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    Third Bais Hamikdosh Ready or Not?

    The Gemara in Taanis, daf yud zayin, amud bais says that the Chachomim forbade Kohanim to drink wine today because the Bais Hamikdosh will be quickly returned to us. The Kohen will not be eligible to do avodah in the Bais Hamikdosh if he is drunk.

    Tosfos s.v. Ba’inan asks the following question. Even if the Kohanim are sober when the Bais Hamikdosh will be rebuilt, they will not be eligible to do the avodah since they are tamei meis and require the ashes of the Poroh Adumah to be sprinkled on the third and seventh day. Tosfos answers this question by saying that they are nevertheless able to do the avodah as we have a rule that tumah hutra betzibbur; if the majority of klal yiroel are tamei, one may do the avodah while tamei.

    The following question therefore arises. Why did they need to search for pure olive oil at the time of the neis of Chanukah if the majority of klal Yisroel were tamei? The answer is as follows. A new Menorah was made in the days of the Chashmonaim (as we find in Gemara Avoda Zora, daf mem gimmel, amud alef) and they had a chinuch (inauguration) of the avodah. In a case of chinuch avoda we do not say tumah hutra betzibbur.

    The question that follows this train of thought concerns this same concept. When the third Bais Hamikdosh will arrive we will have the same inauguration and if we don’t say tumah hutrah betzibbur for chinuch avodah, why can’t the kohanim get drunk according to the Chachomim?

    We will therefore differentiate between the time of the Chashmonaim and the third Bais Hamikdosh. We find that the kailim and the Mishkon of Moshe Rabbeinu never got destroyed. They were hidden. The Posuk says, “Vayimshacheim, Vayekadesh Osam.”  The Midrash says that the meshicha referred to in the posuk was for both Olam Hazeh and Olam Haba. It stands to reason that the third Bais Hamikdosh will get back the kailim of the Mishkon and will not require chinuch. Therefore, a Kohen may not drink because there will be tumah hutra betzibbur, since the third Bais Hamikdosh will come down ready to go and will not require Chinuch.