Condolences to Richard Solomon on the passing of his father, Arthur Solomon.    Condolences to Beverley Granat on the passing of her Mother, Marion Granat.    Mazeltov to Barry and Chantal Solomons on the birth of a grandson and mazeltov to parents Ricky and Ricci Solomons on the birth of a son    Mazeltov to Cara daughter of Mervyn and Sheva Messias on the occasion of her engagement to Adam Kaye

Home » The Shul Connection » PARASHAT ACHAREI MOT

PARASHAT ACHAREI MOT

PARASHAT ACHAREI MOT

 

Acharei Mot includes the Yom Kippur service where the Cohen Gadol cast lots to designate two goats — one to be sacrificed, the other to be driven to a place called Azazel after the Cohen Gadol – the High Priest – confesses the sins of the people upon its head. Today it is a very popular epithet in Israel to instruct another person in the heat of an argument to “go to Azazel.” (I don’t believe the intent, however, is to look for the goat…)

The goat sent to Azazel symbolically carried away the sins of the Jewish people. This, I surmise, is the source of the concept of using a scapegoat. One thing you can truly give credit to the Jewish people — when we use a scapegoat, at least we use a real goat!

The Torah then proceeds to set forth the sexual laws — who you are not allowed to marry or have relations with. If one appreciates that the goal of life is to be holy, to perfect oneself and to be as much as possible like God, then he/she can appreciate that it is impossible to orgy at night and be spiritual by day.

The Torah portion of Kedoshim invokes the Jewish people to be holy! And then it proceeds with the spiritual directions on how to achieve holiness, closeness to the Almighty. Within it lie the secrets and the prescription for Jewish continuity. If any group of people is to survive as an entity, it must have common values and goals — a direction and a meaning. By analyzing this portion, we can learn much about our personal and national destiny.

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