Yom Kippur (יום כיפור)
Morning: Leviticus 16:1–34 and Numbers 29:7–11
Afternoon: Leviticus 18:1–30
The Weekly Torah portion in synagogues on Shabbat, Saturday, 10 Tishrei, 5775; October 4, 2014
“For on this day atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you of all your sins.” (Leviticus 16:30.)
The text tells the ritual of Yom Kippur. After the death of Aaron’s sons, God told Moses to tell Aaron not to come at will into the Most Holy Place, lest he die, for God appeared in the cloud there. Aaron was to enter only after bathing in water, dressing in his sacral linen tunic, breeches, sash, and turban, and bringing a bull for a sin offering, two rams for burnt offerings, and two he-goats for sin offerings. Aaron was to take the two goats to the entrance of the Tabernacle and place lots upon them, one marked for the Lord and the other for Azazel. Aaron was to offer the goat designated for the Lord as a sin offering, and to send off to the wilderness the goat designated for Azazel. Aaron was then to offer the bull of sin offering. Aaron was then to take a pan of glowing coals from the altar and two handfuls of incense and put the incense on the fire before the Most Holy Place, so that the cloud from the incense would screen the Ark of the Covenant. He was to sprinkle some of the bull’s blood and then some of the goat’s blood over and in front of the Ark, to purge the Shrine of the uncleanness and transgression of the Israelites. He was then to apply some of the bull’s blood and goat’s blood to the altar, to cleanse and consecrate it.
Aaron was then to lay his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it the Israelites’ sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and then through a designated man send it off to the wilderness to carry their sins to an inaccessible region. Then Aaron was to go into the Tabernacle, take off his linen vestments, bathe in water, put on his vestments, and then offer the burnt offerings. The one who set the Azazel-goat free was to wash his clothes and bathe in water. The bull and goat of sin offering were to be taken outside the camp and burned, and he who burned them was to wash his clothes and bathe in water.
The text then commands this law for all time: On the tenth day of the seventh month, Jews and aliens who reside with them were to practice self-denial and do no work. On that day, the High Priest was to put on the linen vestments, purge the Tabernacle, and make atonement for the Israelites once a year.
Hebrew and English Text of Leviticus 16
Hear Leviticus 16 chanted
God told Moses to command the Israelites that on the tenth day of the seventh month they were to observe a sacred occasion, practice self-denial, and do no work. They were to present to God a burnt offering of a bull, a ram, and seven lambs without blemish. They were to accompany those sacrifices with meal offerings of choice flour mixed with oil. And they were to bring a goat for a sin offering, in addition to the sin offering of expiation and the regular offerings.
Hebrew and English Text of Numbers 29
Hear Numbers 29 chanted
God prohibited any Israelite from uncovering the nakedness of his father, mother, father’s wife, sister, grandchild, half-sister, aunt, daughter-in-law, or sister-in-law. A man could not marry a woman and her daughter, a woman and her granddaughter, or a woman and her sister during the other’s lifetime. A man could not cohabit with a woman during her period or with his neighbor’s wife. Israelites were not to allow their children to be offered up to Molech. A man could not lie with a man as with a woman. God prohibited bestiality. God explained that the Canaanites defiled themselves by adopting these practices, and any who did any of these things would be cut off from their people.
Hebrew and English Text of Leviticus 18
Hear Leviticus 18 chanted
Commentary from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University (Conservative)
Commentary from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (Conservative)
Commentary by the Conservative Yeshiva
Commentary by the Union for Reform Judaism (Reform)
Commentaries from Project Genesis (Orthodox)
Commentaries from Chabad.org (Orthodox)
Commentaries from Aish HaTorah (Orthodox)
Commentaries from the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation (Reconstructionist)
Commentaries from My Jewish Learning (trans-denominational)