Yoma 6:2 reports what the kohein gadol says over the goat to be offered:

“Please, ‘Hashem’! They have done wrong, they have transgressed, they have sinned before You, Your people the House of Israel. Please, in the name of Hashem (Bashem)! Forgive the wrongdoings, the transgressions, the sins which your people, the House of Israel, have committed and transgressed and sinned before You, as it is written in the torah of Moses Your servant: “For on this day shall atonement be made for you [to cleanse you of all your sins; you shall be clean before the Lord”] (Leviticus 16:30)

This seems an odd time to be indirect about attribution. We're appealing for forgiveness from the One who gave us the torah we cite, but instead of saying "your torah" to make that connection very clear, the kohein gadol says "the torah of Moshe your servant" ( בְּתוֹרַת משֶׁה עַבְדֶּךָ). Why that phrasing? Would "your torah" be too direct or pushy? But at least one notable person in Tanakh uses "your torah"; Daniel 9:11 has both "your torah" and "the torah of Moshe" in the same verse (h/t Alex).

  • Well, technically, the Torah was given to Moshe and told to us. I'm surmising that in saying this phrase, it includes the Oral Law. While are originally G-d's Torah, I think the point being conveyed is that since Moshe taught it to us it is considered as if he owned it and it is his.
    – DanF
    Jun 21, 2019 at 2:51
  • @DanF the verse being cited, though, is from the written torah, not the oral torah. I see what you mean about attributing it to the one who taught it to us, but it still feels like it would be a stronger claim to say that God Himself was the source of the verse we're citing. Atonement, and thus life or death, hangs in the balance. Jun 21, 2019 at 2:55
  • I think this is the Tora you transmitted us by Moshe your slave
    – kouty
    Jun 21, 2019 at 4:19
  • 1
    Based on how Daniel 9:11 (and other verses around it) uses the expressions, it might be that "תורת משה" is used to refer to the Written Torah alone (see also v. 13), and "תורתך" is used to refer to the entire Torah, including the Oral one (v. 10). The problem with this theory, is that "תורתך" is often used to refer to the Written Torah when used in the Musaf prayers for the holidays, so why not use it in the Kohen Gadol's prayer? (Maybe because it's biblical in origin?)
    – Tamir Evan
    Jun 21, 2019 at 4:31
  • 1
    Notably Melachim 2:14:6 uses this same format, introducing a direct quote from Devarim by saying it was written in the Torah of Moshe.
    – DonielF
    Jun 21, 2019 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


Perhaps mentioning Moshe Rabainu arouses his merit or kvyachol reminds HKBH of his tefilos after the chet haeigel?

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .