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Leviticus Acharey Mot
  Acharey Mot
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Acharey Mot

16:6 He shall [begin by] presenting his own sin offering bull and atoning for himself and his family
Vehikriv Aharon et-par hachatat asher-lo vechiper ba'ado uve'ad beyto.
16:7 He shall then take the two goats, and stand them before God at the Communion Tent entrance.
Velakach et-sheney hase'irim vehe'emid otam lifney Adonay petach Ohel Mo'ed.
16:8 Aaron shall place two lots on the two goats one lot [marked] 'for God,' and one [marked] 'for Azazel.'
Venatan Aharon al-shney hase'irim goralot goral echad l'Adonay vegoral echad la-Azazel.
16:9 Aaron shall present the goat that has the lot for God so that it will [later] be prepared as a sin offering.
Vehikriv Aharon et-hasa'ir asher alah alav hagoral l'Adonay ve'asahu chatat.


He shall begin by
  (Yoma 35b; Yad, Avodath Yom HaKippurim 4:1). This was done after the daily offering (Numbers 28:2-7) and the additional Yom Kippur offering (Numbers 29:7-10). (Ibid.).

  Confessing their sins (Ibid.; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).

  These were two pieces of boxwood (Arukh; Rambam on Yoma 3:10, Negaim 2:1), ashkora in Hebrew, upon which the above words were written (Yoma 37a). These would be placed in a kalpi or small box (Ibid.; ascoran or ecrin in French, Rashi). He would then mix up the two lots (Arukh, s.v. Taraf) and lift them out of the box quickly without thinking about which one he taking in which hand (Yoma 39a). The box would be large enough to hold the High Priests two hands (Ibid.). Thus when he lifted them out, one would be in his right hand and the other in his left hand. Since one goat would be to his right and the other to his left, the hand in which each lot was lifted would determine which goat would be designated for which part of the service (Ibid.).

  This is a proper noun (cf. Targum), and some say that it was the name of a known mountain (Saadia; Emunoth VeDeyoth 3:10; Radak, Sherashim), possibly in the Sinai area (cf. Ibn Ezra). Others say that it denotes a hard rocky cliff, indicating that this goat was pushed off a cliff to its death (Yoma 63a; Targum Yonathan on 16:10; Sifra; Rashi; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah). Others say that azazel means 'to be sent away' (Septuagint), or 'to carry away sins' (Symachus; Vulgate).

There is another opinion that Azazel denotes the fact that this goat was designated for the forces of evil (Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 46; Ramban; Bachya; Chizzkuni; Zohar 3:63a). By making evil part of the service, the evil of the people's sins is re-elevated to God.

Others say that it is meant to atone for sexual crimes (Rashi, Yoma 67b, s.v. Uza), the sin of the fallen angels, Uza and Uzael (Yoma 67b; cf. Targum Yonathan on Genesis 6:4; Enoch 10:4,5). Some say that Azazel represents the forces of nature (Hirsch).

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