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Achrei Mot ~ 5774 ~ אחרי מות / Shabbat Hagadol שבת הגדול
Following the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, G-d warns against unauthorized entry “into the Holy.” Once a year (on Yom Kippur), only one person, the Kohen Gadol (“high priest”), may enter the innermost chamber in the Sanctuary to offer the sacred ketoret to G-d. Another feature of the Day of Atonement service is the casting of lots over two goats to determine which should be offered to G-d and which should be dispatched to carry off the sins of Israel to the wilderness.
The Parashah of Acharei also warns against bringing korbanot (animal or meal offerings) anywhere but in the Holy Temple, forbids the consumption of blood, and details the laws prohibiting incest and other deviant sexual relations.
MAFTIR Leviticus 18:28-30 ~ page 493
HAFTORAH Shabbat Hagadol Malachi 3:4 – 24 page 1005 (Read on the Shabbat before Pesach)
The prophet foretells the punishment of all evil-doers on the day of G-d’s judgment and condemns the people for neglecting to pay the tithes and offerings due to the Priests and Levites. If they were to honor their obligations, G-d would shower blessings upon them and the land would yield abundant crops. The righteous who shows impatience at the apparent prosperity of the wicked, will reap the reward for their integrity on Judgment Day when the unrighteous will be destroyed. The prophet calls upon the people to remember the Law of Moses and foretells the coming of Elijah before “the great and terrible day of the Lord” when parent and child will be reconciled and turn their hearts towards G-d.
Parashah & Passover Study Questions
1. Does your Seder differ from the one you remember in your youth? How? Is this an improvement?
2. Why do some say that non-Jews are NOT permitted at the Seder table?
3. Do Jews-by-choice read “we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt”? Why or why not?
4. What is the “Orange Controversy”? What other items do modernists add to the Ka-ara (Seder plate)? Is this permissible?
5. Did Rabbi Pearlson come out publicly last week and say “100% Agave Tequila is Kosher for Passover?!”