Yom Kippur Torah Reading

Yom Kippur Torah Reading
Aharei Mot | Yom Kippur By :  The Jewish Theological Seminary | Holidays

The Yom Kippur Torah portion is taken from Aharei Mot. In the morning service, the reading (Leviticus 16:1-34) describes the priestly duties on Yom Kippur and the ritual of the scapegoat and the afternoon (18:1-30) describes forbidden relationships and marriages. The Haftarah in the morning is from Isaiah 57:14-58:14 and highlights themes of repentance and fasting.

Morning Torah Reading

Expelling our Own Scapegoats (Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz)

The Great Escape (Marc Gary)

Afternoon Torah Reading

Who is the Stranger (Linda S. Golding): Responding to the shame that hatred, fear, and resentment breed

The Palace of Torah Expanded: 15 Years Later (Rabbi Daniel Nevins): Despite the prohibition in the Torah, welcoming the LGBTQI+ community

Where is Authority Found (Dr. Benjamin Sommer): Text can be uncomfortable, but it is up to “communities of committed and observant Jews” to help traditions evolve.

Passover in the Light of Yom Kippur (Chancellor Emeritus Ismar Schorsch): “The Yom Kippur liturgy appropriates both chapters 16 and 18 in order to stress the totality of Judaism as a system of belief and practice, of ritual and morality.” 

Morning Haftarah

Is This the Fast I Desire (Rabbi Julia Andelman): “The haftarah is a sharp indictment of the notion that ritual practice and moral behavior can exist in separate realms.”

Short Video

Yom Kippur: Justice and Ritual
with Rabbi Daniel Nevins and
Rabbi Miriam Liebman (RS ’18)

Aharei Mot: The Yoke of the Scapegoat
Rabbi Kendell Pinkney (RS ’22)


The Yom Kippur Avodah as a Template for Spiritual Practice
with Rabbi Eliezer Diamond