Acharei Mot

Yom Kippur is unique among the festivals – apart from the offering to God, another goat is chosen to be sent into the desert, carrying the people’s sins. “He shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away by the hand of an appointed man into the wilderness.” An anti-offering, carrying nothing into nothing, missed potential into infinite potential. The extreme emptiness of the desert hints at death; it is also the birthplace of Israel as a people, the site of revelations to Moses, Elijah and Hagar. The formless non-place of the wilderness can receive ‘sin’ without changing, give understanding without speaking, create everything without losing anything. This wilderness hides in the gaps between everything, eluding, inviting.

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[Inspired by: Leviticus 16; Yoma 67b; Mekhilta Yitro, Vayahanu BamidbarKhôra or God by Richard Kearney; Anselm Kiefer’s Zim Zum.]

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