Parashat Akharei Mot / פרשת אחרי מות
The parashah then follows with HaShem’s instructions pertaining to offerings in general, blood, and righteous sexuality.After the death of Nadav (Nadab) and Avihu (Abihu), the sons of Aharon, HaShem instructs Moshe to tell Aharon that he is not to go behind the veil in the Tabernacle any time he pleases, because HaShem will appear over the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant. Only once a year, on the 10th day of the seventh month, in the prescribed manner and for the prescribed reasons, may the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) go behind the veil. By following a precise series of steps, as instructed by HaShem through Moshe, the Kohen Gadol makes atonement for the holy sanctuary, for the tent of meeting and for the altar, because of the ritual impurities and the transgressions of the people, and for the priests, and for all the people of the assembly, because of their sins, while the people, both native born and stranger among them, are instructed to afflict themselves and to rest from their melakhah. This way, HaShem may dwell in His tabernacle in the midst of the people.
Another chukat olam appears in Parashat Akharei Mot, in Vayikra (Leviticus) 17, for the native born and the stranger dwelling among them: The people must no more sacrifice to demons, but they shall bring their sacrifices to the entrance to Ohel Moed (the Tent of Meeting). Those failing to do so are guilty of bloodshed and are to be karet (cut off) from the assembly. Additionally, HaShem reiterates His prohibition against eating blood, declaring that He will set His face against any person who does so. The blood of beast and bird alike must be poured out before the flesh is eaten, whether by native born or sojourner.
The parashah concludes with the prohibitions which HaShem’s gave to Moshe to give to Israel, to the native born and to the stranger sojourning among them, pertaining to the abominable sexual practices of Mitzrayim (Egypt) and Kena’an (Canaan). HaShem’s people are not to do as the Egyptians and the Canaanites did, but they are to walk in HaShem’s statutes. It is because of the abominable customs prohibited by HaShem in Vayikra 18 that the people of Mitzrayim and Kena’an became defiled, together with their lands. So it that they were removed from their lands.
Torah Portion: Leviticus 16:1 – 18:30
1st Aliyah: Leviticus 16:1-17 (17 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Leviticus 16:18-24 (7 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Leviticus 16:25-34 (10 verses)
4th Aliyah: Leviticus 17:1-7 (7 verses)
5th Aliyah: Leviticus 17:8-18:5 (14 verses)
6th Aliyah: Leviticus 18:6-21 (16 verses)
7th Aliyah: Leviticus 18:22-30 (9 verses)
Maftir: Leviticus 18:28-30 (3 verses)
Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
When Parashat Achrei Mot coincides with a special Shabbat,
a different Haftarah is traditionally read:
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Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:1-17
16 And HaShem spoke to Moshe after the death of two of Aharon’s sons—in their coming near to the face of HaShem, and they died—
יב וַיְדַבֵּ֤ר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה אַחֲרֵ֣י מֹ֔ות שְׁנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י אַהֲרֹ֑ן בְּקָרְבָתָ֥ם לִפְנֵי־יְהוָ֖ה וַיָּמֻֽתוּ׃
Messiah in the Parashah
Good Deeds in the Parashah