yom kippur lamb

Yom Kippur and the Red Thread Cover-Up

Rabbi Eric Tokajer Biblical Topics 2 Comments

yom kippur lamb

The news media is filled with stories about conspiracies and cover-ups. Every front page of every newspaper, news magazine, or news website is filled with articles and videos of political intrigue.

This president said this to that president.
This prime minister promised that businessman this or that.

No matter where you turn, it seems like we cannot avoid hearing someone shouting, “Cover-up!” So, I thought as long as we are already focused upon cover-ups, I would share about the cover-up of a cover-up of a cover-up.

The Day of Atonement

The Jewish world is about to observe the Holiest of our Holy Days, Yom Kippur, known as “The Day of Atonement.” The Hebrew word Yom means day, but the Hebrew word Kippur comes from the root word Kaphar, which means to cover and, by extension, to atone.

Every year on this day, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies and apply blood to the Ark of the Covenant, also known as the Aron HaAdut, or the Ark of the Testimony (remember this for later). This blood offer, if accepted by G-D, would cover the sins of Israel until the next Yom Kippur. The way Israel knew that this offering of covering was accepted was if the red cord tied around a goat’s neck would turn white. 

The Red Thread Cover-Up

This process went on year after year until the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. However, according to Talmudic writings, the red thread stopped turning white the year that Yeshua was crucified. While this information about the red thread was not hidden by the Rabbis, a cover-up began as the focus of Yom Kippur was changed after the destruction of the Temple and the emphasis became offering prayers instead of the offering of a blood sacrifice. There was no longer a provision for the actual covering of sins nor a mechanism for knowing if the offering was accepted. So, with this cover-up that was established with the end of the Yom Kippur sacrifice and the replacement of that sacrifice with prayer, Judaism lost its assurance of atonement.

Another Cover-Up 300 Years Later

Almost 300 years later, a second cover-up was enacted as the Church removed the Biblical Holy Days from their calendar of observance and Yom Kippur became one of those Jewish Holidays. With this cover-up, Yom Kippur was relegated to a seldom-used anecdote or reference to the graceless “Law” or “Torah” of the “Old Testament.” By doing so, the Church removed one of the most powerful examples of G-D’s amazing grace in the entire Bible. Because the Church removed Yom Kippur from their theological foundation, they lost the entire reference for why Yeshua’s death, burial, and resurrection provided atonement for our sins. 

These two cover-ups established by religious groups have kept their followers from seeing the original Biblical, G-D ordained cover-up of Yom Kippur, the cover-up that G-D established from the very foundation of the world, the cover-up that G-D’s Word referred to this way in Isaiah 1:18:

18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says ADONAI. “Though your sins be like scarlet, they will be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they will become like wool.

Isaiah 1:18 TLV

Isaiah 53:6:

6 We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us turned to his own way. So ADONAI has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:6 TLV

Lev 17:11:

11 For the life of the creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your lives—for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life.

Leviticus 17:11 TLV

And Hebrews 2:17:

17 Therefore He had to be made like His brothers in all things, so He might become a merciful and faithful Kohen Gadol in matters relating to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 2:17 TLV

Yom Kippur provided for us the greatest cover-up ever and then both Judaism and Christianty did their best to cover-up the cover-up. •


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About the Author
Rabbi Eric Tokajer

Rabbi Eric Tokajer

Eric Tokajer is the Rabbi of Brit Ahm in Pensacola, FL and author of, "Galatians in Context", "Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians", "#ManWisdom", "With Me in Paradise", "Transient Singularity", and "OY! How Did I Get Here? - Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry".

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Comments 2

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    Love this article. I never thought of Yom Kippur but the articles headlined is very catchy. It draws my attention.

  2. Avatar

    Thank you so much for these emails. We are learning so much that is enriching our lives. Our very small church is so eager to learn and be enriched in Jewish says as these illuminate our Lord Jesus/Yeshuaflossie

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