Saturday, April 2, 2011

Parashat Tazria

This week we are privilged to read the portion Tazria. The portion begins with the laws of purity after a child is born and the obligation of performing a bris on an eight day old boy. The rest of the portion discusses the laws of Tzara'as (negoim) - leprosy, which are the punishment for lashon horah (talking bad about others. The Torah describes different types of negoim. There can be a  Nega (leprosy) on a home, on clothing or on a human body. Each of these are reminders for the person to repent and improve.

When the Torah discusses the laws of Negoim on a person's body, when one thinks they may have tzora'as the posuk says (Vayikra 13/2) He shall be brought to Aharon hakohen or to one of his sons the kohanim.   Later in the Torah (vayikra 14/35), when referring to negoim on houses the Torah says "and the one to whom the house belongs shall come to the Kehen and declare something like an affliction (nega) appeared to me in the house".

Reb Shlomo of Karlin asks, why when referring to tzara'as on a person does the Torah say and "he shall be brought" to the kohen, however when referring to tzara'as on a home, it says that he "comes to the kohen" ?  Reb Shlomo provides an explanation based on the Medrash. The Medrash says that the Merciful Father (Hashem) does not afflict a person immediately. First he sends an affliction to his home, if he doesn't improve, Hashem will send an affliction on his clothing and if he still doesn't improve, then he's personally going to be afflicted (on his body). It appears, that when a person finds a tzora-as on his home he is not yet deeply involved in sinful ways, therefore it makes sense that he comes to kohen on his own. However, a person who has sent numerous messages from Hashem, and still hasn't repented, this person will most likely not even come to the kohen, but rather need to be brought to the kohen.

What we can and should learn from here is, G-d often sends us messages and waits for us to come closer to Him. Let us get the message before it hurts.


This week in addition to the weekly portion, we read a supplement called parshas hakhodesh (from parshas bo). This supplement begins with the obligation of keeping a lunar calendar with Nisan being the first month. Then the Torah discusses the laws of the Pesach offering.

May we all merit to make the proper preparation for Pesach.

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