In the beginning of Leviticus 9, Aaron is commanded to bring a sin offering for himself; a calf. On behalf of the nation, he is commanded to bring another calf, however in this case it is brought as an elevation offering. Targum Pseudo Jonathan explains that both sacrifices were meant to atone for involvement with the golden calf.

Why the difference between the two sacrifices?


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 sin, which held them responsible, so they needed to do teshuva, followed by an elevation offering, which serves as a reparation of sorts, (Zevachim 7b).

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