The Service of the Eighth Day

Mar 29, 2015

וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי קָרָא מֹשֶׁה לְאַהֲרֹן וּלְבָנָיו וּלְזִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

On the eighth day Moshe called Aharon and his sons, and the elders of Yisrael.

Leviticus 9:1

וַתֵּצֵא אֵשׁ מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַתֹּאכַל עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֶת־הָעֹלָה וְאֶת־הַחֲלָבִים וַיַּרְא כָּל־הָעָם וַיָּרֹנּוּ וַיִּפְּלוּ עַל־פְּנֵיהֶם׃

Fire came forth from before Hashem and consumed the burnt offering and the fat parts on the mizbayach. And all the people saw, and shouted, and fell on their faces.

Leviticus 9:24

On the eighth day after the Tabernacle was first erected and Aaron and his four sons were anointed, the newly inaugurated priests begin offering the sacrificial service. The first offerings are special; Aaron brings a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for an elevation offering, while the Children of Israel bring a he-goat for a sin offering and a yearling calf and sheep  for an elevation offering. They also bring a bull and ram for a peace offering and accompany it all with a meal offering.


The text goes on to detail how Aaron and his sons performed the rituals of the sacrifices in all their details, after which Aaron and Moses bless the people and God’s glory appears to them. A fire goes out from before God and consumes the offerings the priests have prepared, and the people rejoice before Him.


The Israel Bible explains the connection between this revelation and that of Sinai. The Tabernacle and Temple in Jerusalem were intended to be a permanent resting place for the presence of God among the people. That is why the construction of the Tabernacle follows so closely on the heels of the revelation at Sinai. The Divine Presence made a brief appearance on Mount Sinai before making an extended stay within the Tabernacle.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think the Torah provides us with so much detail about what Aaron and his sons did to perform the first sacrificial service? Would it not have been enough for it to say they performed the service as commanded? The details have been laid out already extensively in the past two portions.

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