miklat if there was no kg at the time of the gmar din.
2] The Ritva who holds that if there is any involvement of the kg in the murder [either as victim or aggressor] then there is no freedom from the Ir Miklat.
3] The opinion cited by the Ritva that we require that the kg be there at the time of murder and kappara, which is not the case if he was the killer or was killed. This is cryptic and requires explaination. Stay tuned.....
First a Tosfos:
Tosfos in Yoma  asks the following question: Why don't we say that even of the kg is involved in the murder, the murderer should still go free upon the death of the "retired kg" [who was appointed temporarily when the kg became disqualified] or the Mashuach Milchama [according to R' Yehuda], both of whom have the capacity to free the murderer upon their demise [see mishna 11a]?!
Answers Tosfos that the kg is the primary individual. If he was around at the time of the killing then there is no release even upon the death of the "retired" kg or the Mashuach Milchama. The aforementioned Kohanim only effect freedom when there was no kg at the time of the murder. [Second answer - The murderer is stuck there forever when there was no "retired" kg or Mashuach Milchama but if there was he does in fact go out upon their demise.]
Explanation of Tosfos
It seems that Tosfos is following the latter opinion cited by the Ritva. We require the kg המכפר at the time of the killing. If there is no kg המכפר then it doesn't help that there is a kg at the time of the gmar din. However, even if the first kg died AFTER the murder and a new kg was appointed before the gmar din - that suffices. But if at the time of the murder there was no kg - he can never leave the Ir Miklat. That is the chiddush of Tosfaos: Even according to the mishna that other kohanim can effect freedom, nevertheless, the kg is the primary individual and thus if there was a kg at the time of the murder then the other kohanim cannot effect the freedom. Therefore, even if there was a kg at the time of the murder but he was the aggressor or the victim, he cannot effect freedom [he is not הכהן גדול המכפר]. It is true that he is considered kg at the time of the murder but he cannot be the מכפר because he was involved in the murder and thus the retired kg doesn't help us.
Also, if another kg was appointed before the gmar din it doesn't help us because there was no kg that effected a release at the time of the murder.
However, if there was a kg at the time of the murder [who was not involved in the murder] and then before the gmar din a new kg was appointed, then the murderer may be released upon the demise of the second kg. That is the meaning of the mishna that states that if the kg dies and before the gmar din another kg is appointed, he is released upon the death of kg number two.
The Rashash understood from Tosfos that if there was a kg at the time of the murder and then a new kg was appoined before gmar din then he is not released upon the latter's death. He questions this Tosfos because the mishna in Makkos [11b] says explicitly otherwise.
However, the Rashash erred in his understanding of the Tosfos who are in fact nicely aligned with the mishna, as we explained.
[עפ"י שיעורי הגרש"ר זצ"ל אות שע"ב]