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Azazel (Yom Kippur)

     Against the background of this photo collage is the spot in the Judean Desert that is thought to be Mt. Azazel, the site of the atonement ritual performed by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the identical goats await their fate to be decided by lottery. The process is detailed in Leviticus 16:7-10. The first High Priest, was to take two goats in the Temple court, and decide by lottery the fate of each. One was taken to Mt. Azazel in the wilderness, within eyesight of the Temple Mount, and the High Priest would confess the sins of the people upon it, and send it out into the wilderness, bearing those sins away with it. The second was offered as a sacrifice in the Temple. In the lower right corner are the remains of an ancient mikveh, ritual bath, because the priest performing this ritual was required to immerse himself before re-entering society. It has not been used since the destruction of the Temple in the year 70 C.E. (of this Common Era).

     .....And teshuvah (repentence), tefillah (prayer), and tzedakah, (charity) will remove the evil of the decree.

Aaron shall then take the two goats, and stand them before God at the Tent of meeting.
Aaron shall place two lots on the two goats, one lot marked "for God," and one marked "for Azazel."
Aaron shall present the goat that has the lot for God so that it will later be prepared as a sin offering.
The goat that has the lot for Azazel shall remain alive before God, so that Aaron will later be able to make atonement on it and sent it to Azazel in the desert.
     - Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:7-10

     The one who sends the goat to Azazel shall immerse his clothing and body in a mikvah; only then can he enter the camp.
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