Parshas Acharei Mos

Words in bold represent changes to the traditional translation based on the Aramaic translation/commentary attributed to Onkelos the Ger.

Parshas Acharei Mos

Chapter 16

Rishon

1. Hashem spoke with Moshe after Aharon’s two sons died in their bringing a strange fire before Hashem, and they died.

2. Hashem said with Moshe: Speak to Aharon your brother and he shall not come at all times to the Holy behind the drape, to in front of the cover that is on the Ark, and he won’t die, because in the cloud I am revealed[1] in the room of the cover.[2]

3. Thus shall Aharon come to the Holy: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.

4. He shall put on a sacred linen tunic, and linen pants shall be on his flesh, and with a linen belt he shall gird, and in a linen turban he shall place on his head;[3] they are holy garments. He shall bathe his flesh in water and dress in them.

5. And from the congregation of the children of Israel he shall take two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.

6. Aharon shall offer a sin offering bull that is his own, to atone for himself and for the people of his household.

7. He shall take the two male goats and stand them before Hashem at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.

8. Aharon shall put lots upon the two goats, one marked to the name of Hashem and the one lot to azazel.[4]

9. Aharon shall bring near the goat that has on it the lot to the name of Hashem and make it (as) a sin offering,

10. and the goat that has on it the lot to azazel shall be stood while alive before Hashem to atone on it, to send it to azazel, to the wilderness.

11. Aharon shall bring near the sin offering bull that is his and he shall atone for himself and for the people of his household. He shall slaughter the sin offering bull that is his.

12. He shall take a pan full of glowing coals[5] from above the altar, from before Hashem, and his handfuls full of fine spice incense; he shall bring (them) within the drape.

13. He shall put the spice incense on the fire before Hashem and the cloud of the incense will cover the cover that is on the Testimony[6] and not die.

14. He shall take from the blood of the bull and sprinkle (it) with his finger towards the cover to the east, and before the cover he shall sprinkle seven times from the blood with his finger.

15. He shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering that is the people’s and bring its blood to the drape. He shall do to its blood as he did to the blood of the bull: he shall sprinkle it on the cover and before the cover.

16. He shall atone for the Holy from the impurity of the children of Israel and from their iniquities, for all their sins. So shall he do for the Tent of Meeting that dwells with them among their impurity.

17. And every person shall not be in the Tent of Meeting when he comes to atone in the Holy until his exit. He shall atone for himself, and for the people of his household and for the entire community of Israel.

Sheini

18. He shall exit to the altar that is before Hashem and atone for it;[7] he shall take from the blood of the bull and from the blood of the goat and put (it) on the horns of the altar all around.

19. He shall sprinkle on it from the blood with his finger seven times, and he shall purify it and sanctify it from the impurity of the children of Israel.

20. When he has finished atoning for the Holy, for the Tent of Meeting and for the altar, he shall bring the live goat near.

21. Aharon shall lay his two hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the transgressions of the children of Israel and all their iniquities, for all their sins, and he shall put them on the head of the goat. It shall be sent by the hand of a man who was designated[8] to the wilderness.

22. The goat shall carry on it all their transgressions to an unsettled land,[9] and the goat shall be sent in the wilderness.

23. Aharon shall come to the Tent of Meeting, remove the linen garments that he put on when he came to the Holy, and store them there.[10]

24. He shall bathe his flesh in water in a holy place and put on his garments. He shall exit and make his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, and he shall atone for himself and for the people.

Shlishi

25. And the fat of the sin offering he shall offer up[11] on the altar.

26. The one who brought[12] the goat for azazel shall immerse[13] his clothes and bathe his flesh in water, and after this he shall come to the camp.

27. And the sin offering bull and the sin offering goat whose blood was brought to atone in the Holy shall be taken[14] to outside the camp. They shall burn in fire their hides, and their flesh and their dung.

28. The one who burns them shall immerse his clothes and bathe his flesh in water, and after this he shall come to the camp.

29. It shall be to you an eternal statute: in the seventh month, on the tenth (day) of the month, you shall afflict yourselves[15] and you shall perform no labor, both the home-born and the stranger who converts among you.

30. Because on this day He[16] will atone for you, to purify you from all your sins; before Hashem you shall be purified.

31. It shall be a Sabbath of complete rest[17] to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; it is an eternal statute.

32. The priest who will be elevated[18] and who will bring his offering[19] to minister in place of his father shall atone; he shall wear the linen garments, the holy garments.

33. He shall atone for the holy sanctuary,[20] and for the Tent of Meeting and for the altar, and for the priests and for all the people of the community he shall atone.

34. This shall be to you for an eternal statute, to atone for the children of Israel from all their sins once in a year. He did as Hashem commanded Moshe.

Chapter 17

Revii

1. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

2. Speak with Aharon and with his sons and with all the children of Israel and say to them, this is the matter that Hashem has commanded, saying:

3. any person of the house of Israel who will slaughter an ox or a sheep or a goat in the camp, or who will slaughter outside the camp,

4. and to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting he will not bring it to offer it as an offering before Hashem, before Hashem’s Tabernacle, it will be considered blood[21] to that person. He spilled blood and that person shall be expelled[22] from among his people,

5. in order that the children of Israel will bring the sacrifices that they have been sacrificing opposite the field(s) and bring them to before Hashem, to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, to the priest, and sacrifice them as holiness sacrifices[23] before Hashem.

6. The priest shall throw the blood on the altar of Hashem at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and offer up the fat to be accepted with favor[24] before Hashem.

7. And they shall not sacrifice their sacrifices to the demons[25] after whom they stray. This shall be an eternal statute to them for their generations.

Chamishi

8. To them you shall say: any person from the house of Israel and from the stranger(s) who will convert among them offers a burnt offering or a holiness sacrifice,

9. and to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting he will not bring it to make it to Hashem, that person shall be expelled from his people.

10. And any person from the house of Israel or from the stranger(s) who will convert among them that will eat any blood, I will set My anger[26] against the person[27] that will eat the blood. I will cut him[28] off from among his nation,

11. because (the) soul of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to atone for your souls, because it is the blood that atones for the soul.

12. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, every soul of you shall not eat blood, and the stranger who will convert among you shall not eat blood.

13. And any person from the children of Israel and from the stranger(s) who will convert among them who hunts live game or a bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dirt,

14. because the soul of all flesh is its blood in its soul. I said to the children of Israel, the blood of all flesh you shall not eat because (the) soul of all flesh is its blood. All who eat it will be expelled.

15. And every person who eats a carcass or[29] (an animal that was) torn, among the native-born or among the stranger(s), he shall immerse his clothes, and bathe in water and be unclean until evening, and he shall be purified.

16. And if he doesn’t immerse (his clothes) and he doesn’t bathe his body, he will incur liability.[30]

Chapter 18

1. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

2. Speak with the children of Israel and say to them, I am Hashem your God.

3. Like the deeds[31] of the people of the land of Egypt where you dwelled you shall do, and like the deeds of the people of the land of Canaan to which I am bring you there you shall not do; and in their statutes you shall not walk.

4. My laws you shall do and My statutes you shall observe to walk in them: I Hashem am your God.

5. You shall guard My statutes and My laws that a person shall do them and live eternal life[32] through them: I am Hashem.

Shishi

6. Every person shall not approach every close relative[33] to uncover lewdness:[34] I am Hashem.

7. Your father’s lewdness and your mother’s lewdness you shall not uncover; she is your mother – do not uncover her lewdness.

8. The lewdness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s lewdness.

9. The lewdness of your sister – your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, (whether) born from your father from another woman or from your mother to another man[35] – you shall not uncover their lewdness.

10. The lewdness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter – you shall not uncover their lewdness for they are your lewdness.

11. The lewdness of your father’s wife’s daughter born to your father – she is your sister; do not uncover her lewdness.

12. The lewdness of your father’s sister you shall not uncover; she is your father’s relative.

13. The lewdness of your mother’s sister you shall not uncover because she is your mother’s relative.

14. The lewdness of your father’s brother you shall not uncover. You shall not draw near to his wife; she is your father’s brother’s wife.[36]

15. The lewdness of your daughter-in-law you shall not uncover. She is your son’s wife; you shall not uncover her lewdness.

16. The lewdness of your brother’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your brother’s lewdness.

17. The lewdness of a woman and her daughter you shall not uncover. her son’s daughter and her daughter’s daughter you shall not take[37] to uncover her lewdness. They are relatives; it is sinful counsel.[38]

18. A woman with her sister you shall not take[39] to be a rival, to uncover her lewdness on her[40] in her[41] lifetime.

19. And to a woman in her separation of impurity you shall not draw near to uncover her lewdness.

20. To your neighbor’s wife, do not lie sexually[42] to be defiled through her.

21. And of your children[43] do not give to pass[44] for Molech, and do not desecrate the name of your God; I am Hashem.

Shevii

22. With a male do not lie like one lies with a woman; it is an abomination.

23. And with every animal do not give your seed to be defiled through it. And a woman shall not stand before an animal to rule over her;[45] it is depravity.

24. Do not be defiled in all of these because through all of these the nations that I exiling[46] before you were defiled.

25. The land was defiled and I accounted its sin upon it, and the land emptied[47] its inhabitants.

26. You shall observe My statutes and My laws, and do not do (any) of these abominations, the native-born and the stranger who will convert among you,

27. because all these abominations were done by the people of the land who were before you, and the land was defiled.

28. And the land will not empty you for your defiling it as it emptied the nations[48] that were before you.

29. Because all who will do (any) of all these abominations, the souls who do will be expelled from among their people.

30. You shall observe the charge of My word[49] not to do (any) of the abominable practices[50] that were done before you, and you shall not be defile through them; I am Hashem your God.

[1] Rather than “I will appear.”

[2] i.e., the Holy of Holies.

[3] Rather than “wrap.”

[4] Referring to a rocky place and not to a competing deity, God forbid. (For this reason, I have chosen to render the English word lower case.)

[5] Literally, coals of fire.

[6] i.e., the Ark.

[7] Literally, “on it.”

[8] Rather than “a timely man.”

[9] As opposed to “an inaccessible land.”

[10] Rather than “leave them there.”

[11] As opposed to “smoke.”

[12] Rather than “sent.”

[13] Rather than “wash.”

[14] Onkelos changes this phrase from active to passive.

[15] Literally, your souls.

[16] God.

[17] Literally, a Sabbath of Sabbaths.

[18] Rather than “anointed.”

[19] Rather than “whose hand has been filled.”

[20] The Chumash says “Mishkan” but it refers to the Holy of Holies rather than the entire Tabernacle.

[21] i.e., guilt,

[22] Rather than “cut off.”

[23] As opposed to “peace sacrifices.”

[24] Rather than “for a pleasing aroma.”

[25] Chumash: “goats.”

[26] Rather than “My face.”

[27] Chumash: “soul.”

[28] Onkelos changing “soul” (a feminine noun in Hebrew) to “person” necessitates changing the feminine form of “it” to “him.”

[29] Literally, “and.”

[30] Rather than “bear his sin.”

[31] Onkelos pluralizes this word.

[32] i.e., an afterlife reward.

[33] Literally, “relative of his flesh.”

[34] i.e., to uncover genitalia, a euphemism for the sexual act.

[35] As opposed to “(whether) born at home or born outside.”

[36] Rather than “your aunt.”

[37] i.e., in marriage.

[38] Rather than “immorality.”

[39] Again, in marriage.

[40] i.e., in addition to her.

[41] i.e., the first wife’s.

[42] Literally, do not give your lying for seed.

[43] Chumash: “seed.”

[44] Through fire.

[45] i.e., to mate. Onkelos euphemizes the act.

[46] Rather than “sending (out).”

[47] Rather than “vomited (out).”

[48] Onkelos pluralizes this word.

[49] Rather than “My charge.”

[50] As opposed to “statutes.”

© Copyright 2021 Rabbi Jack Abramowitz