Email 10

Can you help me with a question. I have heard it said that when the Cohen Gadol would enter the Most Holy Place that a fleece was dipped in blood and hung outside of the temple. It was for the people to see if YHVH had accepted the sacrifice and offering, and if He had He would turn the fleece white again. Can you let me know is this in the Torah or was it part of manners and customs from the Rabbinical teachings?

Shalom, Wayne

In the Jerusalem Talmud (The Yerushalmi, p. 156-157) the following is found. “Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the L-rd always came up in the left hand, They would close the Temple gates by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open.” A similar passage in the Babylonian Talmud states: “Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot {For the L-r] did not come up in the right hand; nor the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western light shine; and the doors of the Hekel (Temple) would not open themselves” (Soncino version Talmud, Yoma 39b) The temple was destroyed in 70 CE.

First, let me explain what these passages are talking about. The first of these miracles concerns a random choosing of the “lot” which was cast on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The lot chosen determined which of the two goats would be “for the L-rd” and which goat would be the “Azazel” or “Scapegoat.” During the two hundred years before 30 CE, when the High Priest picked one of two stones, again this selection was governed by chance, and each year the priest would select the black stone as often as the white stone. But for forty years in a row, beginning in 30 CE, the High Priest always picked the black stone. The odds against this happening are astronomical (2 to the 40th power). In other words, the chance of this occurring are 1 in approximately 5, 479, 584, 800 or about 5.5 billion to one. This was considered a dire event and signified something fundamentally changed in the Yom Kippur ritual. Next the miracle of the red or crimson thread. The crimson strip or cloth was tied to the Azazel goat. A portion of this red cloth was removed from the goat and was tied to the Temple door. Each year the red cloth on the Temple door turned white as if to signify the animal sacrifices of another Yom Kippur was acceptable to the L-rd. The annual event happened until 30 CE when the cloth remained crimson each year until the time of the Temple’s destruction. The traditional practice is linked to Israel confessing its sins and ceremonially placing the nation’s sins upon the Azazel goat. The third miracle was the Temple doors. The Temple doors according to Jewish authorities swung open every night on their own accord. This too occurred for forty years, beginning in 30 CE. The leading Jewish authority of that time, Yochanan ben Zakkai, declared that this was a sign of impending doom. That the Temple would be destroyed. From a believer’s perspective, the doors might have opened to signify that all may now enter into the Temple even into its innermost sanctuary through our trust in Yahshua’s faithfulness. There is also the miracle of the Temple Menorah. The seven-bowl Menorah (Western Lamp) went out and would not shine. Every night for forty years, this main lamp of the Temple went out on its own accord even in the face of all attempts to keep it burning. All of these phenomena are reported in the Talmud and there is no natural way to explain them. The only possible way is supernatural. These events can only point to the great event of our Messiah’s work, His crucifixion and YHVH’s permanent provision for us of a sacrifice, His son, for our reconciliation to Him.

Shalom v’brachas, Rabbi Davis