אחרי מות |Acharei Mot
Leora Wise, Israel
Parashat Acharei Mot describes the ritual practiced on Yom Kippur during the time of the beit hamikdash, the last sacred Temple destroyed in 70 CE. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the holiest of days in the Hebrew calendar, a scapegoat was used as a vessel upon which to foist the people's sins. Led off into the desert by a “designated man,” far away and out of sight, the scapegoat was ultimately sacrificed, cast off a cliff to meet its death and dismemberment. In this piece, I raise the scapegoat and the “designated man” from their thankless ritual anonymity and place them center stage, where one can consider their unfolding relationship and empathize with their shared fate.
Professional Background Leora Wise lives and works in Jerusalem. She is a storyteller whose medium spans etching, performance, and installation. Wise draws inspiration from myths, legends, family history, and Jewish lore. She performs and exhibits her work in Israel and abroad. Leora’s etchings are in the collections of the Israel Museum and Yale University.