Parashah 29 – Acharei Mot (After the death)

Parashah 29 – Acharei Mot (After the death)

Leviticus 16:1–18:30

[In regular years read with Parashah 30, in leap years read separately]

16:1 Yehovah spoke with Moshe after the death of Aharon’s two sons, when they tried to sacrifice before Yehovah and died; Yehovah said to Moshe, “Tell your brother Aharon not to come at just any time into the Holy Place beyond the curtain, in front of the ark-cover which is on the ark, so that he will not die; because I appear in the cloud over the ark-cover.

“Here is how Aharon is to enter the Holy Place: with a young bull as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering. He is to put on the holy linen tunic, have the linen shorts next to his bare flesh, have the linen sash wrapped around him, and be wearing the linen turban — they are the holy garments. He is to bathe his body in water and put them on.

“He is to take from the community of the people of Isra’el two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. Aharon is to present the bull for the sin offering which is for himself and make atonement for himself and his household. He is to take the two goats and place them before Yehovah at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then Aharon is to cast lots for the two goats, one lot for Yehovah and the other for ‘Az’azel. Aharon is to present the goat whose lot fell to Yehovah and offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat whose lot fell to ‘Az’azel is to be presented alive to Yehovah to be used for making atonement over it by sending it away into the desert for ‘Az’azel.

11 “Aharon is to present the bull of the sin offering for himself; he will make atonement for himself and his household; he is to slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is for himself. 12 He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before Yehovah and, with his hands full of ground, fragrant incense, bring it inside the curtain. 13 He is to put the incense on the fire before Yehovah, so that the cloud from the incense will cover the ark-cover which is over the testimony, in order that he not die. 14 He is to take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger on the ark-cover toward the east; and in front of the ark-cover he is to sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

15 “Next, he is to slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, bring its blood inside the curtain and do with its blood as he did with the bull’s blood, sprinkling it on the ark-cover and in front of the ark-cover. 16 He will make atonement for the Holy Place because of the uncleannesses of the people of Isra’el and because of their transgressions — all their sins; and he is to do the same for the tent of meeting which is there with them right in the middle of their uncleannesses. 17 No one is to be present in the tent of meeting from the time he enters the Holy Place to make atonement until the time he comes out, having made atonement for himself, for his household and for the entire community of Isra’el. (LY: ii) 18 Then he is to go out to the altar that is before Yehovah and make atonement for it; he is to take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and put it on all the horns of the altar. 19 He is to sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, thus purifying it and setting it apart from the uncleannesses of the people of Isra’el.

20 “When he has finished atoning for the Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he is to present the live goat. 21 Aharon is to lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the transgressions, crimes and sins of the people of Isra’el; he is to put them on the head of the goat and then send it away into the desert with a man appointed for the purpose. 22 The goat will bear all their transgressions away to some isolated place, and he is to let the goat go in the desert.

23 “Aharon is to go back into the tent of meeting, where he is to remove the linen garments he put on when he entered the Holy Place, and he is to leave them there. 24 Then he is to bathe his body in water in a holy place, put on his other clothes, come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, thus making atonement for himself and for the people. (RY: ii, LY: iii) 25 He is to make the fat of the sin offering go up in smoke on the altar.

26 “The man who let go the goat for ‘Az’azel is to wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; afterwards, he may return to the camp.

27 “The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, is to be carried outside the camp; there they are to burn up completely their hides, meat and dung. 28 The person burning them is to wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; afterwards, he may return to the camp.

29 “It is to be a permanent regulation for you that on the tenth day of the seventh month you are to deny yourselves and not do any kind of work, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you. 30 For on this day, atonement will be made for you to purify you; you will be clean before Yehovah from all your sins. 31 It is a Shabbat of complete rest for you, and you are to deny yourselves.

“This is a permanent regulation. 32 The cohen anointed and consecrated to be cohen in his father’s place will make the atonement; he will put on the linen garments, the holy garments; 33 he will make atonement for the Especially Holy Place; he will make atonement for the tent of meeting and the altar; and he will make atonement for the cohanim and for all the people of the community. 34 This is a permanent regulation for you, to make atonement for the people of Isra’el because of all their sins once a year.” Moshe did as Yehovah had ordered him.

17:1 (LY: iv) Yehovah said to Moshe, “Speak to Aharon and his sons and to all the people of Isra’el. Tell them that this is what Yehovah has ordered: ‘When someone from the community of Isra’el slaughters an ox, lamb or goat inside or outside the camp without bringing it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to Yehovah before the tabernacle of Yehovah, he is to be charged with blood — he has shed blood, and that person is to be cut off from his people. The reason for this is so that the people of Isra’el will bring their sacrifices that they sacrifice out in the field — so that they will bring them to Yehovah, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, to the cohen, and sacrifice them as peace offerings to Yehovah. The cohen will splash the blood against the altar of Yehovah at the entrance to the tent of meeting and make the fat go up in smoke as a pleasing aroma for Yehovah. No longer will they offer sacrifices to the goat-demons, before whom they prostitute themselves! This is a permanent regulation for them through all their generations.’

(RY: iii, LY: v) “Also tell them, ‘When someone from the community of Isra’el or one of the foreigners living with you offers a burnt offering or sacrifice without bringing it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to sacrifice it to Yehovah, that person is to be cut off from his people. 10 When someone from the community of Isra’el or one of the foreigners living with you eats any kind of blood, I will set myself against that person who eats blood and cut him off from his people. 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for yourselves; for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life.’ 12 This is why I told the people of Isra’el, ‘None of you is to eat blood, nor is any foreigner living with you to eat blood.’

13 “When someone from the community of Isra’el or one of the foreigners living with you hunts and catches game, whether animal or bird that may be eaten, he is to pour out its blood and cover it with earth. 14 For the life of every creature — its blood is its life. Therefore I said to the people of Isra’el, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it will be cut off.’

15 “Anyone eating an animal that dies naturally or is torn to death by wild animals, whether he is a citizen or a foreigner, is to wash his clothes and bathe himself in water; he will be unclean until evening; then he will be clean. 16 But if he doesn’t wash them or bathe his body, he will bear the consequences of his wrongdoing.”

18:1 Yehovah said to Moshe, “Speak to the people of Isra’el; tell them, ‘I am Yehovah your God. You are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Egypt, where you used to live; and you are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Kena‘an, where I am bringing you; nor are you to live by their laws. You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Yehovah your God. You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Yehovah.

(LY: vi) “‘None of you is to approach anyone who is a close relative in order to have sexual relations; I am Yehovah. You are not to have sexual relations with your father, and you are not to have sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother — do not have sexual relations with her. You are not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that is your father’s prerogative. You are not to have sexual relations with your sister, the daughter of your father or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere. Do not have sexual relations with them. 10 You are not to have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or with your daughter’s daughter. Do not have sexual relations with them, because their sexual disgrace will be your own. 11 You are not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife’s daughter, born to your father, because she is your sister; do not have sexual relations with her. 12 You are not to have sexual relations with your father’s sister, because she is your father’s close relative. 13 You are not to have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative. 14 You are not to disgrace your father’s brother by having sexual relations with his wife, because she is your aunt. 15 You are not to have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law; because she is your son’s wife. Do not have sexual relations with her. 16 You are not to have sexual relations with your brother’s wife, because this is your brother’s prerogative.

17 “‘You are not to have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter, nor are you to have sexual relations with her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are close relatives of hers, and it would be shameful. 18 You are not to take a woman to be a rival with her sister and have sexual relations with her while her sister is still alive. 19 You are not to approach a woman in order to have sexual relations with her when she is unclean from her time of niddah. 20 You are not to go to bed with your neighbor’s wife and thus become unclean with her.

21 “‘You are not to let any of your children be sacrificed to Molekh, thereby profaning the name of your God; I am Yehovah.

(RY: iv, LY: vii) 22 “‘You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.

23 “‘You are not to have sexual relations with any kind of animal and thus become unclean with it; nor is any woman to present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; it is perversion.

24 “‘Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, because all the nations which I am expelling ahead of you are defiled with them. 25 The land has become unclean, and this is why I am punishing it — the land itself will vomit out its inhabitants. 26 But you are to keep my laws and rulings and not engage in any of these disgusting practices, neither the citizen nor the foreigner living with you; (LY: Maftir) 27 for the people of the land have committed all these abominations, and the land is now defiled. 28 If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out too, just as it is vomiting out the nation that was there before you. 29 For those who engage in any of these disgusting practices, whoever they may be, will be cut off from their people. 30 So keep my charge not to follow any of these abominable customs that others before you have followed and thus defile yourselves by doing them. I am Yehovah your God.’”

Ezekiel 22:1-19

22:1 The word of Yehovah came to me: “Now, human being, are you prepared to judge? Are you prepared to judge the city drenched in blood? Then make her realize how disgusting all her practices are! Say that Adonai Yehovah says, ‘City that sheds blood within yourself, thus speeding your own doom, and that makes idols for yourself that defile you: you are guilty because of the blood you have shed, you are defiled by your idols that you have made. You have shortened your days, you have completed your years; therefore I have made you an object of scorn for the nations and a laughingstock for every country. Those close by and those far off will taunt you, you who have such a defiled reputation and such great disorder.

“‘The leaders of Isra’el in you all use their power in order to shed blood. In you, they make light of fathers and mothers, they oppress foreigners, they wrong orphans and widows. You treat my holy things with contempt, you profane my shabbats. In you, people gossip to the point of inciting bloodshed; in you are those who go to eat on the mountains; in you, they commit lewd acts; 10 in you, they commit incest; in you, they force themselves on women during their menstrual impurity. 11 In you, one commits an abomination with his neighbor’s wife; another commits some lewd act defiling his daughter-in-law; still another humbles his sister, his own father’s daughter. 12 In you, people take bribes to shed blood; you demand and accept interest on loans; in greed you make profits off your neighbors by extorting them; and you have forgotten me,’ says Adonai Yehovah.

13 “‘Therefore, I am clapping my hands together because of your ill-gotten gains and the blood shed in you. 14 Can your courage last, can your strength continue during the days when I deal with you? I, Yehovah, have spoken it; and I will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the Goyim and disperse you throughout the countries; thus I will remove your defilement from you, 16 and you will cause yourselves to be profaned in full view of the Goyim. Then you will know that I am Yehovah.’”

17 The word of Yehovah came to me: 18 “Human being, the house of Isra’el has become an alloy of base metals for me; they are all copper, tin, iron and lead mixed together in the crucible, the dross left over from the silver. 19 Therefore Adonai Yehovah says this: ‘Because you have all become dross, I will collect all of you inside Yerushalayim.

Hebrews 9:11-28

11 But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world), 12 he entered the Holiest Place once and for all.

And he entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus setting people free forever. 13 For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity; 14 then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!

15 It is because of this death that he is mediator of a new covenant [or will]. Because a death has occurred which sets people free from the transgressions committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. 16 For where there is a will, there must necessarily be produced evidence of its maker’s death, 17 since a will goes into effect only upon death; it never has force while its maker is still alive.

18 This is why the first covenant too was inaugurated with blood. 19 After Moshe had proclaimed every command of the Torah to all the people, he took the blood of the calves with some water and used scarlet wool and hyssop to sprinkle both the scroll itself and all the people; 20 and he said, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has ordained for you.” 21 Likewise, he sprinkled with the blood both the Tent and all the things used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, according to the Torah, almost everything is purified with blood; indeed, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

23 Now this is how the copies of the heavenly things had to be purified, but the heavenly things themselves require better sacrifices than these. 24 For the Messiah has entered a Holiest Place which is not man-made and merely a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, in order to appear now on our behalf in the very presence of God.

25 Further, he did not enter heaven to offer himself over and over again, like the cohen hagadol who enters the Holiest Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer death many times — from the founding of the universe on. But as it is, he has appeared once at the end of the ages in order to do away with sin through the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as human beings have to die once, but after this comes judgment, 28 so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to deliver those who are eagerly waiting for him.

1 Peter 1:13-16

13 Therefore, get your minds ready for work, keep yourselves under control, and fix your hopes fully on the gift you will receive when Yeshua the Messiah is revealed. 14 As people who obey God, do not let yourselves be shaped by the evil desires you used to have when you were still ignorant. 15 On the contrary, following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life; 16 since the Tanakh says,

“You are to be holy because I am holy.”

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