The Scapegoat

Though all of the moving service on the Day of Atonement is frought with poignancy, tense anticipation and deep personal stirrings of repentance, surely one of the most dramatic moments of the day is the lottery which the High Priest conducts... for this is the process that will determine the scapegoat, which will be cast off as an atonement for Israel's sins.

After confessing over his bullock, the High Priest walks to the eastern section of the court, facing the entrance. He is accompanied by two men: at his right, the "assistant," who is actually none other than the replacement priest who was designated as a stand-in for the High Priest, should he be rendered unfit. At his left, the head of the family clan who is responsible for the service in the Temple on that day of the week.



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