Acharei Mot: “After the Death”
Leviticus 16:1 - 18:30

Up the hill the chance shall flee

That of a goat chosen not for beauty
or sacrifice upon the altar of the L-rd

Not to lead others of its flock so dear
or to be used for any purpose special or rare

But rather a goat

A single simple goat

Upon whom Aaron will place both of his hands

And there with fervor of heart
belief in forgiveness and renewal

Impart our past misunderstandings and anger
both fears and disbeliefs

The heartaches and pains of we his people

Whatever these may be

Large or small

Inward or against another

And then this same goat shall be lead into the wilderness

Burdened by its immeasurable cargo

Indeed a heavy and bulging pack
filled with the iniquities yet prayers of us all

Then reaching an area unknown by any
with its tiresome load

That goat

The lone and single goat

Just as are we in this moment of atonement

Is to be set free

Rabbi Tad Campbell


(Rabbi Tad Campbell is a published writer and poet who holds an MA from the University of Oxford, England, the MTS from Duke, and his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbinical Seminary. He is a board certified chaplain and pastoral counselor and currently serves with Suncoast Hospice in Clearwater, Florida.)
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CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL OF THE PALISADES