27 Tazria-Metzorah

דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אִשָּׁה כִּי תַזְרִיעַ וְיָלְדָה זָכָר
וְטָֽמְאָה שִׁבְעַת יָמ֔ים כִּימֵי נִדַּת דְּוֺתָהּ תִּטְמָֽא׃

Speak to the children of Israel, saying:
‘If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean.

Shabbat

Name

Parasha

Haftora

Brit Chadasha

April 25
2020

Tazria-Metzora
“Bear Seed”/Leper

Leviticus
12:1-15:33    

2 Kings 4:42-5:19

Matt 8:1-4
Luke 5:12-16

26 Tazria MetzoraMany people see Parshat Tazria — along with its sister portion, Metzora with a discussion of the ritual purity of a woman following childbirth and are mysterious sounding to modern ears and cringe-worthy in their details poorly and erroneously translated as “leprosy.”  It’s too superficial to simply dismiss our discomfort with these passages by rationalizing that wandering in the desert for years led to various skin conditions that we might not understand any longer. Instead, this part of the Torah may well be the most relevant, poignant, and emotionally powerful of the entire year.
We can understand tzara’at as a metaphor for when a person’s body or health goes out of control— something many people deal with all the time. Like us, our biblical ancestors often felt helpless and frightened in these situations. The Biblical notion of tumah, usually translated as “impurity and this doesn’t necessarily refer only to physical conditions.

Tazria, presents a challenge of almost epic proportions in the search for modern, practical relevance. In particular, it opens by defining the different periods of “blood purification” with respect to the birth of a boy or a girl, the narrative flow is interrupted as we read of legislations regarding circumcision: Lev. 12:3 “On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin will be circumcised”.

When the Israelites arrived in the land, God, wanted to purify and sanctify the land for them by removing the spirit of uncleanness, so that the land be cleared and sanctified to make room for His Presence and not dwell in an unclean place.