Twas the Day of Atonement, and all through the camp
Only Aaron was stirring, dressed like a champ.
He drew near the tent with his bull and his ram,
And a glistening butcher knife clasped in his hand.
The people entrusted two goats to his care,
In hopes that forgiveness soon would be theirs.
One would be slaughtered but one would escape
Bearing our trespasses, sins, and mistakes.
He casted the lots and arose such a clatter,
The goats had been chosen. It settled the matter.
Then toward the bull he turned in a flash
Tore open the jugular vein with a slash.
Now he was atoned for and free to proceed
Into the tent and we bid him Godspeed.
When, what to my wondering eyes should unfold,
But a handful of incense and a censer of coal.
From the bull and the goat, he gathered some blood,
And entered the tent as the law said he should.
We waited and waited but heard not a word,
Could Aaron survive in the tent of the Lord?
But much to our joy and utter delight,
He came out alive back into the light.
‘To the Altar!” He said, looking new and reborn
And put more of the blood on each of the horns
With flicks of his fingers in motions so small
He sprinkled the altar, seven times in all.
Now it was atoned for, hallowed and cleansed
From all our uncleanliness. All our offense
And then, to the goat, he turned and he set
Each hand on its head. You know, like a pet
He mumbled some words I couldn’t make out
And passed off the goat to a man heading out.
The goat was led out to the wilderness where
It would wander alone, our sin forced to bear.
The man will return but first he must bathe
To make himself clean. Do you think he will shave?
Then Aaron returned from a bath of his own
And readied more off’rings, us now to atone.
The fat of the animals to smoke were then turned
While the skin and the flesh were taken and burned
On day number ten in month number seven
The smoke of atonement rose up to heaven.
But Aaron exclaimed, ‘ere he walked out of sight,
“Forgiveness for all and all are made right!”