The High Priest's Oral Confession

The High Priest drew near to the animal. Facing the sanctuary, he placed his two hands on the bullock's head, between its horns, and confessed. This was in keeping the directives of the verse (ibid.): "And Aaron shall offer the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself, and he shall make atonement for himself and for his family... " The sages of Israel received a tradition that these words refer to oral confession.

And this was the wording of the High Priest's confession:

"I beseech You, O Lord;
I have sinned, rebelled, and transgressed against You,
I, and my household;
I beseech You, O Lord,
Grant atonement for the sins,
and for the iniquities and transgressions
which I have commited against You,
I, and my household.
As it is written in the Torah
of Your servant, Moses:
'For on this day
atonement shall be made for you,
to purifiy you from all your sins
- before the Lord you shall be purified'."

 

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