In this week’s portion from Parashat Shemini (Vayikra / Leviticus 9:1-11:47) we read on the eighth day Moshe called Aharon and his sons and told them to take a bull for a Chatat Korban (Sin offering) and a ram for a Olah Korban (Whole burnt offering) and offer them before the Lord (א וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי קָרָא מֹשֶׁה לְאַהֲרֹן וּלְבָנָיו וּלְזִקְנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל: ב וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל-אַהֲרֹן קַח-לְךָ עֵגֶל בֶּן-בָּקָר לְחַטָּאת וְאַיִל לְעֹלָה תְּמִימִם וְהַקְרֵב לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה:). Moshe then commanded that they are to take a male goat for a Chatat Korban, a calf and a lamb both one year old as an Olah Korban, these are for the people. Moshe tells Aharon and his sons to offering an ox and a ram for peace offerings and a grain offering mixed with oil because today the Lord will appear to them. Then Aharon and his sons proceeded to make the offering before the Lord according to the instruction of Moshe (9:7-23). The Scriptures indicate that Aharon did these things, offering the Korbanot (sacrifices) before the Lord by fire and in Vayikra 9:24 it says כד וַתֵּצֵא אֵשׁ מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַתֹּאכַל עַל-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֶת-הָעֹלָה וְאֶת-הַחֲלָבִים וַיַּרְא כָּל-הָעָם וַיָּרֹנּוּ וַיִּפְּלוּ עַל-פְּנֵיהֶם: 9:24 Then fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces. (NASB) Following the offerings, it is recorded in Scripture that Nadav and Avihu went before the Lord with fire in their firepans and offered strange fire before the Lord and God killed them (10:1-5). The Lord then spoke to Aharon saying “Do not drink strong drink when you come into the Ohel Moed” (אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד, Tent of Meeting) so that he and his sons will not die, the purpose it saysי וּלְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַקֹּדֶשׁ וּבֵין הַחֹל וּבֵין הַטָּמֵא וּבֵין הַטָּהוֹר: to make a distinction between the holy and profane, between unclean and clean. Moshe again instructs Aharon and his sons to eat of the Mincha (grain) offering because it is their portion; the grain offering is to be eating beside the altar of God because it is most holy. The breast of the wave offering and the thigh are to be eaten in a clean place (not alongside the altar) this was their portion to be eaten. At this point Aharon and his sons do not eat the portion of meat and Moshe is angry, he says יז מַדּוּעַ לֹא-אֲכַלְתֶּם אֶת-הַחַטָּאת בִּמְקוֹם הַקֹּדֶשׁ כִּי קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים הִוא וְאֹתָהּ | נָתַן לָכֶם לָשֵֹאת אֶת-עֲוֹן הָעֵדָה לְכַפֵּר עֲלֵיהֶם לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה: יח הֵן לֹא-הוּבָא אֶת-דָּמָהּ אֶל-הַקֹּדֶשׁ פְּנִימָה אָכוֹל תֹּאכְלוּ אֹתָהּ בַּקֹּדֶשׁ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוֵּיתִי: 10:17 ‘Why did you not eat the sin offering at the holy place? For it is most holy, and He gave it to you to bear away the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord. 10:18 ‘Behold, since its blood had not been brought inside, into the sanctuary, you should certainly have eaten it in the sanctuary, just as I commanded.’ (NASB) The goat was for the Chatat Korban (Sin offering) and the Cohen was to eat a portion of the offering in order to bear the guilt of the people and then make atonement on behalf of the people before God. Aharon says that his sons dying are the reason he did not eat of the offering as he was commanded to do (10:19). Following these things, the Lord gives the Mitzvot (commands) on Kashrut, the dietary laws relating to what foods are clean and unclean to eat. The purpose was to מז לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַטָּמֵא וּבֵין הַטָּהֹר וּבֵין הַחַיָּה הַנֶּאֱכֶלֶת וּבֵין הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר לֹא תֵאָכֵל: 11:47 to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the edible creature and the creature which is not to be eaten. (NASB)
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