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Two Lots

Two Lots


“And Aharon shall cast lots on the two goats, one for G‑d and one for Azazeil.”

A question may be asked: after the spiritual service of the month of Elul, the days of selichot, Rosh Hashanah, the ten days of repentance and the eve of Yom Kippur, certainly everyone is on the level of a tzaddik, and how is it fitting that on this day one lot is still not for G‑d?

One explanation is that in the Messianic era, when the world is sanctified and purified, there will be no further need for the spiritual service of “turn from evil,” and the negative commandments will be in the mode of “turn from evil” as they are in the Torah itself.

In the Torah there is no place for evil in the simple sense; there is only the advantage of “turn from evil,” the conversion of evil itself to good. As our sages state, “deliberate sins are converted into merits.”

The loftiness of these “merits” is visible also in the fact that the negative commandments outnumber the positive ones. Even here, the two lots are similar to the future status of positive and negative commandments, namely two paths in the realm of holiness itself.

(Sichat Erev Yom Kippur 5746)

Excerpted from Days Of Awe, Days Of Joy. Published and Copyright by Kehot Publication Society, Brooklyn NY 11213
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