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Aaron sinned accidentally. He wasn't expecting Israel to actually worship the calf any more than they worshipped Moses, (see Nahmanides on Exodus 32:1). He also didn't abide the worship, making sure to inform sinners of their transgression, (Leviticus Rabah Tzav). He brought a sin offering for his error. Israel on the other hand abided their countrymen's ...


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With very few exceptions, sacrifices are for inadvertent violations which can include violations which would have had a death penalty had it been on purpose and with witnesses and warning - for example a Shabbos violation. If the person forgot what day it was, or forgot that the specific activity was forbidden, they would have to bring a sacrifice. (Rambam ...



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