Acharei Mot- Shared Reading
Torah Portions 3.6 Acharei Mot (Wayyiqra) [Leviticus] Chapters 16:1-18:30
Hebrew Word/Phrase of the Week: Acharei Mot
Meaning: ”After Death”
This week’s Torah Portion is called Acharei Mot (אחרי מות). Acharei Mot means “after the death”. After Aharon’s two sons passing away, were told what Aharon the High Priest (Kohen HaGadol) was to do when entering the most set-apart place.
Chapter 16: Last time, we learned about two of Aharon’s sons passing away (Kids Learning- Shemini Torah Portion). After this happened the priests were told what they should do, and this time YHWH tells Moshe that Aharon (the High Priest) should not go into the most set-apart place; the chamber behind the veil where the ark of the covenant is. It was so kodesh (set-apart), that he could only enter once in the entire year and only if he followed all of YHWH’s special instructions for enterting properly, or he would perish.
First of all, Aharon would have to make an atonement for himself and his family by taking a young bull as a sin offering, a ram as a burnt offering, cleansing his body and putting on his proper attire. Next he was required to take two goats from the congregation of the children of Yashra’el as a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. With the goats, only one would be offered and the other one would be sent out into the wilderness. This was to be a law forever. One time a year, on Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), you are to afflict your being and do no work- for this was the day
that YHWH would make atonement for you and cleanse you from all your sins. This was a Sabbath, and a law forever.
Chapter 17: YHWH also makes it known that it is not acceptable to have the sacrifice just anywhere, but that it needed to be brought to the priests in the set-apart temple (Mishkan). YHWH also emphasizes how important it is not to eat blood as the life is in the blood.
Fun Fact: All Kosher meat is salted. This is to assist in removing the blood from the meat.
Chapter 18: Next YHWH reminds us to walk in his laws and do not do as the other nations do. Do not profane the name of YHWH and do his right-rulings. YHWH also warns us not to do any abominations, because the men of the land who were before you have done all these abominations, and their land became defiled.
Fun Fact: Here, YHWH says not let not the land vomit you out for defiling it.
Want to know more? Join us next time as we continue to read through Wayyiqra (Leviticus)!