P132 Parash 29 Acharei Mot (After the Death) Vaiyikra/Leviticus 16:1 to 18:30
Synopsis – The Lord instructs Moses regarding the observance of the holy day Yom Kippur, the rules governing forgiveness of sins/cleanliness/holiness, the role of the priests and of the high priest. Eating of blood is forbidden. Specific rules regarding relations among neighbors and family members are reviewed.
Theme & Message – The focus of this lesson is that the Lord has very direct and specific definitions of sin, holiness, life and death. There is no room for discussion, or compromise. The details of the punishment for sin and not following the Lord’s commandments are clearly given. The Lord makes himself very clear that sin and death mean the same thing to Him. God’s economy is clearly explained that life and atonement can only be achieved through blood.
TORAH LESSON – The reading begins with the detailed instructions for the atonement of sin. It is only the anointed high priest who can enter the Holy of Holies once per year to atone for the sins of the nation of Israel. He must first atone for his own sins and those of his family with a bull offering. He is to wear only the holy white linen garments and he must be ceremoniously cleaned in the mikvah, the washbasin, before entering the sanctuary. A bull is offered for the sin offering and a ram is for the burnt offering. Two goats are to be brought to him and lots are cast. One goat is then determined by lots to be for the Lord a sin offering, the other goat will be sent into the desert to carry with it the sins of the nation of Israel. After the goat is led into the desert, the burnt offering is mad efor the people’s sacrifice and Aaron’s. The best part of the sin offering is burnt on the altar. The one who led the goat in to the desert must also change his clothes and wash in the mikvah. The sacrificed bull and goat must be taken outside the camp and the remains burnt in the fire. The person who burns them must go to the mikvah before returning to the camp. Each year on the 10th day of the 7th month you must fast and not do any work. This is the Shabbot of all Shabbaths. This is to be a law forever so that each year the people will gain forgiveness of their sins. The atonement made by the High Priest will be for the priests and the people alike.
The Lord commanded that all sacrifices from this point on will be offered to Him and to be brought to the communion tent. Anyone who does not offer his sacrifices to the Lord will be guilty of murder and cut off from the people. The Israelites were to stop all sacrifices to other gods The Lord commanded that any member of the community who eats blood will have the Lord’s anger directed at him and will be cut off from the people. Blood is the life force and it is given to us to atone for sins.
Any spilled blood must be covered with earth. Any one who eats a creature that has died on its own must go to the mikvah and remain unclean until sundown, this food is not kosher. If he does not go to the mikvah he remains unclean and bears his guilt.
All nakedness and relations are too be between a husband and his wife. A woman during her period is unclean during the menstrual flow and for seven days thereafter.
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