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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.


Noga Ayali-Darshan



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