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Azazel

Is Azazel a Goat, Place, Demon, or Deity?

Azazel plays the role of a deity in the biblical ritual of Yom Kippur, and in early interpretation, he played a central role as the initiator of sin and even the devil, or alternatively, as a protective figure. Later tradition obscured his identity, presenting Azazel as the name of a demon, as the scapegoat itself, and even as a place name.

Dr.

Anna Angelini

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Scapegoat: The Origins of the Crimson Thread

During the Second Temple period, the scapegoat was tied with a crimson thread. While the Torah requires a crimson thread as part of the purification ritual for tzaraʿat (skin disease), it does not mention it by the scapegoat. Nevertheless, parallel practices found in 2nd millennium B.C.E. Hittite texts of Luwian origin imply that the use of a crimson thread is not a late innovation but an ancient part of the rite.

Dr.

Noga Ayali-Darshan

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The Scapegoat Ritual and Its Ancient Near Eastern Parallels

In the scapegoat ritual of Yom Kippur and the bird ritual of the metzora, sin/impurity is transferred onto an animal and it is sent away. These biblical examples have parallels in Eblaite, Hittite, Ugaritic, and Neo-Assyrian apotropaic rituals.

Dr.

Noga Ayali-Darshan

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Recasting the Temple Purification Ritual as the Yom Kippur Service

Leviticus 16 – ויקרא טז

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Yom Ha-kippurim: The Biblical Significance

Prof.

Baruch J. Schwartz

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Regarding Azazel and Homosexuals in the Same Parasha

Reading Acharei Mot (“After the Death”) as an opportunity for infusing life into the biblical text.

Prof.

Shawna Dolansky

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