Parashat Metzora

Parashat Metzora Leviticus 14:1-15:33; 2 kings 7:3-20; Matthew 23:16-24:2 by Rabbi Jason Palmer In last week’s parasha, Tazria, we find the Torah’s regulations regarding the person who is inflicted with the disease tzara’at, a mysterious condition, which manifested itself as a rash upon the skin of the infected. While many English language editions of the Bible follow the ancient Septuagint by translatingtzara’at as “leprosy”, it is clear from the Torah’s description that the affliction has different characteristics than Hansen’s disease (our modern term for leprosy). Nevertheless, by contracting this ailment, the afflicted person was considered ritually contaminated, a condition th

Parashat Tazria

Parashat Tazria Leviticus 12:1-13:59; 2 kings 4:42-5:19; Matthew 8:1-4 In this world the priest examines for leprosy [skin afflictions]; but in the World to Come—says the Holy One, blessed be He, “I will render you clean.” Thus it is written, “And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean.” (Leviticus Rabbah 15:9) This week’s chapters from Leviticus are concerned with matters of ritual purity, i.e. the laws of clean (tahor) and unclean (tamei). At first blush, these Temple purity laws seem to have little to do with believers, but actually they teach us about the World to Come and the resurrection from the dead. As the rabbinic interpretation cited above says, “In the Wo

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