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Beit Midrash Series Ein Ayah
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Condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:14

Clearing the Red from the Head

How do we know that they would tie a strip of bright red fabric to the head of the sa’ir hamishtale’ach (the goat that was sent to the desert)? It is in line with the pasuk: "If their sins will be like scarlet, they will be whitened like snow (Yeshayahu 1:18).
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Gemara: How do we know that they would tie a strip of bright red fabric to the head of the sa’ir hamishtale’ach (the goat that was sent to the desert)? It is in line with the pasuk: "If their sins will be like scarlet, they will be whitened like snow (Yeshayahu 1:18).



Ein Ayah: When one internally strengthens his spirit with divine-based purity, this creates a life of sanctity and goodness. The agitation that is related to blood, which can overpower the purity of the soul and pollute to the point that its nature is affected, colors the spirit with a foreign color, a red stain, so that its natural color is not recognizable in life.

The sa’ir hamishtale’ach specifically corresponds to the sins that are innately against the nature of the natural spirit of the Jew. It is only the foreign color of animal blood that colored one’s life in such a blood-like color.

This color of the active foreign influence makes one comparable to a goat, which is the image of something that damages others spiritually. This finds its place after the polluting takes place, in the thoughts of the brain, which is found in the head (where the red strip is attached). It becomes clear that these thoughts are the source of the polluting blood. They are not natural human thoughts, which are lofty and connected to the special soul, which comes from the light of the living G-d. The brain itself is that which brings forth the repentance and the mending of the deep spirit. For this reason, we tie a strip of bright red fabric to the head of the sa’ir hamishtale’ach as the pasuk says: "If their sins will be like scarlet, they will be whitened like snow."
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