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The Chumash Leviticus 16

The death of Aaron’s sons and the Yom Kippur Service

Causes of Nadab and Abihu’s death: the unauthorized entry to the Holy of Holies and the/or the unbidden fire and incense.

The death of the righteous brings atonement …. those who do not honor the righteous in life do not benefit from their ascent to Heaven in death.

4. Linen. The whiteness of linen is symbolic of forgiveness, and the material itself symbolizes the Heavenly service of the angels, who are described as wearing linen, as it were.


People are loath to acknowledge a fact that hurts them more than they can bear. When Rabbi Judah the Prince died, his disciples declared that whoever said he was dead should be pierced with a sword. … man finds it hard to confess. When the Kohen Gadol did so with total contrition it was the equal of an offering – and had the power to bring atonement.


17. sins of lashon hara: spoken stealthily, behind someone’s back. slander and gossip

20-22. scapegoat

Two identical he-goats are used for this process to demonstrate that every person must choose between good and evil, and that no one has the luxury of being neutral. Those who do not choose to move toward holiness are inevitably pushing themselves toward a wasteland of spiritual destruction.

it is not enough to be sure that we have God’s forgiveness and love — we must also recognize and repel the hostile forces that surround and tempt us.

26. no living animal can be contaminated.

29. You shall afflict yourselves. fasting.

The superscription’s implication is plain: Fasting’s greatest value is when it is associated with repentance, and the purpose of the fast is to elevate Jews, not to cause them physical deprivation.

30. repentance and the Yom Kippur service can effect atonement only for sins before HASHEM, meaning sins against God, which have not harmed other people. But if one has sinned against his fellows, God will not forgive him until he first appeases the person whom he has wronged.

  • kittel
  • contrition
  • ladle
  • solitude
  • abstention
  • ameliorate
  • encrustation
  • dung
  • proselyte

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