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  • Yehuda Pevzner

Confused Torah Portions

Can Torah portions get mixed up?

Tazria-Metzora, this week's double Torah portion, is made up of a number of commandments governing purity in Jewish life. The regulations of tzaraat, or Biblical leprosy, which was more of a spiritual illness than a physical one, are of particular note.

When someone suspected they had tzaraat, they would go to a Kohen who would confirm it. If it was tzaraat, the person would be considered impure for a while.

The rules for assessing whether someone has tzaraat are covered in the first section of the Torah chapter, Tazria. The second, Metzora, focuses mostly on the cleansing procedure after a diagnosis.

However, the section names appear to be wrong. "Tazria" means "shall conceive." Birth is the opposite of the suffering of tzaraat. And the term Metzorah "leper" refers to the individual who is afflicted rather than the content of the Parsha, the purification process.

This serves as a reminder that no matter what ailment a person may experience, especially one brought on by a spiritual deficit like tzaraat, the end outcome is always what matters. The affliction contains elements of birth and growth, and the metzora himself possesses the means of purification.

The Torah teaches us that everything has a purpose, even being struck with tzaraat, even if we may not understand it while we are actually experiencing the suffering.

Even if we don’t see it now, with G‑d’s help we will experience it very soon with the coming of Moshiach!

Shabbat shalom!

Candle lighting time in NYC is: 7:23 PM


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