Achrei Mot-Kedoshim

Leviticus 16:1 – 20:27; Haftarah: Amos 9:7 – 9:15; Ezekiel 20:2 – 20:20

Synopsis –

This week’s parasha is a double parasha called “after the death of saints” — an appropriate title for the closing of a parenthesis that started with the death of Nadab and Abihu. We begin our study with leftovers from last week’s parasha: the laws of leprosy and of bodily “flows/discharges” – and see that the leper, when he is cleansed, is treated as a tabernacle, sprinkled seven-times and as a priest – as a son of Aaron – receiving the sign of the blood of the sacrifice on the ear-lobe. Our parasha beings with the laws concerning the day of atonement and we study the Christian day of atonement – which is the Ascension of our Lord – who entered in the heavenly Holy of Holies once as the true High-Priest. Finally we connect this to chapter 17 and the prohibition to eat blood of sacrifices and see how in Lev 17 God says – “I have give it to you on the altar” – which signifies that nothing but the blood of God can be consumed on the altar — a glorious per-figuration of the eucharist.

Scripture References

(Matt 26:26-29)
26Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28for this is my blood of thec covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

(1 Cor 10:16)
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? bThe bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

(Jn 6:53–59)
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood nabides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.

(Heb 9:6-14)
These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, 7 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. 8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing 9 (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

External Sources

(Lev 13:1) 
Bab Talmud – Sanh. 98:2
A. Said Rab, “The world was created only for David.”
B. And Samuel said, “For Moses.”
C. And R. Yohanan said, “For the Messiah.”
D. What is his name?
E. The house of R. Shila said, “His name is Shiloh, as it is said, ‘Until Shiloh come’ (Gen. 49:10).”
F. Members of the house of R. Yannai say, “His name is Yinnon, for it is written, ‘His name shall endure forever, before the sun was, his name is Yinnon’ (Ps. 72:17).”
G. Members of the house of R. Haninah said, “It is Haninah, as it is said, ‘Where I will not give you Haninah’ (Jer. 16:13).”
H. Others say, “His name is Menahem, son of Hezekiah, for it is written, ‘Because Menahem that would relieve my soul, is far’ (Lam. 1:16).”
I. Rabbis said, “His name is ‘the leper of the school house,’ as it is written, ‘Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God and afflicted’ (Is. 53:4).”
Yalkut Shimoni – Lamentations Rabbah: 
the temple is called Leper
(Lev 16:4) Origen – Homilies on Leviticus 1–16.
It says, “a consecrated linen tunic will be put on.”15 Flax thread comes from the earth; therefore, it is “a sanctified linen tunic” that Christ, the true high priest, puts on when he takes up the nature of an earthly body; for it is said about the body that “it is earth and it will go into the earth.”16 Therefore, my Lord and Savior, wanting to resurrect that which had gone “into the earth,” took an earthly body that he might carry it raised up from the earth to heaven. And the assertion in the Law that the high priest is clothed “with a linen tunic” contains a figure of this mystery. But that it added “sanctified” must not be heard as superfluous. For “the tunic” that was the flesh of Christ was “sanctified,” for it was not conceived from the seed of man but begotten of the Holy Spirit.
(Lev 16:5) Bab Talmud –  b. Yoma 4:1, II.5.B
Our rabbis have taught on Tannaite authority:

B. Forty years before the destruction of the sanctuary, the lot did not come up in the right hand, and the thread of crimson never turned white, and the westernmost light never shone, and the doors of the courtyard would open by themselves,
C. until Rabban Yohanan b. Zakkai rebuked them. He said, “Temple, Temple, why will you yourself give the alarm [that you are going to be destroyed? You don’t have to, because] I know that in the end you are destined to be destroyed. For Zechariah b. EIdo has already prophesied concerning you: ‘Open your doors, Lebanon, that fire may devour your cedars’ (Zech. 11:1).”

Bab Talmud – b. Shabbat 1:4, II.16.C 
forty years prior to the destruction of the Temple the sanhedrin went out into exile from the Temple and held its sessions in a stall [on the Temple mount].” 
(Lev 16:22) The Epistle of Barnabas 7.6–11
Attend ye to the commandments which He gave. Take two goats, fair and alike, and offer them, and let the priest take the one for a whole burnt-offering for sins. 7But the other one—what must they do with it? Accursed, saith He, is the one. Give heed how the type of Jesus is revealed. 8And do ye all spit upon it and goad it, and place scarlet wool about its head, and so let it be cast into the wilderness. And when it is so done, he that taketh the goat into the wilderness leadeth it, and taketh off the wool, and putteth it upon the branch which is called Rachia, the same whereof we are wont to eat the shoots when we find them in the country. Of this briar alone is the fruit thus sweet. 9What then meaneth this? Give heed. The one for the altar, and the other accursed. And moreover the accursed one crowned. For they shall see Him in that day wearing the long scarlet robe about His flesh, and shall say, Is not this He, Whom once we crucified and set at nought and spat upon; verily this was He, Who then said that He was the Son of God. 10For how is He like the goat? For this reason it says the goats shall be fair and alike, that, when they shall see Him coming then, they may be astonished at the likeness of the goat. Therefore behold the type of Jesus that was to suffer. 11But what meaneth it, that they place the wool in the midst of the thorns? It is a type of Jesus set forth for the Church, since whosoever should desire to take away the scarlet wool it behoved him to suffer many things owing to the terrible nature of the thorn, and through affliction to win the mastery over it. Thus, He saith, they that desire to see Me, and to attain unto My kingdom, must lay hold on Me through tribulation and affliction.

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