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Daily Aliya for Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, Rishon (1st Aliya)

General Overview: This week’s reading, Acharei-Kedoshim, begins with a detailed description of the service of the High Priest on Yom Kippur. Dozens of commandments are then discussed in this week’s reading. Among them: the prohibitions against offering sacrifices outside the Temple; consuming blood; incestuous, adulterous, or other forbidden relationships; various mandatory gifts for the poor; love for every Jew, prohibition against sorcery; honesty in business dealings; and sexual morality.

Aliya Summary: The High Priest is instructed to only enter the Holy of Holies chamber of the sanctuary once a year, on Yom Kippur; and even on this holiest day of the year, the entry into the Temple’s inner sanctum must be accompanied by a special service and specific offerings which are detailed in this reading. The High Priest was only permitted to enter amidst a cloud of burning incense. Also, special white garments were worn by the High Priest on this day. While offering the day’s sacrifices, the High Priest would “confess” on behalf of the entire nation, attaining atonement for the past year’s sins. This section continues with a description of the “scapegoat” ceremony procedure.