Torah Commentary

Torah Commentary

A Spiritual Wellness Check Up: Examining My Metaphorical Case of Tzara’at

This week's double Torah portion, Tazria - M'tzora, is about a serious skin disease called tzara'at. We learn from the Talmud that tzara'at could be contracted by speaking lashon hara : "Reish Lakish says: What is that which is written: 'This shall be the law of the leper (metzora)?' This means that this shall be the law of a defamer (motzi shem ra).'" (Arachin 15b.)

The Curative Power of Ritual

A journey through Tazria-M’tzora in a time of COVID-19 is revelatory. Things that never resonated before, things that seemed incomprehensible – perhaps even reprehensible – suddenly make sense.

It’s Important To See the Whole Person, Not Just the Illness

I’ve never had great knees, but this was a bit much. At 32 years old, I was limping around, struggling to go up and down stairs, and just feeling terrible about it. Thankfully, surgery and physical therapy helped and I have long since recovered. The most important lesson I learned from my bad knees is one that I see reflected in this week’s Torah portion. Parashat Tazria-M’tzora teaches us about our physicality; its focus is on the skin, hair, fluids, and organs that make up our bodies. We learn how out of our control those things can be and we gain some insight into our relationships with those entrusted with our care.

Finding Unique Blessings in Every One of Us

In the double portion, Tazria/M’tzora, we have the responsibility, even if it isn’t our pleasure, to investigate texts on birth and its aftermath, bodily afflictions and emissions, skin ailments, and leprosy. They were once taboos that raised fears in the community and turned priests of their day into guardians of purity.

Tazria (and M’tzora) for Teens: Shabbat Sha-raps

Read as a double parasha* with the next, this parasha holds the rituals of purification after childbirth, as well as those for skin diseases. 

The next parasha, M’tzora, goes into more ways to heal, as well as how people can contract diseases. The rap has some rough info., but listen in!