Acharei Mot | אחרי מות | “After the death ” – Presented with the instructions about Yom Kippur ( the Day of Atonement) is closely associated with Teshuva ( i.e Repentance)
– Hear ! House of Israel – Serve Most Holy one of Israel in fear, and rejoice with trembling
– As the beginning of redemption upon Teshuvah, Repent for the Malchut(Kingdom) of Heaven is at Hand.
The Twenty-Ninth reading from the Torah and sixth reading from Leviticus is named Acharei Mot(אחרי מות), mean’s “after the death.” “Now the Most High spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron” . It describes the Tabernacle ceremony for the holy festival of the Day of Atonement.
“The Most High spoke to Moses after the death [acharei mot] of the two sons of Aaron who died when they approached the Most High.” – Leviticus 16:1
The Eternal One spoke to Moses saying: “Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, the Eternal your G-d, am holy.” – Leviticus 19:1-2
- The duties that the head kohein must perform on Yom Kippur ..(Leviticus 16:1-28)
- Moses instructs Aaron about the Yom Kippur laws for fasting and atonement. ( Leviticus 16:29-34)
- Warnings are issued against the offering of sacrifices outside the Sanctuary and the consumption of blood. (Leviticus 17:1-16)
- Moses condemns the sexual practices of some neighbouring peoples. Certain forms of sexual relations are prohibited. ( Leviticus 18:1-30)
- G-d issues a variety of commandments, instructing the Israelites on how to be a holy people. ( Leviticus 19:1-37)
- Various sex offenses are discussed and punishments for them are presented. ( Leviticus 20:1-27)
Zohar writings: “After the death of the two sons of Aaron”: Rabbi Yitzchak opened the discussion saying, “Serve Hashem in fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Tehilim 2:11). It is also written, “Serve Hashem with gladness: come before Him with singing” (Tehilim 100:2). These verses appear to contradict one another, as ONE SAYS TO SERVE IN FEAR AND TREBLING WHILE THE OTHER SAYS WITH GLADNESS AND SINGING. HE ANSWERS: We have learned that “serve Hashem in fear” means that one must first show fear and awe in every act he wishes to perform before his Master. As a result of this reverence before his Master, he will merit to serve with joy the commandments of the Torah. Therefore, it is written, “What does Hashem your Elohim require of you, but to fear” (Devarim 10:12). THROUGH FEAR, HE WILL MERIT IT ALL.
Rabbi Aba said, “Serve Hashem in fear”: What fear is meant here? IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION IN THIS CONTEXT OF FEAR? HE ANSWERS: As we have established, it is written, “The fear of Hashem is the beginning of knowledge” (Mishlei 1:7) and “the fear of Hashem is the beginning of wisdom” (Tehilim 111:10), so the Holy One, blessed be He, is referred to in this name, “Fear of Hashem,” NAMELY MALCHUT. Rabbi Elazar said: IN EXPLANATION OF RABBI ABA’S WORDS, “Serve Hashem in fear,” MEANING he who wishes to perform the service of his Master, from what point should he begin and to which area should he aim his service in order to unify the name of his Master? He repeats his words “with fear,” because fear, WHICH IS MALCHUT, Kingdom.
But seek ye first the kingdom of Most High ( i.e., Malchut) and his righteousness (the path of the righteous one ), and all these things shall be added unto you. -Matthew 6:33
Yom Kippur ( Day of Atonement ) :
In this Torah portion, immediately after reminding us of Avihu and Nadav’s death, we are presented with the instructions regarding Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement.
Day of Atonement – Day of Repentance
In Jewish tradition, Yom Kippur is closely associated with repentance. Indeed, according to Maimonides, the שעיר המשתלח (“scapegoat”) only atones for sin if you repent. Maimonides adds (Mishneh Torah, “Laws of Repentance” 1:3): In our times, when the Temple no longer stands and we lack an altar for atonement, only repentance remains. The “Day of Atonement” has all but become a “Day of Repentance.”
Yom Kippur was the Holiest Day of the year, the only time when the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies. Yom Kippur day is that of “afflicting the soul,” a means of achieving reverence and repentance. Yom Kippur is closely associated with the events on Mount Sinai. Jewish history says that it is on Yom Kippur that Moses received the second set of tablets .
Moses at Mount Sinai, One who could approach Most High. This is also indicative of Mount Sinai, with its noises, thundering and lightnings:
Mount Sinai was enveloped in smoke, because Adonai descended onto it in fire — its smoke went up like the smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently. As the sound of the shofar grew louder and louder, Moshe spoke; and G-d answered him with a voice. – Exodus 19:18-19
So the people stood at a distance, but Moshe approached the thick darkness where G-d was. Adonai said to Moshe, Here is what you are to say to the people of Isra’el: You yourselves have seen that I spoke with you from heaven. – Exodus 20:18-20
And all the people perceived the thunderings (Exodus 20:15). The verse does not say “perceived the thunder,” but rather the thunderings. R. Johanan explained this as follows: The sound went forth and divided itself, at first, into seven sounds. These sounds in turn became seventy different languages, so that all nations might comprehend . When each nation heard His voice in its own language they fainted away, but Israel listened to it and was unharmed.
How did the voice go forth? R. Tanhuma declared: It went forth in a dual role, destroying the nations that would not accept the Torah and giving life to Israel, which accepted the Torah. Thus Moses said to them at the end of the forty years: For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living G-d speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? (Deutronomy 5:23); that is to say, only you have heard His voice and have lived, while other nations heard it and perished.
Observe that His voice went forth to each Israelite in accordance with the individual’s capacity to receive it. The elders, the men, the youths, the little ones, the suckling, each heard it according to his own capacity. Even Moses heard it according to his capacity, as it is said: Moses spoke, and Most High answered him by (with) a voice (Exodus 19:19); that is, with a voice that Moses was able to comprehend. Thus, it says: The voice of the Lord was powerful with strength (Psalms 29:1). Therefore it says: Each one of them according to their strength.
The time of judgement is found in the book of new testament which is mentioned in the Revelation contains allusions to Yom Kippur, with the white garments of the High Priest, the golden censer, incense, altar, smoke-filled sanctuary and view of the Ark of the Covenant.
Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. -Revelation 6:11
Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before G-d from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. -Revelation 8:3-5
Then the temple of G-d was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail. -Revelation 11:19
After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of G-d who lives forever and ever. The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of G-d and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed. -Revelation 15:5-8
The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” -Revelation 16:17
In this Torah portion, immediately after reminding us of Avihu and Nadav’s death, we are presented with the instructions regarding Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. The lives taken in the Yom Kippur service, to atone for the priests, the Mish’kan ( Tabernacle ) and the people are highlighted.
Every time that the righteous depart this world, there is likewise annulled from this world all the harsh decrees, and the death of the righteous brings forgiveness for the sins of the generation. Therefore, we read the portion dealing with the sons of Aaron on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) to bring forgiveness for the sins of Yisrael. The Holy One, blessed be He, says, ‘Contemplate the death of these pious ones, and it will be accredited for you, as if you offered sacrifice this day to attain forgiveness’. We have learned that as long as Israel will be in exile and neither be able to offer offerings on this day nor will they be able to offer the two goats, they will at least have the memory of the two sons of Aaron. Thus, it will serve as atonement for them.
The firstborn Nadab stands on his own merits and Abihu rests on his own, AND FOLLOWING THEM ELAZAR AND ITAMAR ARE READ AS JOINED TOGETHER TO TEACH that each one OF NADAB AND ABIHU are considered in the eyes OF SCRIPTURE as both Elazar and Itamar TOGETHER. But BOTH Nadab and Abihu by themselves are each considered equal to the seventy members of the Sanhedrin who served before Moses. For this reason, their deaths atoned for Yisrael. Therefore, it is written, “But let your brethren, the whole house of Yisrael bewail the burning” (Vayikra 10:6).
This studies emphasizes that it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” – Leviticus 17:11
“R. Hiyya b. Abba stated: “The sons of Aaron died on the first of Nisan. Why then is their death mentioned in connection with the Day of Atonement? It must be to teach that as the Day of Atonement effects atonement, so the death of the righteous effects atonement.” -Leviticus Rabbah 20:12, Soncino Press Edition
Yom Kippur brings atonement and Death of the righteous brings atonement – Yerushalami Yoma1:1
Even though repentance is always good, during the ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur it is more desirable, and is accepted [by G-d] immediately… YomKippur is the time for repentance for the individual and community, and it is the end time of forgiveness and atonement for Israel. Therefore everyone is obligated to repent at this time – Maimonides
Talmud, saying, “Just as korbanot bring atonement, so does the death of the righteous.” “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.” (Deuteronomy 11:18) ……….What does Most High require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your G-d.” – Micah 6 : 8
Rabbis teach about the atonement of Yom Kippur: Rabbi Chiya Bar Abba said: The sons of Aaron died the first day of Nisan. Why then does the Torah mention their death in conjunction with the Day of Atonement? It is to teach that just as the Day of Atonement atones, so also the death of the righteous atones.
The Chatas sacrifice and the Asham for a known sin atone; Death and Yom Kipper atone with repentance. In Tal. Makkot 11b, the question is raised as to whether atonement comes from the exile of the one who committed manslaughter or from the death of the high priest. R. Abaye says, “Do you think it is exile which atones? It is the death of the [high] priest which atones.”
It is explicit in the Zohar dealing with the same issue as the Midrash, the relationship of the death of the two sons of Aharon and Yom Kippur:
Most High told Israel to set apart cities of refuge to which someone who accidentally killed another was to flee to escape vengeance. (Numbers 35:6-34) When the high priest died, anyone who had committed manslaughter was free to return home from the cities of refuge. In some way, the death of the high priest put an end to the guilt of the one who had accidentally killed another.
In Moed Katan 28a, “R. Ammi said, ‘Why is Miriam’s death [Num. 20:1] connected with the Torah portion about the red heifer? [Num. 19] This is to tell you that even as the red heifer atones, even so the death of the righteous atones.
“R. Eleazar said, ‘Why is Aaron’s death [Num. 20:26,28] connected with the priestly clothing? Even as the priestly clothing atones [Lev. 16:4,24,32,33], so the death of the righteous atones.’” (cf. Tal. Zevachim 88b)
“R. Hiyya b. Abba said, ‘The sons of Aaron died on the first of Nisan. Then why is their death remembered on Day of Atonement? This is to teach that as the Day of Atonement brings atonement, in the same way the death of the righteous brings atonement…. And from where do we know that the death of the righteous brings atonement? Because it is written, And they buried the bones of Saul [and Jonathan his son] (II Samuel 21:14), and it is then written, After that G-d was entreated for the land.’” (Mid. Leviticus Rabbah 20:12)
The Talmud speaks about the plague that came when King David numbered the people, connecting its end with the death of someone righteous. (Num. 24) R. Eleazar said that the plague ended because of the death of Abishai. “R. Eleazar said, ‘The Holy One, blessed be He, said to the [destroying] Angel: Take for Me a great man among them, that in him many debts can be paid for them.’ …Samuel said, ‘He saw the ashes of Isaac [as though he had been sacrificed]’” (Tal. Berachot 62b)
There is also a case where the death of the wicked brings atonement. Most High commends Pinchas for putting to death Zimri and the Midianite woman he brought into his tent. Pinchas executed G-d’s judgment and “made atonement for the children of Israel”. (Num. 25:13, cf. Tal.Sanhedrin 82b)
Rashi commented on the setting apart of the Levites (Num. 8:9) and the need for all Israel to lay hands on them: “In as much as the Levites were given as an atoning sacrifice instead of them [the whole congregation], they [the people] are to come and stand by their offering and lay their hands on them [the Levites].
In this regard Rabbi Chaim ben Moshe ibn Attar, “Or HaChaim HaKadosh,” explains (on Leviticus 14:9) that the death of the Messiah from the line of Joseph acts as atonement for the entire generation. Or HaChaim saw in the death of the Messiah from the line of Joseph an aspect of the principle that the death of the righteous brings atonement. This concept – that “the death of the righteous atones” – is one which stands true throughout Jewish history and is not unique to the generation of the Redemption. All the same, there are things that characterize the deaths of the righteous in the generation of the Redemption.
The Shelah, R’ Isaiah Horowitz (1565 CE – 1630 CE), explains in his monumental commentary Shnei Luchot HaBrit (the Two Tablets of the Covenant),The Mashiach ben Yosef, when he comes, does not come in order to establish his own dynasty, rather he comes to help re-establish the Davidic dynasty. He will even sacrifice his own life in order to accomplish this. His blood will atone for the sins of the Jewish people. His atonement will take the form of the Davidic dynasty being restored to the Jewish people as an everlasting kingdom.”
Kol Hator writings:
“Through supplications I will bring them” (ירמיה לא’ ח). The verse alludes to Mashiach ben Yosef’s role in the return of the Jewish people to Eretz Yisrael and the nature of their return. The verse relates: “בבכי יבואו ובתחנונים אובילם”, “With weeping they will come, and through supplications I will bring them”. “בתחנונים” is gematria “566”; the same as “Mashiach ben Yosef”; this implies that, through Mashiach ben Yosef, “I will bring them”. The Zohar teaches (זהר חדש וישב דף כט) that the “weeping” and low-spirited state of the peoples return is a national atonement for the sale of Yosef, perpetrated by the brothers; the progenitors of the nation. There, Yosef wept and supplicated before his brothers, but they did not heed his cries, as it says: “ראינו צרת נפשו בהתחננו אלינו ולא שמענו”, “we saw his heartfelt anguish when he pleaded with us, and we paid no heed” (בראשית מב’ כא). Therefore, when Mashiach ben Yosef brings back the remaining exiles, they will be “weeping” and in an impoverished, anguished state, upon return.Also, “בבכי” is gematria “34”, equal to that of the word “דל”, meaning impoverished or lowly. Thus “בבכי יבואו” implies “דל יבואו”, “impoverished/lowly” they will come, when: “ובתחנונים אובילם”, I bring them through Mashiach ben Yosef
Effected a Permanent atonement :
The book of Hebrews expresses that the Yom Kippur sacrifice of Yeshua was superior to that of the annual animal sacrifice. Both provided forgiveness of sin, and both required faith. The difference, as Hebrews explains, is that Yeshua’s holy work, being the shed blood of the Divine heavenly Tzaddik, effected a “permanent” atonement for those who trust in Him and walk in the way of Torah:
But, ye came to Mount Zion, and to a city of the living G-d, to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of messengers, to the company and assembly of the first-born in heaven enrolled, and to G-d the judge of all, and to spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to a mediator of a new covenant — Yeshua, and to blood of sprinkling, speaking better things than that of Abel! -Hebrews 12:22-24
In the book of “New Testament” shown both the atonement provided by the divine heavenly Tzaddik, as well as the Kingdom set aside for the righteous ones, which is from the “foundation of the world”:
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. -Revelation 13:8
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: -Matthew 25:34
…….. Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. –1 Peter 1:18-20
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory [i.e., Kingdom], which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. -John 17:24
Most High smiting one Righteous man,” ( ref: Zohar, Bemidbar, Section 3, Page 218a,..)
In the following passage, the Zohar elaborates on the idea of G-d selecting a righteous person to sufffer in order to obtain atonement for his generation.
Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, Section 3, Page 218a – Why is it that whenever sinners multiply in the world and punishment impends over the world, the virtuous among them are smitten for them, as we have learnt, that for the guilt of the generation the holy and righteous are seized upon? Why should this be? If because they do not reprove mankind for their evil deeds, how many are there who do reprove but are not listened to (though the righteous do humble themselves before them)? If it is in order that there may be no one to shield them, let them not die and let them not be seized for their sins, since it is a satisfaction to the righteous to see their destruction. He replied: It is true that for the guilt of the generation the righteous are seized upon, but we may explain this on the analogy of the limbs of the body. When all the limbs are in pain and suffering from sickness one limb has to be smitten in order that all may be healed. Which is the one? The arm. The arm is smitten and blood is drawn from it, and this is healing for all the limbs of the body. So men are like limbs of one body. When G-d desires to give healing to the world He smites one righteous man among them with disease and suffering, and through him gives healing to all, as it is written, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities… and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). A righteous man is never afflicted save to bring healing to his generation and to make atonement for it, for the “other side” prefers that punishment should light upon the virtuous man rather than on any other, for then it cares not for the whole world on account of the joy it finds in having power over him.
Another passage from the Zohar offers the following:
Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, 177a – AND MOSES SAID UNTO AARON, TAKE THY CENsER, ETC. R. Hiya adduced here the verse: “The wrath of the king is as messengers of death, but a wise man will pacify it” (Proverbs 16:14). ‘How careful men should be’, he said, ‘to abstain from sin and to watch their actions, for at many periods the world is judged and every day deeds are placed in the balance and examined on high and recorded before the Almighty; and when the deeds of men are not approved before the King, wrath arises and judgement is awakened. But if when the executioners of judgement are ready to strike and wrath impends, there is found in the generation a righteous man who is inscribed above, then G-d looks upon him and His wrath is mollified. He is like a king who is angry with his servants and sends for the executioner to punish them, but meanwhile the king’s friend enters and stands before him, and when the king sees him his face lights up, and when he begins to speak he is glad. So when the executioner comes and sees the king all smiling, he goes away and does not execute judgement, and then the king’s friend intercedes for his servants and procures forgiveness for them.
The Zohar writes that the heavenly tzaddik can more effectively arouse Divine mercy after his death than previously. One who attached himself to the true tzaddikim has true faith. Mashiach is the true heavenly tzaddik.
It is certainly permissible to pray to G-d for a blessing at the gravesite of a tzaddik, in the merit of the tzaddik. In addition one may directly address the soul of the tzaddik, beseeching him to arouse mercy in heaven. The Zohar writes that the tzaddik can more effectively arouse Divine mercy after his death than previously. (See chapter 27 in Igeret Hakodesh of Sefer Hatanya) When one goes to pray at the gravesite of a tzaddik, it is as if he is entering into yechidus (“private consultation”) with that tzaddik. Thus, it is customary to recite chapter 33 in Psalms at the gravesite. This chapter begins with the verse, Ranenu tzaddikim baHashem, “May the tzaddikim rejoice in Hashem.” The verse refers to tzadikkim in the plural form, which is understood to refer to the union of the lower tzaddik — the soul of the person who comes to pray at the gravesite — and the higher tzaddik — the deceased tzaddik. When a person prays at the gravesite of the tzaddik, the two souls unite to arouse Divine mercy and to bring down blessing.
It is also taught that a deceased tzaddik continues to merit favor for those alive and that it is possible to “connect” to the one “above” through prayer – even directly “to” the soul of the tzaddik:
Atonement in place of the (destroyed) Temple, the Zohar has this to say:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 212a – ‘The souls in Lower Paradise, on every New Moon and Sabbath day, go about and ascend to the spot called “Walls of Jerusalem”, where there are a great many chieftains and legions mounting guard, as written: “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem” (Isa. LXII, 6). They mount up as far as that spot, but do not enter it until their purging is complete. There they prostrate themselves, drink in ecstatically of the celestial radiance, and then return into Paradise. They also at times go forth, roaming about the world and viewing the bodies of the sinners undergoing their punishment. So Scripture says: “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh” (Ibid. LXVI, 24). They continue to roam about, casting their glance on those who are victims of pain and disease, who suffer for their belief in the unity of their Master. They then return and make all this known to the Messiah. When the Messiah hears of the great suffering of Israel in their dispersion, and of the wicked amongst them who seek not to know their Master, he weeps aloud on account of those wicked ones amongst them, as it is written: “But he was wounded because of our transgression, he was crushed because of our iniquities” (Ibid. LIII, 5). The souls then return to their place. The Messiah, on his part, enters a certain Hall in the Garden of Eden, called the Hall of the Afflicted. There he calls for all the diseases and pains and sufferings of Israel, bidding them settle on himself, which they do. And were it not that he thus eases the burden from Israel, taking it on himself, no one could endure the sufferings meted out to Israel in expiation on account of their neglect of the Torah. So Scripture says; “Surely our diseases he did bear”, etc. (Ibid. LIII, 4). A similar function was performed by R. Eleazar here on earth. For, indeed, beyond number are the chastisements awaiting every man daily for the neglect of the Torah, all of which descended into the world at the time when the Torah was given. As long as Israel were in the Holy Land, by means of the Temple service and sacrifices they averted all evil diseases and afflictions from the world. Now it is the Messiah who is the means of averting them from mankind until the time when a man quits this world and receives his punishment, as already said. When a man’s sins are so numerous that he has to pass through the nethermost compartments of Gehinnom in order to receive heavier punishment corresponding to the contamination of his soul, a more intense fire is kindled in order to consume that contamination. The destroying angels make use for this purpose of fiery rods, so as to expel that contamination. Woe to the soul that is subjected to such punishment! Happy are those who guard the precepts of the Torah!
Sages traditionally viewed Messiah ben Yoseph and Messiah ben David (the one who comes to lead Israel into the Millennial Kingdom) as two different roles, the texts of the New Testament teach that the same individual fulfills both roles, or more precisely, the resurrected Messiah ben Joseph returns as Messiah ben David.
In the torah classic, Derech Hashem by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto: The idea of a single Tzaddik atoning for his entire generation is found in Kabbalistic literature i.e suffering and pain may be imposed on a tzaddik as an atonement for his entire generation through his suffering this tzaddik saves these people in this world and also greatly benefits them in the world-to-come.
The idea of a single Tzaddik atoning for his entire generation is found in Kabbalistic literature. In the classic text, Derech Hashem (The Way of G-d), Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, goes as far as stating that there can even be a “more highly perfected Tzaddik,” who can not only atone for his generation, but even for all the generations of men:
“… suffering and pain may be imposed on a tzaddik as an atonement for his entire generation. This tzaddik must then accept this suffering with love for the benefit of his generation, just as he accepts the suffering imposed upon him for his own sake. In doing so, he benefits his generation by atoning for it, and at the same time is himself elevated to a very great degree … In addition, there is a special, higher type of suffering that comes to a tzaddik who is even greater and more highly perfected than the ones discussed above. This suffering comes to provide the help necessary to bring about the chain of events leading to the ultimate perfection of mankind as a whole.”
In the Torah classic, Derech Hashem (“The Way of G-d” by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto) the author states: Such suffering also includes cases where a tzaddik suffers because his entire generation deserves great punishments, bordering on annihilation, but is spared via the tzaddik’s suffering. In atoning for his generation through his suffering, this tzaddik saves these people in this world and also greatly benefits them in the World-to-Come.
And in the context of Yom Kippur, the book of Hebrews expresses that the Yom Kippur sacrifice of Yeshua was superior to that of the annual animal sacrifice. Both provided forgiveness of sin, and both required faith. The difference, as Hebrews explains, is that Yeshua’s work, being the shed blood of the Divine heavenly Tzaddik, effected a “permanent” atonement for those who trust in Him and walk in the way of Torah.
In Hebrews 4:14-7:28 Paul argues that Yeshua our Mashiach(The Word of John. 1:1-3, 14) is the true High Priest and true Melchizadek making atonement for us in the heavenly temple by his blood.
Yeshua’s sacrifice is in the context of the Yom Kippur sacrifice.it dose not teaches that the sacrificial system in its entirety in now forever done away. Yom Kippur deals with salvation and establishment of the New Covenant. This “unfinished work” of Messiah will be completed when (as mentioned in Hebrews), He “appears a second time for salvation.”
Note: Yom Kippur sacrifice context is in the heavenly realm (above Jerusalem temple) but whereas in this physical realm: as it is written about the physical sacrifices in future temple( below Jerusalem), Ezekiel 45:17 – And it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the Sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.
In the book of Hebrews, chapter 9 is of key importance in understanding the work of Yeshua in the heavenly realms, with relation to bringing tikkun to the heavenly Holy of Holies, which brought tikkun to Ze’er Anpin, and also opened the door of mercy from Most High for the forgiveness of sin.
The Holiday of Yom Kippur concludes with a final shofar blast. This “last trumpet” is referred to in the “New Testament,” and is associated with the ingathering of the elect of Israel from the “four corners of the earth.”
Orthodox Jews, even to this day, On the day of the Feast of Trumpets and on the Day of Atonement, they include in their prayer Jeremiah 31:20, and pray that Ephraim Israel (the Ten-Tribes) may be united with them.
Connection between the Day of Atonement and Passover:
One of the peculiarities regarding Yeshua being the final Yom Kippur sacrifice for salvation, is that He died at the time of Pesakh (Passover) . There is a deep mystical connection between these two Feasts, as alluded to in the Zohar: “On the tenth day of this month [Nissan], each man is to take a lamb for the household, one for each household.” -Exodus 12:3
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 39b – ON THE TENTH DAY OF THIS MONTH THEY SHALL TAKE TO THEM A LAMB. According to R. Abba, the tenth day was chosen because on this day the Jubilee illumines the Moon (i.e. Binah communicates light to Malkuth); for of the Jubilee it is written: “On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement” (Lev. XXIII, 27).
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 40b – “Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement” (Lev. XXIII, 27), with the words, “In the tenth day of this month” (Ex. XII, 3), used in regard to the Passover lamb; for the one “tenth day” is dependent on the other.
Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, Section 3, Page 69b – IN THE SEVENTH MONTH ON THE TENTH DAY OF THE MONTH. The allusion of the “tenth” is as we have explained. We have learnt that on this day all joy and all illumination and all forgiveness depend on the Supernal Mother from whom issue all springs. Then all the lights shine with glad brightness until all is firmly established, and all judgements are also bathed in light and punishment is not inflicted. It is written: “Howbeit (ach) on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement, and ye shall afflict your souls” (Lev. XXIII, 27). What is the force here of the word ach (only)? When used in connection with the Passover (Ex. XII, 15) we derive from it the lesson that on half of the day preceding the Passover the eating of leaven is permitted and on half it is forbidden. [Tr. note: v. T.B. Pesahim, 28b.] Shall we say that here also it teaches that half the day eating is permitted and half forbidden?’ R. Simeon replied: ‘It goes here with the words “ye shall afflict your souls”, and signifies that the real affliction is only in the second half of the day.’
As Yom Kippur is associated with the High Priest unifying Tipheret and Malkut, by gaining the advantage on haSatan (via the scapegoat sent to him [Azazel]), in kabbalistic writings, Passover is seen as the time of the defeat of the demonic realm as well as unification of Tipheret and Malkut.
Author David Ariel writes: If the Days of Awe and Sukkot are part of a process of unification, Pesah (Passover) is a theurgic drama of vanquishing of evil and demonic forces … Jewish mystics invested the holiday with special significance. For them it symbolized a victory over the demonic forces that prevail in the world as a result of the separation of Malkut and Tiferet. … The many rituals of Pesah are linked to the symbolism of redemption from evil. The paschal lamb was slaughtered in ancient times and eaten on the holiday. A vestige of this practice, which was abandoned after the destruction of the second Temple, can be found in the roasted shankbone that is placed on a special plate at the seder table. Jewish mystics describe this as a theurgic ritual that destroys the powers of evil. … The slaughter of the lamb is the first ritual performed on the holiday and indicates that the “husks” must be destroyed in order for the Sefirot to escape from their dominion. … The seder is a theurgic ritual designed to reunite the Shekinah with Tiferet.
Modern Hassidic commentary reflects how the essence of Yom Kippur is not so much associated with the defeat of the evil realm, as it is with salvation, expressed in terms of our soul “bonding” or “cleaving” with G-d:
Yom Kippur coincides with the giving of the second tablets. We can explain the connection between the two by noting that the repentance of Yom Kippur surpasses even “higher repentance” since it follows the “lower repentance” of the month of Elul and the days of selichot, and also the “higher repentance” of Rosh Hashanah and the Ten Days of Repentance. “Higher repentance,” as often explained, is the cleaving of the soul to its Divine source, not repentance for sin, and it corresponds to the verse “The spirit will return to G-d Who gave it.” It stems from the essence of the soul, the “yechidah,” which is “unity to unify You.” This is the link between Yom Kippur and the Torah (the second tablets), for the Torah joins G-d and Israel, so that they are “entirely one,” as expressed in the phrase “the one people to affirm Your Oneness.”
The order of these mystical events is also reflected in the book of Hebrews, which shows how sin had to be dealt with (when Yeshua came) before the ultimate salvation can take effect (when he returns): For Messiah is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Messiah was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. -Hebrews 9:24-28
Expressed another way, the salvation that will come at Yom Kippur, follows our repentance and forgiveness: Yom Kippur is called a “mikvah,” for, whereas teshuvah (repentance) earns us Divine forgiveness and the right to continue, atonement wipes the slate clean, and gives us a fresh start.
Returning to the idea of the shedding of the blood defeating the evil realm, the Zohar makes the interesting statement that a “thought” (i.e., G-d Himself providing atonement/salvation), only achieves its heavenly result, when carried out in physical action on earth (i.e., Yeshua descending from the heavenlies to be the Yom Kippur sacrifice):
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 39b – ON THE TENTH DAY OF THIS MONTH THEY SHALL TAKE TO THEM A LAMB. According to R. Abba, the tenth day was chosen because on this day the Jubilee illumines the Moon (i.e. Binah communicates light to Malkuth); for of the Jubilee it is written: “On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement” (Lev. XXIII, 27). “They shall take a lamb.” Why a lamb? Because it symbolized the power of the lowest “crown”, which the Holy One broke, the “crown” to which all the other inferior “crowns” cling, forming the unholy triad signified by the phrase, “lambs, menservants, and womenservants”, sent by Jacob to Esau, as a sop, as it were, to the evil powers which the latter represented. The Holy One said: “Do ye perform this act of slaughtering the Passover lamb, and I myself will nullify its power above. Do ye let it pass through fire (v. 8) here below, and I shall lead the impure principality which it represents through the fiery Stream.” And why was the lamb to be tied up on the tenth day and slaughtered on the fourteenth? Because, according to R. Abba, the four days corresponded to the four hundred years that Israel was subjected to the power of Egypt. And why was the slaughter performed in the evening? Because that is the time when judgement predominates above and below, and also because it was at this time (“between the evenings”) that Israel’s exiles were foretold to Abraham, as it is written: “And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abraham, and lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him” (Gen. xv, I 2). “Horror” signifies one supernal “crown” which represents Egypt; “darkness” is a second such, representing Babylon; and “great” refers to the Edomite (Roman) exile, which was to be the hardest of all. Thus it is seen that the Israelites did not go out of Egypt until all the supernal powers and principalities which were Israel’s enemies had been brought to nought; but when these things had come to pass the people were freed from their domination and brought under the holy and heavenly sway of the Holy One, blessed be He, and were joined to Him and to Him alone, as it is written: “For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt” (Lev. xxv, 55).
The blood of the Passover lamb defeating the evil realm , which also speaks of a future and final redemption:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Raya Mehemna, Page 41b – THIS IS THE ORDINANCE OF THE PASSOVER: THERE SHALL NO STRANGER EAT THEREOF. This commandment is a memorial of the Passover of Egypt. The lamb had to be kept from the tenth day of the month, because on that date the moon begins to increase her light until the fifteenth day, when she is in her full strength. The lamb was slaughtered on the fourteenth, “between the evenings”, namely at an hour when judgement hangs over the world. It signified the removal of the impurity from the holy sign (of the circumcision). Therefore “no uncircumcised person should eat thereof” (v. 48); for this sacrifice was brought by sons of the covenant, in order to break down the power of the “other side”, to remove the “foreskin,” from the sign of the holy covenant. When the Holy One came to Egypt He saw the blood of the Passover lamb smeared on the door, as well as the blood of the covenant, and the doors purged with hyssop, in order, as has already been explained, that the powers of impurity might be exorcised at the time of the supreme redemption of Israel. This memorial of the past redemption is, however, at the same time a sign and a token of the future Redemption, when the Holy One will “slaughter” the evil inclination once and for all. And because He killed all the firstborn of the “other side”, He ordered that the firstborn of Israel should be redeemed, so that nothing of that “side” should cleave to them. In all things He watched over Israel like a father over his children.
In the book of Hebrews, It speaks of Yeshua’s work in terms of His first coming for sin, (as the suffering Divine Tzaddik [i.e., Messiah ben Yoseph], associated with the “sin” and “weakening of the evil world” – subjects of the spring feasts), and His second coming for salvation, (as Messiah ben David, associated with the judgment, final victory, and Kingdom – subjects of the fall feasts.):
so Messiah was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. -Hebrews 9:28
“The next day Yochanan (John) saw Yeshua coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of Most High, who takes away the sin of the world!” -John 1:29
AFTER THE DEATH OF AARON’S TWO SONS -Studies from Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
Our parshah, ACHAREI MOS, introduces the account of the awesome service of the High Priest on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, by noting that this parshah was given to Moses AFTER — in the light of — the death of Aaron’s two sons when they offered “strange fire” inside the Sanctuary.
Nadav and Avihu wanted to redeem the entire world and bring it to G-d in an instant — but they themselves were consumed by G-d’s jealous fire. Their endeavor was in the realm of excess. There is an evil in the world that cannot be redeemed: it’s only redemption lies in being smashed and destroyed forever (just as TUM’AH, ritual impurity, leaves a clay vessel only when it is broken).
At the center of the High Priest’s service on Yom Kippur lies the profound mystery of the GORAL. This was the “lottery” by which one of a pair of identical goats was chosen to be the holy sacrificial offering whose blood would atone for Israel in the Holy of Holies. The other was taken to a remote mountain-crag and cast down to AZAZEL, the Devil, being quickly broken to pieces on the mountainside. This mitzvah is numbered by the Rabbis together with the purification from defilement from the dead through the ashes of the Red Heifer as among those incomprehensible CHUKIM, “statutes” at which the nations and the evil inclination scoff.
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov once put the question in a graphic form: “In the Purim play, why should one person be chosen to play Mordechai the Jew and live, while another plays Haman and gets hung?”
There is no satisfactory answer to the deepest questions of destiny in this world: it is simply not given to the eyes of flesh and blood to understand why this one is given one role in life and that one another. There is a heavenly MAZAL at work that brings about the GORAL, “fate”. What our parshah tells us is that we are free to choose our path in the world, and that following G-d’s commandments guarantees us life.
“And you shall guard my statutes and my laws which, when a man — HA-ADAM — does them, he shall LIVE through them, I AM HASHEM” (Leviticus 18:5).
The SIFRA DEVEY RAV, the oldest rabbinic midrashic commentary on Leviticus, goes to some lengths in commenting on this verse to emphasize that this applies to all mankind. “It does not say ‘which, when a Cohen or Levi or Israelite does them’ but ‘when a MAN — HaAdam — does them’, including a GOY”. Incidentally, this is the exact Hebrew word there. While many gentiles find the word Goy offensive, it should not cause offence. It is simply the standard rabbinic term for one who was not born an Israelite — “gentile” is the Latin equivalent. In the comment quoted here, the Rabbis were EMPHASIZING that the Torah path is the universal path, open to Goy, Israelite, Levite and Cohen, as long as they are willing to follow it in truth.
Only one person can play the role of the High Priest. Thus when studying the portions dealing with the High Priest’s Yom Kippur service, we are onlookers at the ritual. Yet there is also a deep personal message for us. We study this parshah at this time of the year, as we proceed on the fifty-day SEFIRAS HA-OMER count towards our annual peak, the Giving of the Torah on the forthcoming festival of SHAVUOS. The season of Counting the Omer is a time for reflection on who we are and what we are trying to achieve. The High Priest’s entry into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur is a lesson to us to appoint special times for seclusion in order to enter into the personal sanctuary that we must reserve within the depths of our own hearts for true encounter with self and with G-d. One of the best facilitators of this encounter with self and with G-d is the Sweet Singer of Israel, King David. It is customary to give particular emphasis to recital of the Psalms during the Sefirah period, for the psalms are conducive to healing, repentance, atonement and LIFE.
The account of the High Priest’s Yom Kippur service is followed by a number of commandments establishing the centrality of the Sanctuary in the G-dly service of the community. The prohibition of animal sacrifices outside the Sanctuary, and later, outside the Temple in Jerusalem, forbids each person building his own personal Temple and Altar, whether literally or in the form of pride and self-worship. There is only one place for a literal animal offering. That is Mount Moriah, where Abraham bound Isaac and where Jacob saw the SULAM, the ladder of ascent, that is SINAI (SULAM and SINAI have the same gematria.) After the wandering in the Wilderness, the final resting place of the Shechinah for all time is in Yerushalayim, Ir HaKodesh, in the Temple on Mount Moriah.
Among the commandments relating to the slaughter of animals is the severe prohibition against eating blood, which is one of the fundamentals of our daily dietary code. The Shechitah method of slaughter ensures that the vital blood of the animal, strictly forbidden for consumption, is shed at the time of slaughter. The removal of the veins of the animal by the butcher and subsequent salting of the meat according to ritual law ensure the removal of the blood from the meat. This is necessary because an animal spirit resides in the blood. If this blood is consumed by man, he falls from his level and is overcome by an animal spirit. The laws of Kashrus are the very foundation of a diet that ensures that we have a human spirit, and that we think and behave like Bney Adam.
THE LAWS OF FAMILY PURITY
The third and concluding section of the parshah, which contains the above-quoted verse, “he shall LIVE through them”, lays out the basic family law of the Torah, including the fundamental laws of incest and the various forbidden relationships, including mother and son, father and daughter, brother and sister, adultery, forbidden intercourse during monthly period, prohibition of homosexuality, bestiality, etc.
This is no liberation. The only freedom and life are those promised by the Torah: “And you shall guard My statutes and My laws which when a man will do them, he will live through them, I am HaShem.”
The law of Shabbos and the fundamental laws of the code laid down in our parshah are the foundation of the family life which is the basis for the rearing of a new generation — our children and our children’s children. We are all bound to know the basic laws, and if our paths in life bring us to places where these laws are infringed, we must be properly forewarned. It is most important to teach children with sensitivity how they must take care of themselves against strangers and even with friends and close relatives.
The best ways for Jews and Bney Yisrael, Bney Bris, members of the Covenant of G-d, to maintain health and life is through strengthening ourselves with our families and good friends. This is accomplished when we bond together, as we did on Pesach. Now, after Pesach, we carry through the holiness attained during the festival into the days of the year as we Count the Omer — count the days and learn to value each day, day after day. During the long summer days, we must make time to study G-d’s laws, the laws that bring LIFE, celebrating the Shabbas, the Day of Life. Fathers and sons should take time to study G-d’s Torah together regularly, and so mothers and daughters.
If all Israel would keep two consecutive Shabboses, they would be redeemed.
Shabbat Shalom!!! And Chodesh Tov UMevorach – Have a Good and Blessed Month!
-Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
Haftarot Achrei Mot – Amos 9:7-15
The Torah portions and found in Leviticus 16:1-20:27. These Torah portions are the heart of the Torah. In this haftrah portion it describes that the gentiles ( i.e scattered ones of Israel from the four corners of the earth) who are called by Name and remarking about the mystery of Gentiles being a part of the community of Israel in Messiah.
Greeting to the Twelve Tribes : …… To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Shalom!. – James 1:1-2
‘“After this, I will return; and I will rebuild the fallen tent of David.
I will rebuild its ruins, I will restore it, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,that is, all the Goyim who have been called by my name,” –Acts 15:16-17
“Gentiles who are called by My Name”? Gentiles who are called to be holy, and to thereby sanctify the Name of the Holy One, blessed is He? This is a true revelation and one that the Rabbi Shaul draws heavily from. Specifically, portions that detail commandments regarding Yom Kippur ( Day of Atonement ) and the “love thy neighbour” commands.
Jew ( i.e Judah) and Gentile ( i.e dispersed ones/scattered ones of Israel ) One in Messiah. Baruch HaShem!!!
Behold, the eyes of Ad-nai HaShem are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth; yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,” says HaShem. -Amos 9:8
On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My Name. -Amos 9:11-12
Bring us in peacefulness from the four corners of the earth and lead us with upright pride to our land. For You effect salvations, O G-d; You have chosen us from among every people and tongue. And You have brought us close to Your great Name forever in truth, to offer praisefull thanks to You, and proclaim Your Oneness with love. Blessed are You, Most High, Who chooses his people Israel with Love .
We will see that the children of Israel return to Most High and Torah of Mashiach, And will hug in the Holy Land, and by obeying and listening the “VOICE of Most Ancient Holy One of Israel”, will bring offerings in a righteous way on the holy mountain and also bring the Ark of the covenant with pure heart in the right place ( i.e In Har HaBayit, on the foundation Stone) .
We will Welcome the son of David on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.
[ Ha Khadosh Baruch Hu – Baruch HaBa B’Shem Adonai ] – Gaddi, President, BetYisrael International.
Gaddi – President