General Overview: This week’s Parsha, Acharei Mot, begins with a detailed description of the service of the High Priest on Yom Kippur. The Torah then discusses prohibitions against offering sacrifices outside the Temple, consuming blood, and incestuous, adulterous, or other forbidden relationships.
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.