Rabbi Yosi said, we learned about the verse "And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats" [one to be sacrificed to G‑d and one offered to Azazel] (Lev. 16:8) If this is so, it is an honor to Azazel [who is 'Satan']; have you ever seen a servant cast lots [equally] with his master? It is customary that a servant receives only what his master gives him [and not take by himself].

Since 'Satan' is ready [and waiting] to slander [Israel] and in order not to give him any excuse [to accuse], he is given a portion [as a bribe]. The allotment [that is befitting him] reaches him of its own accord [for it is from the despised leftovers, as Azazel's lottery token is on the Kohen's left side, and this is the portion that he would choose for himself] as Rabbi Yehuda said in the name of Rabbi Yitzhak: I found a remarkable matter in the lottery. It is written of the lottery of Joshua [whereby he allocated the tribal portions of the Land of Israel], "According to the lot's mouth", (Num. 26:56) meaning "according to the lot's speech". Indeed the lot [token itself] said, "this is Judah's portion, this is Benjamin's portion, and so with all [the tribes]. Here too [concerning the lottery on Yom Kippur], once the lottery [tokens] were in the priest's hand, they jumped from his hands and rested [of their own volition] in their places [each on one of the two goats]. This is the meaning of, "But the goat, on which the lot rose for Azazel", (Lev. 16:10) surely it rose [on it own for Azazel; Azazel's token itself chose his portion and thus was Azazel equated with his Master.]

Not only that, but as long as the prosecutor is ready and has permission [to accuse], something should be put before him to be occupied with and leave Israel alone.

On that day [of Yom Kippur], the prosecutor is ready to spy out the land [to find iniquities in order to denounce Israel, therefore we give him a goat to be occupied with that he may leave Israel alone], as written, "And G‑d said to the 'Satan', From where do you come?" (Job 1:7) [And 'Satan' answered, "From wandering on the earth and from walking in it".] We learned that, "From wandering on the earth", what was [his intention]? For this is the great prosecutor that denounces Israel [that went to spy out the land to find people's sins].

The Colleagues arose [and said] that at that time that Israel were ready to cross the sea to avenge the Egyptians [for tormenting and enslaving them], he [the 'Satan'] said [to G‑d], 'I have passed through the Holy Land and I see that these are not worthy of entering it. If You judge in truth, their punishment here should be as the Egyptians'. What is the difference between them? Either they will all die together or they will all [Israelites and Egyptians] return to Egypt. Was it not You, who said, "and they shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years" (Gen. 15:13) but only 210 years have been deducted from the accounting, no more.

The Holy One, blessed be He, said [to His Heavenly entourage: the 'Satan' isn't worthy that I should discuss this with him and reveal to him the true reasons for taking Israel out of Egypt before the entire 400 years are up, but] 'What shall I do [to silence and nullify this denunciation]? This calls for endeavoring to bring something here near him [that he will have to be occupied with]. I shall give him something to be occupied with, so he will leave My children alone. And so was found who he should be busy with [and that was Job]. Immediately He [G‑d] said [to the 'Satan'], "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on earth [simple and straight, G‑d-fearing and avoiding sin]?" (Job 1:8) He talkatively disturbed the prosecutor [and brought his attention to other things]. "Then the Adversary answered G‑d, and said, Does Job fear G‑d for naught?" (Ibid. 1:9) [when he was given permission to torment Job].

BeRahamim LeHayyim: The Zohar gives over a big secret: we were able to avoid the 'Satan' while escaping from Egypt and avenging the Egyptians because he was preoccupied with tormenting Job! Talk about a scapegoat! Of course, Job was worthy of this affliction due to his own actions, but it was timed just for our benefit.

Yes, all such things are in the hands of Heaven; all things are save fear/awe of Heaven. We have been promised that this is within are control. The greatest of us are in constant awe of the Divine Presence, always doing the right thing and flowing in the current of the Sacred stream.

What is this fear of sin? No, it is not the childlike fear that Mommy will tell Daddy that I did a no-no, and I will get a spanking. It is the fear that we will negatively affect our relationship with G‑d! If we know in our heart-of-hearts that He is the Source of Life, we want nothing but His Face to bless us and to protect us, to shine upon us and to be gracious with us, to lift His Face upon us, and to place upon us peace.

We don't understand why sometimes in life it may appear that G‑d has turned His back on us. Self-reflection in times of illness or distress is always good. But the simultaneous important first step too must be to turn our face toward Him in truth, and surrender to His will. Easier said than done...

What does the above mean to you concerning your Yom Kippur, and why is it being revealed to you now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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