My teacher and friend Rabbi Dan Shevitz emailed me with a drash on my drash and I liked it so much that it seemed worth sharing, especially as we’re now only hours away from Yom K. So in the name of the RaDiSH I offer you this:

“The YK ritual involves two kinds of purgation: catharsis (the God goat/Isaac) and separation (the Azazel goat/Ishmael). These come from two basic human reactions to dirt: clean it, and throw it out.  The Akeidah teaches us, among many other things,  reversal: the value of surprise in serving God.  We thought that purification required death: now we are taught that it requires life. The exile of Ishmael and the goat for Azazel teach us that this path ultimately doesn’t work.  Ishmael always comes back.  There is no such place as “out”� and what was once “wilderness”� soon will be your back yard.  All you’ve got in an angry goat.”

And there you have it, people. G’mar tov.

Share This