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16:1  Hashem spoke to Moshe after the death of the two sons of Aharon who died when they drew too close to the presence of Hashem.

טז:א  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה אַחֲרֵי מוֹת שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן בְּקָרְבָתָם לִפְנֵי־יְהֹוָה וַיָּמֻתוּ׃

2  Hashem said to Moshe: Tell your brother Aharon that he is not to come at will into the Shrine behind the curtain, in front of the cover that is upon the ark, lest he die; for I appear in the cloud over the cover.

va-YO-mer a-do-NAI el mo-SHEH da-BAYR el a-ha-RON a-KHEE-kha v’-al ya-VO v-khol AYT el ha-KO-desh mi-BAYT la-pa-RO-khet el p’-NAY ha-ka-PO-ret a-SHER al ha-a-RON v’-LO ya-MUT kee be-a-NAN ay-ra-EH al ha-ka-PO-ret

ב  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה דַּבֵּר אֶל־אַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ וְאַל־יָבֹא בְכָל־עֵת אֶל־הַקֹּדֶשׁ מִבֵּית לַפָּרֹכֶת אֶל־פְּנֵי הַכַּפֹּרֶת אֲשֶׁר עַל־הָאָרֹן וְלֹא יָמוּת כִּי בֶּעָנָן אֵרָאֶה עַל־הַכַּפֹּרֶת׃

 16:2   He is not to come at will into the Shrine behind the curtain

The service detailed in this chapter is performed by the Kohen Gadol, ‘high priest,’ in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, the ‘Day of Atonement.’ This unique service represents a pinnacle of holiness, as it brings the holiest person to the holiest place on the holiest day of the year. Tradition tells us that the world was created from the stone that stands at the location of the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount. When the Kohen Gadol enters this same spot, he atones for the sins of mankind beginning with the time of Adam and the creation of the world. Adam himself was formed from the earth at the spot of the mizbayach, close to the area of the Holy of Holies. To this day, people from all over the world are drawn to the Temple Mount, the place from which all of mankind originated. Yet, on account of political pressures, currently only Muslims are granted full access to the Temple Mount; Jews are not even allowed to utter words of prayer at this holy site. We pray for the day when this holy mountain is restored to its vital role as a place of prayer for all nations.2 comments

3  Thus only shall Aharon enter the Shrine: with a bull of the herd for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.

ג  בְּזֹאת יָבֹא אַהֲרֹן אֶל־הַקֹּדֶשׁ בְּפַר בֶּן־בָּקָר לְחַטָּאת וְאַיִל לְעֹלָה׃

4  He shall be dressed in a sacral linen tunic, with linen breeches next to his flesh, and be girt with a linen sash, and he shall wear a linen turban. They are sacral vestments; he shall bathe his body in water and then put them on.

k’-to-net BAD KO-desh yil-BASH u-mikh-n’-say VAD yih-YU al b’-sa-RO uv-av-NAYT BAD yakh-GOR u-v’-mitz-NE-fet BAD yitz-NOF big-day KO-desh HAYM v’-ra-KHATZ ba-MA-yim et b’-sa-RO ul-vay-SHAM

ד  כְּתֹנֶת־בַּד קֹדֶשׁ יִלְבָּשׁ וּמִכְנְסֵי־בַד יִהְיוּ עַל־בְּשָׂרוֹ וּבְאַבְנֵט בַּד יַחְגֹּר וּבְמִצְנֶפֶת בַּד יִצְנֹף בִּגְדֵי־קֹדֶשׁ הֵם וְרָחַץ בַּמַּיִם אֶת־בְּשָׂרוֹ וּלְבֵשָׁם׃

16:4   He shall be dressed in a sacral linen tunic

On a regular day the Kohen Gadol wears eight garments, four of which are decorated with gold. However, when he enters the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur he wears only four white linen garments. The simplicity of his attire portrays feelings of humility as he approaches Hashem on the holiest day of the year, and the white color is symbolic of forgiveness. As the Kohen Gadol stands before God and begs forgiveness for himself, his family, and the entire nation, his clothing reminds him that he is at the mercy of God’s benevolence, yet also instills confidence that God, in His compassion, will forgive His people.1 comment

5  And from the Israelite community he shall take two he-goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.

ה  וּמֵאֵת עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יִקַּח שְׁנֵי־שְׂעִירֵי עִזִּים לְחַטָּאת וְאַיִל אֶחָד לְעֹלָה׃

6  Aharon is to offer his own bull of sin offering, to make expiation for himself and for his household.

ו  וְהִקְרִיב אַהֲרֹן אֶת־פַּר הַחַטָּאת אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ וְכִפֶּר בַּעֲדוֹ וּבְעַד בֵּיתוֹ׃

7  Aharon* shall take the two he-goats and let them stand before Hashem at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting;

ז  וְלָקַח אֶת־שְׁנֵי הַשְּׂעִירִם וְהֶעֱמִיד אֹתָם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד׃

8  and he shall place lots upon the two goats, one marked for Hashem and the other marked for Azazel.

ח  וְנָתַן אַהֲרֹן עַל־שְׁנֵי הַשְּׂעִירִם גּוֹרָלוֹת גּוֹרָל אֶחָד לַיהֹוָה וְגוֹרָל אֶחָד לַעֲזָאזֵל׃

9  Aharon shall bring forward the goat designated by lot for Hashem, which he is to offer as a sin offering;

ט  וְהִקְרִיב אַהֲרֹן אֶת־הַשָּׂעִיר אֲשֶׁר עָלָה עָלָיו הַגּוֹרָל לַיהֹוָה וְעָשָׂהוּ חַטָּאת׃

10  while the goat designated by lot for Azazel shall be left standing alive before Hashem, to make expiation with it and to send it off to the wilderness for Azazel.

י  וְהַשָּׂעִיר אֲשֶׁר עָלָה עָלָיו הַגּוֹרָל לַעֲזָאזֵל יָעֳמַד־חַי לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה לְכַפֵּר עָלָיו לְשַׁלַּח אֹתוֹ לַעֲזָאזֵל הַמִּדְבָּרָה׃

11  Aharon shall then offer his bull of sin offering, to make expiation for himself and his household. He shall slaughter his bull of sin offering,

יא  וְהִקְרִיב אַהֲרֹן אֶת־פַּר הַחַטָּאת אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ וְכִפֶּר בַּעֲדוֹ וּבְעַד בֵּיתוֹ וְשָׁחַט אֶת־פַּר הַחַטָּאת אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ׃

12  and he shall take a panful of glowing coals scooped from the mizbayach before Hashem, and two handfuls of finely ground aromatic incense, and bring this behind the curtain.

יב  וְלָקַח מְלֹא־הַמַּחְתָּה גַּחֲלֵי־אֵשׁ מֵעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וּמְלֹא חָפְנָיו קְטֹרֶת סַמִּים דַּקָּה וְהֵבִיא מִבֵּית לַפָּרֹכֶת׃

13  He shall put the incense on the fire before Hashem, so that the cloud from the incense screens the cover that is over [the Aron of] the Pact, lest he die.

יג  וְנָתַן אֶת־הַקְּטֹרֶת עַל־הָאֵשׁ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וְכִסָּה עֲנַן הַקְּטֹרֶת אֶת־הַכַּפֹּרֶת אֲשֶׁר עַל־הָעֵדוּת וְלֹא יָמוּת׃

14  He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger over the cover on the east side; and in front of the cover he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

יד  וְלָקַח מִדַּם הַפָּר וְהִזָּה בְאֶצְבָּעוֹ עַל־פְּנֵי הַכַּפֹּרֶת קֵדְמָה וְלִפְנֵי הַכַּפֹּרֶת יַזֶּה שֶׁבַע־פְּעָמִים מִן־הַדָּם בְּאֶצְבָּעוֹ׃

15  He shall then slaughter the people’s goat of sin offering, bring its blood behind the curtain, and do with its blood as he has done with the blood of the bull: he shall sprinkle it over the cover and in front of the cover.

טו  וְשָׁחַט אֶת־שְׂעִיר הַחַטָּאת אֲשֶׁר לָעָם וְהֵבִיא אֶת־דָּמוֹ אֶל־מִבֵּית לַפָּרֹכֶת וְעָשָׂה אֶת־דָּמוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לְדַם הַפָּר וְהִזָּה אֹתוֹ עַל־הַכַּפֹּרֶת וְלִפְנֵי הַכַּפֹּרֶת׃

16  Thus he shall purge the Shrine of the uncleanness and transgression of the Israelites, whatever their sins; and he shall do the same for the Tent of Meeting, which abides with them in the midst of their uncleanness.

טז  וְכִפֶּר עַל־הַקֹּדֶשׁ מִטֻּמְאֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִפִּשְׁעֵיהֶם לְכָל־חַטֹּאתָם וְכֵן יַעֲשֶׂה לְאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד הַשֹּׁכֵן אִתָּם בְּתוֹךְ טֻמְאֹתָם׃

17  When he goes in to make expiation in the Shrine, nobody else shall be in the Tent of Meeting until he comes out. When he has made expiation for himself and his household, and for the whole congregation of Yisrael,

יז  וְכָל־אָדָם לֹא־יִהְיֶה בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד בְּבֹאוֹ לְכַפֵּר בַּקֹּדֶשׁ עַד־צֵאתוֹ וְכִפֶּר בַּעֲדוֹ וּבְעַד בֵּיתוֹ וּבְעַד כָּל־קְהַל יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

18  he shall go out to the mizbayach that is before Hashem and purge it: he shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the goat and apply it to each of the horns of the mizbayach;

יח  וְיָצָא אֶל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵי־יְהֹוָה וְכִפֶּר עָלָיו וְלָקַח מִדַּם הַפָּר וּמִדַּם הַשָּׂעִיר וְנָתַן עַל־קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ סָבִיב׃

19  and the rest of the blood he shall sprinkle on it with his finger seven times. Thus he shall cleanse it of the uncleanness of the Israelites and consecrate it.

יט  וְהִזָּה עָלָיו מִן־הַדָּם בְּאֶצְבָּעוֹ שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים וְטִהֲרוֹ וְקִדְּשׁוֹ מִטֻּמְאֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

20  When he has finished purging the Shrine, the Tent of Meeting, and the mizbayach, the live goat shall be brought forward.

כ  וְכִלָּה מִכַּפֵּר אֶת־הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְאֶת־אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וְאֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְהִקְרִיב אֶת־הַשָּׂעִיר הֶחָי׃

21  Aharon shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the Israelites, whatever their sins, putting them on the head of the goat; and it shall be sent off to the wilderness through a designated man.

כא  וְסָמַךְ אַהֲרֹן אֶת־שְׁתֵּי ידו [יָדָיו] עַל רֹאשׁ הַשָּׂעִיר הַחַי וְהִתְוַדָּה עָלָיו אֶת־כָּל־עֲוׂנֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת־כָּל־פִּשְׁעֵיהֶם לְכָל־חַטֹּאתָם וְנָתַן אֹתָם עַל־רֹאשׁ הַשָּׂעִיר וְשִׁלַּח בְּיַד־אִישׁ עִתִּי הַמִּדְבָּרָה׃

22  Thus the goat shall carry on it all their iniquities to an inaccessible region; and the goat shall be set free in the wilderness.

כב  וְנָשָׂא הַשָּׂעִיר עָלָיו אֶת־כָּל־עֲוׂנֹתָם אֶל־אֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה וְשִׁלַּח אֶת־הַשָּׂעִיר בַּמִּדְבָּר׃

23  And Aharon shall go into the Tent of Meeting, take off the linen vestments that he put on when he entered the Shrine, and leave them there.

כג  וּבָא אַהֲרֹן אֶל־אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וּפָשַׁט אֶת־בִּגְדֵי הַבָּד אֲשֶׁר לָבַשׁ בְּבֹאוֹ אֶל־הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְהִנִּיחָם שָׁם׃

24  He shall bathe his body in water in the holy precinct and put on his vestments; then he shall come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, making expiation for himself and for the people.

כד  וְרָחַץ אֶת־בְּשָׂרוֹ בַמַּיִם בְּמָקוֹם קָדוֹשׁ וְלָבַשׁ אֶת־בְּגָדָיו וְיָצָא וְעָשָׂה אֶת־עֹלָתוֹ וְאֶת־עֹלַת הָעָם וְכִפֶּר בַּעֲדוֹ וּבְעַד הָעָם׃

25  The fat of the sin offering he shall turn into smoke on the mizbayach.

כה  וְאֵת חֵלֶב הַחַטָּאת יַקְטִיר הַמִּזְבֵּחָה׃

26  He who set the Azazel-goat free shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; after that he may reenter the camp.

כו  וְהַמְשַׁלֵּחַ אֶת־הַשָּׂעִיר לַעֲזָאזֵל יְכַבֵּס בְּגָדָיו וְרָחַץ אֶת־בְּשָׂרוֹ בַּמָּיִם וְאַחֲרֵי־כֵן יָבוֹא אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה׃

27  The bull of sin offering and the goat of sin offering whose blood was brought in to purge the Shrine shall be taken outside the camp; and their hides, flesh, and dung shall be consumed in fire.

כז  וְאֵת פַּר הַחַטָּאת וְאֵת שְׂעִיר הַחַטָּאת אֲשֶׁר הוּבָא אֶת־דָּמָם לְכַפֵּר בַּקֹּדֶשׁ יוֹצִיא אֶל־מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה וְשָׂרְפוּ בָאֵשׁ אֶת־עֹרֹתָם וְאֶת־בְּשָׂרָם וְאֶת־פִּרְשָׁם׃

28  He who burned them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; after that he may re-enter the camp.

כח  וְהַשֹּׂרֵף אֹתָם יְכַבֵּס בְּגָדָיו וְרָחַץ אֶת־בְּשָׂרוֹ בַּמָּיִם וְאַחֲרֵי־כֵן יָבוֹא אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה׃

29  And this shall be to you a law for all time: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall practice self-denial; and you shall do no manner of work, neither the citizen nor the alien who resides among you.

כט  וְהָיְתָה לָכֶם לְחֻקַּת עוֹלָם בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בֶּעָשׂוֹר לַחֹדֶשׁ תְּעַנּוּ אֶת־נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם וְכָל־מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ הָאֶזְרָח וְהַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכְכֶם׃

30  For on this day atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you of all your sins; you shall be clean before Hashem.

kee va-YOM ha-ZEH y’-kha-PAYR a-lay-KHEM l’-ta-HAYR et-KHEM mi-KOL kha-TO-tay-KHEM lif-NAY a-do-NAI tit-HA-ru

ל  כִּי־בַיּוֹם הַזֶּה יְכַפֵּר עֲלֵיכֶם לְטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם מִכֹּל חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה תִּטְהָרוּ׃

31  It shall be a Shabbat of complete rest for you, and you shall practice self-denial; it is a law for all time.

לא  שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן הִיא לָכֶם וְעִנִּיתֶם אֶת־נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם חֻקַּת עוֹלָם׃

32  The Kohen who has been anointed and ordained to serve as Kohen in place of his father shall make expiation. He shall put on the linen vestments, the sacral vestments.

לב  וְכִפֶּר הַכֹּהֵן אֲשֶׁר־יִמְשַׁח אֹתוֹ וַאֲשֶׁר יְמַלֵּא אֶת־יָדוֹ לְכַהֵן תַּחַת אָבִיו וְלָבַשׁ אֶת־בִּגְדֵי הַבָּד בִּגְדֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ׃

33  He shall purge the innermost Shrine; he shall purge the Tent of Meeting and the mizbayach; and he shall make expiation for the Kohanim and for all the people of the congregation.

לג  וְכִפֶּר אֶת־מִקְדַּשׁ הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְאֶת־אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וְאֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ יְכַפֵּר וְעַל הַכֹּהֲנִים וְעַל־כָּל־עַם הַקָּהָל יְכַפֵּר׃

34  This shall be to you a law for all time: to make atonement for the Israelites for all their sins once a year. And Moshe did as Hashem had commanded him.

לד  וְהָיְתָה־זֹּאת לָכֶם לְחֻקַּת עוֹלָם לְכַפֵּר עַל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִכָּל־חַטֹּאתָם אַחַת בַּשָּׁנָה וַיַּעַשׂ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה אֶת־מֹשֶׁה׃

17:1  Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:

יז:א  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

2  Speak to Aharon and his sons and to all B’nei Yisrael and say to them: This is what Hashem has commanded:

ב  דַּבֵּר אֶל־אַהֲרֹן וְאֶל־בָּנָיו וְאֶל כָּל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם זֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר׃

3  if anyone of the house of Yisrael slaughters an ox or sheep or goat in the camp, or does so outside the camp,

ג  אִישׁ אִישׁ מִבֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁחַט שׁוֹר אוֹ־כֶשֶׂב אוֹ־עֵז בַּמַּחֲנֶה אוֹ אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁחַט מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה׃

4  and does not bring it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting to present it as an offering to Hashem, before Hashem‘s Mishkan, bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man: he has shed blood; that man shall be cut off from among his people.

v’-el PE-takh O-hel mo-AYD LO he-vee-O l’-hak-REEV kor-BAN la-do-NAI lif-NAY mish-KAN a-do-NAI DAM yay-kha-SHAYV la-EESH ha-HU DAM sha-FAKH v’-nikh-RAT ha-EESH ha-HU mi-KE-rev a-MO

ד  וְאֶל־פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֹא הֱבִיאוֹ לְהַקְרִיב קָרְבָּן לַיהֹוָה לִפְנֵי מִשְׁכַּן יְהֹוָה דָּם יֵחָשֵׁב לָאִישׁ הַהוּא דָּם שָׁפָךְ וְנִכְרַת הָאִישׁ הַהוּא מִקֶּרֶב עַמּוֹ׃

17:4   And does not bring it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting

Once the Mishkan is constructed, and again after the Beit Hamikdash is built in Yerushalayim, it becomes forbidden to offer sacrifices anywhere else. This is because Hashem wants the acts of worshipping Him to bring unity among the people, and is also designed to minimize the danger of changes being introduced to the manner of worship. In addition, the mandate that sacrifices be brought only in the Beit Hamikdash requires everyone to travel to Yerushalayim at least three times a year. God’s system ensures that everyone will have the triannual opportunity to be uplifted by the holiness of the Beit Hamikdash and the holy city of Yerushalayim.3 comments

5  This is in order that the Israelites may bring the sacrifices which they have been making in the open—that they may bring them before Hashem, to the Kohen, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and offer them as sacrifices of well-being to Hashem;

ה  לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יָבִיאוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־זִבְחֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר הֵם זֹבְחִים עַל־פְּנֵי הַשָּׂדֶה וֶהֱבִיאֻם לַיהֹוָה אֶל־פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד אֶל־הַכֹּהֵן וְזָבְחוּ זִבְחֵי שְׁלָמִים לַיהֹוָה אוֹתָם׃

6  that the Kohen may dash the blood against the mizbayach of Hashem at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and turn the fat into smoke as a pleasing odor to Hashem;

ו  וְזָרַק הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־הַדָּם עַל־מִזְבַּח יְהֹוָה פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וְהִקְטִיר הַחֵלֶב לְרֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ לַיהֹוָה׃

7  and that they may offer their sacrifices no more to the goat-demons after whom they stray. This shall be to them a law for all time, throughout the ages.

ז  וְלֹא־יִזְבְּחוּ עוֹד אֶת־זִבְחֵיהֶם לַשְּׂעִירִם אֲשֶׁר הֵם זֹנִים אַחֲרֵיהֶם חֻקַּת עוֹלָם תִּהְיֶה־זֹּאת לָהֶם לְדֹרֹתָם׃

8  Say to them further: If anyone of the house of Yisrael or of the strangers who reside among them offers a burnt offering or a sacrifice,

ח  וַאֲלֵהֶם תֹּאמַר אִישׁ אִישׁ מִבֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִן־הַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר־יָגוּר בְּתוֹכָם אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲלֶה עֹלָה אוֹ־זָבַח׃

9  and does not bring it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting to offer it to Hashem, that person shall be cut off from his people.

ט  וְאֶל־פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֹא יְבִיאֶנּוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת אֹתוֹ לַיהֹוָה וְנִכְרַת הָאִישׁ הַהוּא מֵעַמָּיו׃

10  And if anyone of the house of Yisrael or of the strangers who reside among them partakes of any blood, I will set My face against the person who partakes of the blood, and I will cut him off from among his kin.

י  וְאִישׁ אִישׁ מִבֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִן־הַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכָם אֲשֶׁר יֹאכַל כָּל־דָּם וְנָתַתִּי פָנַי בַּנֶּפֶשׁ הָאֹכֶלֶת אֶת־הַדָּם וְהִכְרַתִּי אֹתָהּ מִקֶּרֶב עַמָּהּ׃

11  For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have assigned it to you for making expiation for your lives upon the mizbayach; it is the blood, as life, that effects expiation.

יא  כִּי נֶפֶשׁ הַבָּשָׂר בַּדָּם הִוא וַאֲנִי נְתַתִּיו לָכֶם עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְכַפֵּר עַל־נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם כִּי־הַדָּם הוּא בַּנֶּפֶשׁ יְכַפֵּר׃

12  Therefore I say to B’nei Yisrael: No person among you shall partake of blood, nor shall the stranger who resides among you partake of blood.

יב  עַל־כֵּן אָמַרְתִּי לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּל־נֶפֶשׁ מִכֶּם לֹא־תֹאכַל דָּם וְהַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכְכֶם לֹא־יֹאכַל דָּם׃

13  And if any Israelite or any stranger who resides among them hunts down an animal or a bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth.

יג  וְאִישׁ אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִן־הַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכָם אֲשֶׁר יָצוּד צֵיד חַיָּה אוֹ־עוֹף אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל וְשָׁפַךְ אֶת־דָּמוֹ וְכִסָּהוּ בֶּעָפָר׃

14  For the life of all flesh—its blood is its life. Therefore I say to B’nei Yisrael: You shall not partake of the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Anyone who partakes of it shall be cut off.

יד  כִּי־נֶפֶשׁ כָּל־בָּשָׂר דָּמוֹ בְנַפְשׁוֹ הוּא וָאֹמַר לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל דַּם כָּל־בָּשָׂר לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ כִּי נֶפֶשׁ כָּל־בָּשָׂר דָּמוֹ הִוא כָּל־אֹכְלָיו יִכָּרֵת׃

15  Any person, whether citizen or stranger, who eats what has died or has been torn by beasts shall wash his clothes, bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening; then he shall be clean.

טו  וְכָל־נֶפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכַל נְבֵלָה וּטְרֵפָה בָּאֶזְרָח וּבַגֵּר וְכִבֶּס בְּגָדָיו וְרָחַץ בַּמַּיִם וְטָמֵא עַד־הָעֶרֶב וְטָהֵר׃

16  But if he does not wash [his clothes] and bathe his body, he shall bear his guilt.

טז  וְאִם לֹא יְכַבֵּס וּבְשָׂרוֹ לֹא יִרְחָץ וְנָשָׂא עֲוׂנוֹ׃

18:1  Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:

יח:א  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

2  Speak to B’nei Yisrael and say to them: I Hashem am your God.

ב  דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם׃

3  You shall not copy the practices of the land of Egypt where you dwelt, or of the land of Canaan to which I am taking you; nor shall you follow their laws.

k’-ma-a-SAY e-retz mitz-RA-yim a-SHER y’-shav-tem BA LO ta-a-SU u-kh’-ma-a-SAY e-retz k’-NA-an a-SHER a-NEE may-VEE et-KHEM SHA-ma LO ta-a-SU uv-khu-ko-tay-HEM lo tay-LAY-khu

ג  כְּמַעֲשֵׂה אֶרֶץ־מִצְרַיִם אֲשֶׁר יְשַׁבְתֶּם־בָּהּ לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ וּכְמַעֲשֵׂה אֶרֶץ־כְּנַעַן אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מֵבִיא אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ וּבְחֻקֹּתֵיהֶם לֹא תֵלֵכוּ׃

 18:3   Or of the land of Canaan 

This verse warns the Israelites to avoid the negative behaviors (such as incest and child sacrifices) that were prevalent in Canaan. The chapter ends with an incredible, spiritual statement. It warns that Eretz Yisrael itself is so pure that it cannot tolerate abominable behavior, and will therefore expel any nation that defiles itself and the land, including the Jewish people. Ultimately, the Jews were indeed expelled from the land because of their sins. In modern times, even as we are grateful that Hashem has returned the Children of Israel to the land, this warning must be taken to heart. The land must be kept pure, and the people’s behavior must adhere to the teachings of the Bible.4 comments

4  My rules alone shall you observe, and faithfully follow My laws: I Hashem am your God.

ד  אֶת־מִשְׁפָּטַי תַּעֲשׂוּ וְאֶת־חֻקֹּתַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ לָלֶכֶת בָּהֶם אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם׃

5  You shall keep My laws and My rules, by the pursuit of which man shall live: I am Hashem.

ה  וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת־חֻקֹּתַי וְאֶת־מִשְׁפָּטַי אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם הָאָדָם וָחַי בָּהֶם אֲנִי יְהֹוָה׃

6  None of you shall come near anyone of his own flesh to uncover nakedness: I am Hashem.

ו  אִישׁ אִישׁ אֶל־כָּל־שְׁאֵר בְּשָׂרוֹ לֹא תִקְרְבוּ לְגַלּוֹת עֶרְוָה אֲנִי יְהֹוָה׃

7  Your father’s nakedness, that is, the nakedness of your mother, you shall not uncover; she is your mother—you shall not uncover her nakedness.

ז  עֶרְוַת אָבִיךָ וְעֶרְוַת אִמְּךָ לֹא תְגַלֵּה אִמְּךָ הִוא לֹא תְגַלֶּה עֶרְוָתָהּ׃

8  Do not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is the nakedness of your father.

ח  עֶרְוַת אֵשֶׁת־אָבִיךָ לֹא תְגַלֵּה עֶרְוַת אָבִיךָ הִוא׃

9  The nakedness of your sister—your father’s daughter or your mother’s, whether born into the household or outside—do not uncover their nakedness.

ט  עֶרְוַת אֲחוֹתְךָ בַת־אָבִיךָ אוֹ בַת־אִמֶּךָ מוֹלֶדֶת בַּיִת אוֹ מוֹלֶדֶת חוּץ לֹא תְגַלֶּה עֶרְוָתָן׃

10  The nakedness of your son’s daughter, or of your daughter’s daughter—do not uncover their nakedness; for their nakedness is yours.

י  עֶרְוַת בַּת־בִּנְךָ אוֹ בַת־בִּתְּךָ לֹא תְגַלֶּה עֶרְוָתָן כִּי עֶרְוָתְךָ הֵנָּה׃

11  The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, who has born into your father’s household—she is your sister; do not uncover her nakedness.

יא  עֶרְוַת בַּת־אֵשֶׁת אָבִיךָ מוֹלֶדֶת אָבִיךָ אֲחוֹתְךָ הִוא לֹא תְגַלֶּה עֶרְוָתָהּ׃

12  Do not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s flesh.

יב  עֶרְוַת אֲחוֹת־אָבִיךָ לֹא תְגַלֵּה שְׁאֵר אָבִיךָ הִוא׃

13  Do not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister; for she is your mother’s flesh.

יג  עֶרְוַת אֲחוֹת־אִמְּךָ לֹא תְגַלֵּה כִּי־שְׁאֵר אִמְּךָ הִוא׃

14  Do not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother: do not approach his wife; she is your aunt.

יד  עֶרְוַת אֲחִי־אָבִיךָ לֹא תְגַלֵּה אֶל־אִשְׁתּוֹ לֹא תִקְרָב דֹּדָתְךָ הִוא׃

15  Do not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law: she is your son’s wife; you shall not uncover her nakedness.

טו  עֶרְוַת כַּלָּתְךָ לֹא תְגַלֵּה אֵשֶׁת בִּנְךָ הִוא לֹא תְגַלֶּה עֶרְוָתָהּ׃

16  Do not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is the nakedness of your brother.

טז  עֶרְוַת אֵשֶׁת־אָחִיךָ לֹא תְגַלֵּה עֶרְוַת אָחִיךָ הִוא׃

17  Do not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter; nor shall you marry her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter and uncover her nakedness: they are kindred; it is depravity.

יז  עֶרְוַת אִשָּׁה וּבִתָּהּ לֹא תְגַלֵּה אֶת־בַּת־בְּנָהּ וְאֶת־בַּת־בִּתָּהּ לֹא תִקַּח לְגַלּוֹת עֶרְוָתָהּ שַׁאֲרָה הֵנָּה זִמָּה הִוא

18  Do not marry a woman as a rival to her sister and uncover her nakedness in the other’s lifetime.

יח  וְאִשָּׁה אֶל־אֲחֹתָהּ לֹא תִקָּח לִצְרֹר לְגַלּוֹת עֶרְוָתָהּ עָלֶיהָ בְּחַיֶּיהָ׃

19  Do not come near a woman during her period of uncleanness to uncover her nakedness.

יט  וְאֶל־אִשָּׁה בְּנִדַּת טֻמְאָתָהּ לֹא תִקְרַב לְגַלּוֹת עֶרְוָתָהּ׃

20  Do not have carnal relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her.

כ  וְאֶל־אֵשֶׁת עֲמִיתְךָ לֹא־תִתֵּן שְׁכָבְתְּךָ לְזָרַע לְטָמְאָה־בָהּ׃

21  Do not allow any of your offspring to be offered up to Molech, and do not profane the name of your God: I am Hashem.

כא  וּמִזַּרְעֲךָ לֹא־תִתֵּן לְהַעֲבִיר לַמֹּלֶךְ וְלֹא תְחַלֵּל אֶת־שֵׁם אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲנִי יְהֹוָה׃

22  Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence.

כב  וְאֶת־זָכָר לֹא תִשְׁכַּב מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה תּוֹעֵבָה הִוא׃

23  Do not have carnal relations with any beast and defile yourself thereby; and let no woman lend herself to a beast to mate with it; it is perversion.

כג  וּבְכָל־בְּהֵמָה לֹא־תִתֵּן שְׁכָבְתְּךָ לְטָמְאָה־בָהּ וְאִשָּׁה לֹא־תַעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי בְהֵמָה לְרִבְעָהּ תֶּבֶל הוּא׃

24  Do not defile yourselves in any of those ways, for it is by such that the nations that I am casting out before you defiled themselves.

כד  אַל־תִּטַּמְּאוּ בְּכָל־אֵלֶּה כִּי בְכָל־אֵלֶּה נִטְמְאוּ הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִי מְשַׁלֵּחַ מִפְּנֵיכֶם׃

25  Thus the land became defiled; and I called it to account for its iniquity, and the land spewed out its inhabitants.

כה  וַתִּטְמָא הָאָרֶץ וָאֶפְקֹד עֲוׂנָהּ עָלֶיהָ וַתָּקִא הָאָרֶץ אֶת־יֹשְׁבֶיהָ׃

26  But you must keep My laws and My rules, and you must not do any of those abhorrent things, neither the citizen nor the stranger who resides among you;

כו  וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אַתֶּם אֶת־חֻקֹּתַי וְאֶת־מִשְׁפָּטַי וְלֹא תַעֲשׂוּ מִכֹּל הַתּוֹעֵבֹת הָאֵלֶּה הָאֶזְרָח וְהַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכְכֶם׃

27  for all those abhorrent things were done by the people who were in the land before you, and the land became defiled.

כז  כִּי אֶת־כָּל־הַתּוֹעֵבֹת הָאֵל עָשׂוּ אַנְשֵׁי־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵיכֶם וַתִּטְמָא הָאָרֶץ׃

28  So let not the land spew you out for defiling it, as it spewed out the nation that came before you.

כח  וְלֹא־תָקִיא הָאָרֶץ אֶתְכֶם בְּטַמַּאֲכֶם אֹתָהּ כַּאֲשֶׁר קָאָה אֶת־הַגּוֹי אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵיכֶם׃

29  All who do any of those abhorrent things—such persons shall be cut off from their people.

כט  כִּי כָּל־אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה מִכֹּל הַתּוֹעֵבוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וְנִכְרְתוּ הַנְּפָשׁוֹת הָעֹשֹׂת מִקֶּרֶב עַמָּם׃

30  You shall keep My charge not to engage in any of the abhorrent practices that were carried on before you, and you shall not defile yourselves through them: I Hashem am your God.

ל  וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת־מִשְׁמַרְתִּי לְבִלְתִּי עֲשׂוֹת מֵחֻקּוֹת הַתּוֹעֵבֹת אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשׂוּ לִפְנֵיכֶם וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם׃

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