The Installation Rites

Fourth Reading8:1The Torah previously recounted1 how God commanded Moses to install the priests over the course of the full week preceding the 1st of Nisan, 2449. It will now recount how, when the time to begin these rites arrived, God repeated His command Moses to perform them—since it is always proper to remind a person of what was previously discussed when the time arrives to do it—and then how Moses performed these rites as he had been commanded.

On the 23rd of Adar, 2449, God spoke to Moses, saying,

2 “Take Aaron, together with his sons, the priestly garments, the anointing oil, the sin-offering bull, the two rams, and the basket of 30 loaves of unleavened bread, as I instructed you to six months ago,2

3 and assemble the entire community at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. You shall officiate as the high priest, offering up all the sacrifices. For this purpose, wear a simple, white tunic.3

4 Moses did as God commanded him, and the entire community miraculously assembled in the very limited space at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.

5 Moses said to the community: “This procedure, which you are about to witness, is what God has commanded me to do. I am not doing this for my own glory or for that of my brother Aaron, but only because God commanded me to do it.

6 Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and immersed them in the water of a mikveh.

7 He dressed Aaron with the trousers, placed the Tunic upon him, girded him with the Sash, clothed him in the Robe, placed the Ephod upon him, girded him with the belt of the Ephod by tying its two ends together, and adorned him with it.

8 He placed the Breastplate upon him and inserted the urim and the tumim4 into the Breastplate.

9 He placed the Turban on his head, and he placed the golden Forehead-plate—the holy diadem—suspended by a cord placed over the Turban, resting on his head below the front of the Turban, as God had commanded Moses.

10 Moses took the anointing oil5 and anointed the Sanctuary and everything in it, and thereby sanctified them.

11 He sprinkled some of it upon the Altar seven times, and he anointed the Altar and all its vessels and the Laver and its base,6 to sanctify them.

12 He poured some of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head and anointed him, to sanctify him.7

13 Moses brought Aaron’s sons forward and dressed them in trousers, tunics, girded them with sashes, and put on their headdresses, as God had commanded Moses.8

Fifth Reading14 He brought the sin-offering bull in front of the Tent of Meeting, and Aaron and his sons leaned their hands forcefully upon the head of the sin-offering bull.

15Moses slaughtered it, and Moses took the blood, ascended the ramp of the Altar, and placed some ofthe blood on the Altar’s four protrusions with his finger as he walked around it, and thus purified the Altar. He then descended the ramp and poured the rest of the blood on the base of the Altar, and thus sanctified the Altar as an instrument upon which to effect atonement.

16 He ascended the Altar again, and took all the fat that is on the innards, i.e., on the abomasum (or alternatively, on the small intestine); the diaphragm along with part of the liver; the two kidneys; and their fat. Moses burned them up on the Altar.

17 He burned the rest of the bull—i.e., its hide, its flesh, and its waste matter—outside the camp, as God had commanded Moses.9

18 He brought forth the ascent-offering ram, and Aaron and his sons leaned their hands forcefully upon the head of the ram.

19 He slaughtered it and, standing on the ground next to the Altar, Moses dashed the blood upon the northwest and southeast corners of the Altar such thatthe blood was considered to be encircling the Altar.10

20 He cut up the ram into its constituent pieces, and, after again ascending the Altar, Moses burned up the head, the other pieces of the ram, and the fat on the Altar.

21 But before he ascended the Altar, he first washed the innards and the legs in water, and only afterward did Moses burn up the entire ram on the Altar. He burned it up with the intention that it be a pleasing ascent-offering and fire-offering to God, as God had commanded Moses.11

Sixth Reading22 He brought forth the second ram, i.e., the installation ram, and Aaron and his sons leaned their hands forcefully upon the ram’s head.

23 He slaughtered it, and Moses took some of its blood on his finger and placed it on the middle ridge of Aaron’s right ear, on the middle joint of Aaron’s right thumb, and on the big toe of Aaron’s right foot.

24 He brought Aaron’s sons forward, and Moses placed some of the blood on the middle ridge of their right ears, on the middle joint of their right thumbs, and on the big toes of their right feet. Moses then, standing on the ground, dashed the remaining blood onto the Altar at its northeast and southwest corners such that the blood was considered to be encircling the Altar.12

25 He took the fat covering the innards (i.e., on the omasum and the reticulum), the fatty tail, all the fat that was on the innards (i.e., on the abomasum, or alternatively, on the small intestine), the diaphragm, along with part of the liver, the two kidneys together with their fat, and the right thigh.

26 He took one loaf of regular unleavened bread, one scalded loaf of “oil bread” (so called because these loaves were made using the same amount of oil as the other two types of bread combined), and one flat unleavened cake out of the basket of unleavened bread that was before God, and he placed them on top of the fats and the right thigh.

27 Then he placed it all on Aaron’s palms and on his sons’ palms, put his hands underneath theirs, and thus, together with them, he waved the fats, the right thigh, and the loaves, i.e., moved them forward and backward in all four directions, and then upward and downward, thus making it all into a wave-offering before God.

28 Moses took the fats, the thigh, and the loaves from their hands and burned them up on the Altar along with the ascent-offering. He burned them up with the intention that they be pleasing installation-offerings and a fire-offering to God.

29 Moses took the breast of the installation ram and waved it in the same way that he waved the burnt portions, making it a wave-offering before God. It then belonged to Moses as his portion to eat from the installation ram, as God had commanded Moses.13

Seventh Reading30 Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood that was on the Altar. He sprinkled it on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on his sons’ garments, and he thereby sanctified Aaron, his garments, his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.

31 Moses said to Aaron and to his sons, “Since the installation-offerings are sacrifices of superior holiness, cook the meat inside the Courtyard and east of the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and eat it there, along with the bread that is in the basket of the installation offerings, as I have commanded, saying, ‘Aaron and his sons must eat it in this location, on the day they are offered up, in order to be installed into the priesthood.’

32 You must burn whatever part of the meat and the bread that is left over the following morning.

Maftir33 You must not leave the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, i.e., the Courtyard, for seven consecutive days, until the end of the day that completes your installation days, i.e., the seventh day, for He will install you in the priesthood by having you undergo these rituals for seven days.

34 As He has done on this day, so has God commanded me to do to you for the next six days, as well, to atone for you for anything you may have done in the past that would be inconsistent with your priesthood.

35 You must therefore stay day and night for seven days at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, i.e., in the Courtyard. You must keep God’s watch, in order that you not die, for I was thus commanded, i.e., that not complying with this installation ritual is a capital offense.”14

36 Aaron and his sons did all the things that God commanded them through Moses.