This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my sister, Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, my paternal grandmother Channah Freidel Bas Avraham A”H, my uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein,
It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:
-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel
-My grandmother Shulamis Bas Etta
-MY BROTHER: MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO BEN CHAYA ROCHEL
-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili
-Noam Shmuel Ben Simcha
-Yehoram Ben Batya
_R’ Simcha Yitzchak Ben Mirela Liyatka
-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis
-And all of the Cholei Yisrael, especially those suffering from COVID-19 and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of HaRav HaGa’on V’Sar HaTorah Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Ben HaRav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky A”H, Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken by terrorists (Hashem Yikom Damam), COVID-19, and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.
The rest of my audio content can be found here:
Parsha Paradise/פרשה פרדס – Acharei Mos: What in the world is Azazel? ??
Acharei Mos lays out the complex Avodas Yom HaKippurim describing the various Korbanos, the most famous among them, the two goats, the sin offering known as the Se’ir LaHashem and the Se’ir LaAzazel, the goat that bears the sins of Yisrael and is sent away to “Azazel.” But, what is Azazel and why do we offer a Korban to it?
Rashi cites the tradition from Chazal that Azazel refers to a strong and hard mountain, with a high cliff [Toras Kohanim 16:28; Yoma 67B].
Ibn Ezra cites a similar explanation but then suggests that there is a deeper more controversial secret to Azazel which he says he will only reveal when “you are thirty-three.” What is the secret and what did Ibn Ezra mean? Ramban explains that Ibn Ezra is referring to the Pasuk that appears exactly 33 verses later from the first Pasuk that describes these two goats. That Pasuk states that B’nei Yisrael should no longer offer Korbanos to Se’irim, literally, demons. This is is to suggest that Azazel is actually an annual Korban to the demon, the dark force of the world, the Satan. In fact, there are such traditions in Chazal to support this read [See Pirkei D’Rebbi Eliezer 46].
Why would we offer a tribute to the evil forces of the world. The M’forshim explain that this tribute serves as a Shochad, a bribe, to the Satan to preoccupy him and keep him off our case on the Day of Judgment.
However, there is much more to Azazel.
Ba’al HaTurim and Tikunei Zohar [52A] suggest additional significance to Azazel with an incredible Remez based on its function described in 16:22, “V’Nasa HaSe’ir Alav Es Kal Avonosam”-“and the goat will bear upon it all of the iniquities.”
The word “Se’ir,” goat, can also be rendered “hairy one,” and “Sei’ir,” references to Eisav, the dark force incarnate. And the word, “Avonosam”-“iniquities” [עֲוֹנוֹתָם] they render “Avonos Tam” [עֲוֹנוֹת תָּם], literally the “inquities of the wholesome/honest one,” a reference to Yaakov Avinu. This appears to suggest that although Yaakov’s progeny, the B’nei Yisrael, have been the scapegoat for all of humanity, much like the business exchange between Yaakov and his brother, Eisav will bear the inquities of Israel.
Along similar lines, Midrashim cite further connections between our goats and the story and Yaakov and Eisav.
When Yaakov was commanded by his mother Rivkah to usurp Eisav’s Brachos from Yitzchak, she instructed him to take two goats. Among several possibilities, the Midrashim suggest that these goats correspond to the Se’ir LaHashem and the Se’ir LaAzazel.
[See Bereishis Rabbah 65:14-15, Tanchuma, Toldos 10:2, and Vayikra Rabbah 21:11 ]
Finally, in a naturally cryptic comment, Zohar [3:62B] suggests that the two goats needed to be separated, one to Hashem and one sent away to cruise through the physical world, because if the two would remain together as a pair, the world couldn’t bear it.
There apparently has to be some sort of balance, perhaps between our engagement in the purely spiritual realm and the physical world. (Even Azazel of the physical world needs a portion.) But, our eyes should always be on the prize. Our goal is always to be and live “LaHashem.”
May we all be Zocheh to the wisdom of how to deal with the Satan in our lives, live life “LaHashem,” and Hashem should atone us and redeem us with final Geulah and the coming of Moshiach, Bimheirah BiYomeinu!
Have a Great Shabbos Mevarchim Iyar!
-Yehoshua Shmuel Eisenberg