Sin Offering (The Goat)


Rabbi asked Rabbi Hiyya, “Does the ‘goat’ [offered as a sacrifice by the ruler who has sinned, cf. Lev. 4:23] apply to me?  He replied, “You have your tsurus in Bavel.” “The Kings of Israel and the Kings of the House of David each bring sacrifices for themselves!”  He said to him, “In that case they were not subordinate one to the other, but here we are subordinate to them.”

Rav Safra taught it as follows: Rabbi asked Rabbi Hiyya, “Does the ‘goat’ apply to me?”  He replied, “The scepter is there, the ruler’s staff is here, as it is taught in a braita, ‘The scepter shall not depart from Yehudah’ – this refers to the Exilarch (Rosh Golah) in Bavel who rules Israel with the scepter, ‘nor the ruler's staff from between his feet’– this refers to the descendants of Hillel who publically teach the Torah to Israel.” (B. Horayot 11:)


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