Realizing Our Human Potential

Realizing Our Human Potential

Apr 25, 2009 By Alan Cooper | Commentary | Metzora | Tazria

This week’s double dose of purity laws is unlikely to top anyone’s list of favorite Torah portions. While the laws may be discomfiting and obscure, however, they also are fundamental to an understanding of biblical theology and anthropology, and they convey a message that transcends their particular details.

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Finding Holiness Through Boundaries

Finding Holiness Through Boundaries

Apr 12, 2008 By David M. Ackerman | Commentary | Metzora

The Book of Vayikra concerns itself with a truly interesting collection of topics, among them animal sacrifice, priestly behavior, food, skin diseases, and blood.

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Authentic Judaism

Authentic Judaism

Apr 28, 2012 By Andrew Shugerman | Commentary | Text Study | Metzora | Tazria

Many modern Jews have declared the opening verses of this week’s Torah portion not just arcane, but misogynist. Indeed, the laws regarding postpartum impurity emerge from a priestly world of sacrifices and distinctions that seems distant today. Our ancient Sages, however, radically reinterpreted that passage and the creation of humanity in Genesis with playful translations that provide an opening for insights into the origins of gender.

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Boundaries: Not Only Healthy, but Divine

Boundaries: Not Only Healthy, but Divine

Apr 3, 2014 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Metzora

Boundaries are the focal point of Parashat Metzora, and indeed they are the obsession of the book of Leviticus.

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Metzora: Disease or Dis-ease?

Metzora: Disease or Dis-ease?

Apr 9, 2011 By Leonard A. Sharzer | Commentary | Metzora

When I tell people that Parashat Metzora and Parashat Tazri·a, which we read last week, are among my favorite parashiyot, they often respond, “Well of course, you were a physician and they are filled with medical information.” But if Tazri·a and Metzora are to be read as medical texts, there would be very little point in reading them at all. For one thing, the dominant subject of the texts is something called tzara’at and we really have no idea what that is. Though often translated as leprosy, modern scholarship is quite consistent that whatever the condition is, it is not what modern medicine knows as leprosy. More importantly, besides not knowing what the described condition really is or precisely what some of the specific terms mean, I would like to suggest that these chapters were never intended to be read as medical texts.

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Land, Language, and Leprosy

Land, Language, and Leprosy

Apr 10, 2013 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Metzora | Tazria

The second of this week’s parashiyot, Metzora, is an enigma on so many levels.

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Deeper Than the Skin

Deeper Than the Skin

Apr 24, 2015 By Yitzhak Lewis | Commentary | Metzora | Tazria

Your body is a map of roads
To be taken,
And not taken
Alone.

Your skin enfolds what
Your eyes shut behind them,

All your past is bored into it
Every day with the awl of time.

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Paying Attention to Our Bodies and Ourselves

Paying Attention to Our Bodies and Ourselves

Apr 3, 2014 By William Friedman | Commentary | Metzora

What are the rituals that help us transition from one experience to another?

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