Sunday, April 22, 2007

Acharei Mot summary

After the death of Aharon's two sons, Nadav and Avihu, G-d commands Moshe about the Yom Kippur service that Aharon will have to perform. He shall take one bull as an atonement offering for himself, his wife and all the Cohanim. The Cohen Gadol (High Priest) shall cast lots over two identical goats, one of which is offered as an atonement for the entire Jewish nation, the other symbolically bearing all the sins of the nation is sent into the desert to die by falling over the edge of a cliff. The Cohen Gadol shall enter the Holy of Holies and offer incense there. After slaughtering the bull and the goat, he shall sprinkle their bloods opposite the outer curtain of the Holy of Holies. He shall also place some of the blood on the incense altar. All of these things are performed once a year, on the tenth of Tishrei.
G-d commands the Jews not to sacrifice any animals outside of the Temple or Tabernacle. They are forbidden from sacrificing to any idols or occult spiritual powers.
G-d commands the Jews not to eat the blood from an animal. Additionally, when anyone slaughters any wild animal or bird they must spill some of the blood on the ground and cover it with earth. We may not eat any animal which dies of natural causes. Furthermore, if someone does eat from it, they become ritually impure (a law which only has significance in Temple times).
The Torah lists twenty incestuous or otherwise forbidden sexual relationships and instructs us to remain holy, and not defile ourselves with any of them. Furthermore, the land of Israel itself will not tolerate any of these perversions, and will vomit out any nation which engages in them.

No comments: