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Parshat Acharei
Shabbat, 29 Nissan, 5776
7 May, 2016
Select a portion:
1st Portion: (Leviticus 16:1-17)

Leviticus Chapter 16

1And the Lord spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron's two sons, when they drew near before the Lord, and they died.   אוַיְדַבֵּ֤ר יְהוָֹה֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה אַֽחֲרֵ֣י מ֔וֹת שְׁנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י אַֽהֲרֹ֑ן בְּקָרְבָתָ֥ם לִפְנֵֽי־יְהוָֹ֖ה וַיָּמֻֽתוּ:
And the Lord spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons: What does this teach us [when it specifies “after the death of Aaron’s two sons”]? Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah illustrated [the answer] with a parable of a patient, whom a physician came to visit. [The physician] said to him, “Do not eat cold foods, and do not lie down in a cold, damp place.” Then, another [physician] visited him, and advised him, “Do not eat cold foods or lie down in a cold, damp place, so that you will not die the way so-and-so died.” This one warned that patient more effectively than the former. Therefore, Scripture says, “after the death of Aaron’s two sons” [i.e., God effectively said to Aaron, “Do not enter the Holy in a prohibited manner, so that you will not die as your sons died”]- [Torath Kohanim 16:3]   וידבר ה' אל משה אחרי מות שני בני אהרן וגו': מה תלמוד לומר, היה רבי אלעזר בן עזריה מושלו משל לחולה שנכנס אצלו רופא. אמר לו אל תאכל צונן ואל תשכב בטחב. בא אחר ואמר לו אל תאכל צונן ואל תשכב בטחב שלא תמות כדרך שמת פלוני. זה זרזו יותר מן הראשון, לכך נאמר אחרי מות שני בני אהרן:
2And the Lord said to Moses: Speak to your brother Aaron, that he should not come at all times into the Holy within the dividing curtain, in front of the cover that is upon the ark, so that he should not die, for I appear over the ark cover in a cloud.   בוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־משֶׁ֗ה דַּבֵּר֘ אֶל־אַֽהֲרֹ֣ן אָחִ֒יךָ֒ וְאַל־יָבֹ֤א בְכָל־עֵת֙ אֶל־הַקֹּ֔דֶשׁ מִבֵּ֖ית לַפָּרֹ֑כֶת אֶל־פְּנֵ֨י הַכַּפֹּ֜רֶת אֲשֶׁ֤ר עַל־הָֽאָרֹן֙ וְלֹ֣א יָמ֔וּת כִּ֚י בֶּֽעָנָ֔ן אֵֽרָאֶ֖ה עַל־הַכַּפֹּֽרֶת:
And the Lord said to Moses: Speak to your brother Aaron, that he should not come [at all times into the Holy]: so that he should not die the way his sons died. — [Torath Kohanim 16:3]   ויאמר ה' אל משה דבר אל אהרן אחיך ואל יבא: שלא ימות כדרך שמתו בניו:
so that he should not die: for if he does enter, he will die. — [Torath Kohanim 16:3]   ולא ימות: שאם בא הוא מת:
for I appear…in a cloud: “For I continuously appear there with My pillar of cloud, and therefore, since My Divine Presence is revealed there, he must be careful not to accustom himself to enter.” This is its simple meaning. Our Rabbis, however, interpreted [it as follows]: He shall not come except with the cloud of incense on Yom Kippur. - [Yoma 53a]   כי בענן אראה: כי תמיד אני נראה שם עם עמוד ענני. ולפי שגלוי שכינתי שם, יזהר שלא ירגיל לבא, זהו פשוטו. ומדרשו לא יבא כי אם בענן הקטרת ביום הכיפורים:
3With this shall Aaron enter the Holy: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.   גבְּזֹ֛את יָבֹ֥א אַֽהֲרֹ֖ן אֶל־הַקֹּ֑דֶשׁ בְּפַ֧ר בֶּן־בָּקָ֛ר לְחַטָּ֖את וְאַ֥יִל לְעֹלָֽה:
with this: בְּזֹאת. Its gematria [numerical value] is 410, an allusion to [the number of years that] the first Temple [would stand when the kohanim were righteous like Aaron, and it was as if Aaron lived all these years and entered the Holy of Holies]. - [Vayikra Rabbah 21:9]   בזאת: גימטריא שלו ארבע מאות ועשר, רמז לבית ראשון:
With this shall Aaron enter [the Holy]: And even [with] this, not at all times, but [only] on Yom Kippur, as is specified at the end of this section (verse 29 below),“in the seventh month, on the tenth of the month…” [i.e., the tenth of Tishri, namely, Yom Kippur].   בזאת יבא אהרן וגו': ואף זו לא בכל עת, כי אם ביום הכיפורים, כמו שמפורש בסוף הפרשה (פסוק כט) בחדש השביעי בעשור לחודש:
4He shall wear a holy linen shirt and linen pants shall be upon his flesh, and he shall gird himself with a linen sash and wear a linen cap these are holy garments, [and therefore,] he shall immerse himself in water and don them.   דכְּתֹֽנֶת־בַּ֨ד קֹ֜דֶשׁ יִלְבָּ֗שׁ וּמִכְנְסֵי־בַד֘ יִֽהְי֣וּ עַל־בְּשָׂרוֹ֒ וּבְאַבְנֵ֥ט בַּד֙ יַחְגֹּ֔ר וּבְמִצְנֶ֥פֶת בַּ֖ד יִצְנֹ֑ף בִּגְדֵי־קֹ֣דֶשׁ הֵ֔ם וְרָחַ֥ץ בַּמַּ֛יִם אֶת־בְּשָׂר֖וֹ וּלְבֵשָֽׁם:
[He shall wear a…] linen shirt…: [By enumerating only the four garments of an ordinary kohen, Scripture] informs [us] that [the Kohen Gadol] does not perform the service inside [i.e., in the Holy of Holies] wearing the eight garments with which he performs the service outside [the Holy of Holies (see Exod. Chap. 28)], for those [garments] contain gold, and a prosecutor cannot become a defender. [I.e., since the Kohen Gadol enters the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur to effect atonement for all Israel, he may not enter wearing gold, reminiscent of the golden calf]. Instead, [he wears] four garments, like an ordinary kohen, all of which are [made] of linen. — [R. H. 26a]   כתנת בד וגו': מגיד שאינו משמש לפנים בשמונה בגדים שהוא משמש בהם בחוץ, שיש בהם זהב, לפי שאין קטיגור נעשה סניגור, אלא בארבעה, ככהן הדיוט, וכולן של בוץ:
He shall wear a holy [linen shirt…]: i.e., these garments shall be [purchased] from the Temple treasury. - [Torath Kohanim 16:13]   קדש ילבש: שיהיו משל הקדש:
and wear: Heb. יִצְנֹף, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders it: יָחֵית בְּרֵישֵׁיהּ, he shall place on his head. This is similar to “So she placed (וַתַּנַּח) his garment” (Gen. 39:16), [which Onkelos renders:] וְאַחְתְתֵהּ.   יצנף: כתרגומו יחית ברישיה, יניח בראשו, כמו (בראשית לט טז) ותנח בגדו ואחתתיה:
he shall immerse in water: On that day he was required to immerse himself every time he changed [his garments]. And [in total, the Kohen Gadol] changed his garments five times [when transferring] from the service inside [the Holy of Holies] to the service outside, and from outside to inside, changing from golden garments to white garments, and from white garments to golden garments. And at every change [of garments], he was required to immerse in a mikvah [once] and to sanctify his hands and feet twice [by washing his hands in the water] from the washstand [i.e., once when removing the garments he wore and a second time when he donned the next set of garments]. — [Yoma 32a]   ורחץ במים: אותו היום טעון טבילה בכל חליפותיו. וחמש פעמים היה מחליף מעבודת פנים לעבודת חוץ ומחוץ לפנים, ומשנה מבגדי זהב לבגדי לבן ומבגדי לבן לבגדי זהב, ובכל חליפה טעון טבילה ושני קדושי ידים ורגלים מן הכיור:
5And from the community of the children of Israel, he shall take two he goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering.   הוּמֵאֵ֗ת עֲדַת֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל יִקַּ֛ח שְׁנֵֽי־שְׂעִירֵ֥י עִזִּ֖ים לְחַטָּ֑את וְאַ֥יִל אֶחָ֖ד לְעֹלָֽה:
6And Aaron shall bring his sin offering bull, and initiate atonement for himself and for his household.   ווְהִקְרִ֧יב אַֽהֲרֹ֛ן אֶת־פַּ֥ר הַֽחַטָּ֖את אֲשֶׁר־ל֑וֹ וְכִפֶּ֥ר בַּֽעֲד֖וֹ וּבְעַ֥ד בֵּיתֽוֹ:
his sin-offering bull: That is the one mentioned above (verse 3). And [Scripture’s reference to “his”] teaches you here that [this bull] had to be [purchased] from Aaron’s own money, rather than from public funds. — [Torath Kohanim 16:19; Yoma 3b]   את פר החטאת אשר לו: האמור למעלה. ולמדך כאן שמשלו הוא בא, ולא משל צבור:
and initiate atonement…for himself and for his household: [i.e., over this bull,] he confesses his own sins and those of his household. — [Torath Kohanim 16:20; Yoma 36b]   וכפר בעדו ובעד ביתו: מתודה עליו עונותיו ועונות ביתו:
7And he shall take the two he goats, and place them before the Lord at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.   זוְלָקַ֖ח אֶת־שְׁנֵ֣י הַשְּׂעִירִ֑ם וְהֶֽעֱמִ֤יד אֹתָם֙ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה פֶּ֖תַח אֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד:
8And Aaron shall place lots upon the two he goats: one lot "For the Lord," and the other lot, "For Azazel."   חוְנָתַ֧ן אַֽהֲרֹ֛ן עַל־שְׁנֵ֥י הַשְּׂעִירִ֖ם גֹּֽרָל֑וֹת גּוֹרָ֤ל אֶחָד֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה וְגוֹרָ֥ל אֶחָ֖ד לַֽעֲזָאזֵֽל:
And Aaron shall place lots upon the two he-goats: He would place one [he-goat] on his right and one on his left. Then, he would insert both his hands into an urn [which contained two lots, one bearing the inscription “to the Lord” and the other “to Azazel.” These lots were mixed up, and Aaron, with both hands inside the urn] took one lot in his right hand and the other in his left hand, and he would place them upon them [the he-goats]: [The one] upon which [he placed the lot] with the inscription “to the Lord,” would be for God, while the one upon which [he placed the lot] with the inscription “to Azazel,” would be sent off to Azazel. — [Yoma 39a]   ונתן אהרן על שני השעירים גרלות: מעמיד אחד לימין ואחד לשמאל, ונותן שתי ידיו בקלפי ונוטל גורל בימין וחברו בשמאל, ונותן עליהם, את שכתוב בו לשם הוא לשם, ואת שכתוב בו לעזאזל משתלח לעזאזל:
Azazel: This is a strong and hard mountain, [with] a high cliff, as the Scripture says [in describing Azazel] (verse 22 below),“a precipitous land (אֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה),” meaning a cut-off land [i.e., a sheer drop]. — [Torath Kohanim 16:28; Yoma 67b]   עזאזל: הוא הר עז וקשה, צוק גבוה, שנאמר (פסוק כב) ארץ גזרה, חתוכה:
9And Aaron shall bring the he goat upon which the lot, "For the Lord," came up, and designate it as a sin offering.   טוְהִקְרִ֤יב אַֽהֲרֹן֙ אֶת־הַשָּׂעִ֔יר אֲשֶׁ֨ר עָלָ֥ה עָלָ֛יו הַגּוֹרָ֖ל לַֽיהוָֹ֑ה וְעָשָׂ֖הוּ חַטָּֽאת:
and designate it as a sin-offering: When he places the lot upon it, he designates it by calling it [a sin-offering], saying, “To the Lord-a sin-offering”. — [Yoma 39a]   ועשהו חטאת: כשמניח הגורל עליו קורא לו שם ואומר לה' חטאת:
10And the he goat upon which the lot "For Azazel" came up, shall be placed while still alive, before the Lord, to [initiate] atonement upon it, and to send it away to Azazel, into the desert.   יוְהַשָּׂעִ֗יר אֲשֶׁר֩ עָלָ֨ה עָלָ֤יו הַגּוֹרָל֙ לַֽעֲזָאזֵ֔ל יָֽעֳמַד־חַ֛י לִפְנֵ֥י יְהוָֹ֖ה לְכַפֵּ֣ר עָלָ֑יו לְשַׁלַּ֥ח אֹת֛וֹ לַֽעֲזָאזֵ֖ל הַמִּדְבָּֽרָה:
while still alive: [is to be understood] like יָעֳמַד חַי [i.e., the word יָעֳמַד is in the hof’al conjugation, which is a passive form, meaning that the goat] was “stood up by others.” [Thus,] the Targum translates it as, יִתָּקַם כַּד חַי, “shall be stood up while alive.” And what does the verse teach us when it says “alive?” Since it says: “to send it away to Azazel,” and we do not know whether it was to be sent away to be killed or to remain alive. Therefore, Scripture says, “shall be placed while still alive,” [meaning that] it is to be placed while still alive [and shall remain alive only] until it is sent away. From here, we learn that it was sent away to its death. — [Torath Kohanim 16:26]   יעמד חי: כמו יעמד חי על ידי אחרים, ותרגומו יתקם כד חי. מה תלמוד לומר חי, לפי שנאמר לשלח אותו לעזאזל, ואיני יודע שילוחו אם למיתה אם לחיים, לכך נאמר יעמד חי, עמידתו חי עד שישתלח, מכאן ששילוחו למיתה:
to [initiate] atonement: [lit., “to effect atonement upon it,” here meaning] that he is to confess upon it, as Scripture says, “and confess upon it….” (verse 21 below). - [Torath Kohanim 16:27; Yoma 40b]   לכפר עליו: שיתודה עליו, כדכתיב (פסוק כא) והתודה עליו וגו':
11And Aaron shall bring his sin offering bull, and shall [initiate] atonement for himself and for his household, and he shall [then] slaughter his sin offering bull.   יאוְהִקְרִ֨יב אַֽהֲרֹ֜ן אֶת־פַּ֤ר הַֽחַטָּאת֙ אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ וְכִפֶּ֥ר בַּֽעֲד֖וֹ וּבְעַ֣ד בֵּית֑וֹ וְשָׁחַ֛ט אֶת־פַּ֥ר הַֽחַטָּ֖את אֲשֶׁר־לֽוֹ:
…and shall [initiate] atonement for himself: This is a second confession [i. e., besides that stated in verse 6 above for himself and his household], and is for himself [again] and for his brothers, the kohanim, all of whom are called “his household,” as the verse says, “O house of Aaron, bless the Lord,” (Ps. 135:19). From here, we see that [all] the kohanim receive atonement through this [sin-offering bull of the Kohen Gadol] (Torath Kohanim 16:29; Shev. 13b) And all its atonement is exclusively for defiling the Sanctuary and its holy things, [e.g., if a kohen forgot that he was unclean and entered the Sanctuary or ate sacrifices], as the verse says, “And he shall effect atonement upon the Holy, from the defilements [of the children of Israel]” (verse 16 below). - [Shev. 14a]   וכפר בעדו וגו': וידוי שני עליו ועל אחיו הכהנים, שהם כלם קרוים ביתו, שנאמר (תהלים קלה יט) בית אהרן ברכו את ה' וגו', מכאן שהכהנים מתכפרים בו, וכל כפרתן אינה אלא על טומאת מקדש וקדשיו, כמו שנאמר (פסוק טז) וכפר על הקדש מטומאות וגו':
12And he shall take a pan full of burning coals from upon the altar, from before the Lord, and both hands' full of fine incense, and bring [it] within the dividing curtain.   יבוְלָקַ֣ח מְלֹֽא־הַ֠מַּחְתָּ֠ה גַּֽחֲלֵי־אֵ֞שׁ מֵעַ֤ל הַמִּזְבֵּ֨חַ֙ מִלִּפְנֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה וּמְלֹ֣א חָפְנָ֔יו קְטֹ֥רֶת סַמִּ֖ים דַּקָּ֑ה וְהֵבִ֖יא מִבֵּ֥ית לַפָּרֹֽכֶת:
from upon the altar: [referring to] the outside altar. — [Yoma 45b]   מעל המזבח: החיצון:
from before the Lord: From the side [of the altar] that is before the entrance [to the Holy], namely, the western side [of the altar]. — [Yoma 45b]   מלפני ה': מצד שלפני הפתח והוא צד מערבי:
fine: Heb. דַּקָּה. But what does Scripture teach us here, when it says [that the incense had to be] fine? Was not all incense fine, as Scripture says [regarding the spices], “And you shall crush some of it finely” (Exod. 30:36)? Rather, [Scripture is telling us here that this incense] was to be the finest of the fine, for on the eve of Yom Kippur, they would return [already crushed incense] to the mortar [in order to crush it even finer, for use on Yom Kippur]. — [Torath Kohanim 16:34; Keritot 6b]   דקה: מה תלמוד לומר דקה, והלא כל הקטורת דקה היא, שנאמר (שמות ל לו) ושחקת ממנה הדק, אלא שתהא דקה מן הדקה, שמערב יום הכפורים היה מחזירה למכתשת:
13And he shall place the incense upon the fire, before the Lord, so that the cloud of the incense shall envelope the ark cover that is over the [tablets of] Testimony, so that he shall not die.   יגוְנָתַ֧ן אֶת־הַקְּטֹ֛רֶת עַל־הָאֵ֖שׁ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה וְכִסָּ֣ה | עֲנַ֣ן הַקְּטֹ֗רֶת אֶת־הַכַּפֹּ֛רֶת אֲשֶׁ֥ר עַל־הָֽעֵד֖וּת וְלֹ֥א יָמֽוּת:
[And he shall place the incense] upon the fire: that is inside the pan.   על האש: שבתוך המחתה:
so that he shall not die: Hence, if [the Kohen Gadol] did not make it according to its formula, he would be liable to death. — [Torath Kohanim 16:35; Yoma 53a]   ולא ימות: הא אם לא עשאה כתקנה, חייב מיתה:
14And he shall take some of the bull's blood and sprinkle [it] with his index finger on top of the ark cover on the eastern side; and before the ark cover, he shall sprinkle seven times from the blood, with his index finger.   ידוְלָקַח֙ מִדַּ֣ם הַפָּ֔ר וְהִזָּ֧ה בְאֶצְבָּע֛וֹ עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַכַּפֹּ֖רֶת קֵ֑דְמָה וְלִפְנֵ֣י הַכַּפֹּ֗רֶת יַזֶּ֧ה שֶֽׁבַע־פְּעָמִ֛ים מִן־הַדָּ֖ם בְּאֶצְבָּעֽוֹ:
and sprinkle [it] with his index finger: One sprinkling is meant.   והזה באצבעו: הזאה אחת במשמע:
and before the [ark] cover, he shall sprinkle seven [times]: Thus, once above and seven times below. — [Torath Kohanim 16:41; Yoma 55a]   ולפני הכפרת יזה שבע: הרי אחת למעלה ושבע למטה:
15He shall then slaughter the he goat of the people's sin offering and bring its blood within the dividing curtain, and he shall do with its blood as he had done with the bull's blood, and he shall sprinkle it upon the ark cover and before the ark cover.   טווְשָׁחַ֞ט אֶת־שְׂעִ֤יר הַֽחַטָּאת֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לָעָ֔ם וְהֵבִיא֙ אֶת־דָּמ֔וֹ אֶל־מִבֵּ֖ית לַפָּרֹ֑כֶת וְעָשָׂ֣ה אֶת־דָּמ֗וֹ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֤ר עָשָׂה֙ לְדַ֣ם הַפָּ֔ר וְהִזָּ֥ה אֹת֛וֹ עַל־הַכַּפֹּ֖רֶת וְלִפְנֵ֥י הַכַּפֹּֽרֶת:
the people’s [sin-offering he-goat]: For what the bull atones for the kohanim [namely, defilements of the Sanctuary and its holy things], the he-goat atones for the Israelites, and this goat was the one upon which the lot “For the Lord” had fallen. - [Yoma 61a]   אשר לעם: מה שהפר מכפר על הכהנים מכפר השעיר על ישראל, והוא השעיר שעלה עליו הגורל לשם:
as he had done with the bull’s blood: [namely, sprinkling it] once above and seven times below. — [Torath Kohanim 16:41; Yoma 55a]   כאשר עשה לדם הפר: אחת למעלה ושבע למטה:
16And he shall effect atonement upon the Holy from the defilements of the children of Israel and from their rebellions and all their unintentional sins. He shall do likewise to the Tent of Meeting, which dwells with them amidst their defilements.   טזוְכִפֶּ֣ר עַל־הַקֹּ֗דֶשׁ מִטֻּמְאֹת֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וּמִפִּשְׁעֵיהֶ֖ם לְכָל־חַטֹּאתָ֑ם וְכֵ֤ן יַֽעֲשֶׂה֙ לְאֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֔ד הַשֹּׁכֵ֣ן אִתָּ֔ם בְּת֖וֹךְ טֻמְאֹתָֽם:
from the defilements of the children of Israel-: [i.e., atoning] for those who, while in [a state of] uncleanness, had entered the Sanctuary, and it never became known to them [that they had been unclean], for it says: לְכָלחַטֹּאתָם, חַטָּאַת denotes an unintentional sin. — [Torath Kohanim 16:42; Shev. 17b]   מטמאת בני ישראל: על הנכנסין למקדש בטומאה ולא נודע להם בסוף, שנאמר לכל חטאתם, וחטאת היא שוגג:
and from their rebellions: [i.e., atoning] also [for] those who, in a state of uncleanness, willfully entered [the Sanctuary, thereby defiling it]. — [Torath Kohanim 16:42; Shev. 17b]   ומפשעיהם: אף הנכנסין מזיד בטומאה:
He shall do likewise to the Tent of Meeting: i.e., just as he had sprinkled from [the blood of] both [the bull and the he-goat] inside [the Holy of Holies, with] one sprinkling above and seven below, so shall he sprinkle from [the blood of] both [the bull and the he-goat] on the dividing curtain from the outside once above and seven times below. — [Torath Kohanim 16:43; Yoma 56b]   וכן יעשה לאהל מועד: כשם שהזה משניהם בפנים אחת למעלה ושבע למטה, כך מזה על הפרוכת מבחוץ משניהם אחת למעלה ושבע למטה:
which dwells with them, [even] amidst their defilements: Although they are unclean, the Divine Presence is among them. — [Torath Kohanim 16:43; Yoma 56b]   השכן אתם בתוך טמאתם: אף על פי שהם טמאים שכינה ביניהם:
17And no man shall be in the Tent of Meeting when he comes to effect atonement in the Holy, until he comes out. And he shall effect atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.   יזוְכָל־אָדָ֞ם לֹא־יִֽהְיֶ֣ה | בְּאֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֗ד בְּבֹא֛וֹ לְכַפֵּ֥ר בַּקֹּ֖דֶשׁ עַד־צֵאת֑וֹ וְכִפֶּ֤ר בַּֽעֲדוֹ֙ וּבְעַ֣ד בֵּית֔וֹ וּבְעַ֖ד כָּל־קְהַ֥ל יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
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