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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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?

Read More
The Torah’s Prescription for Healing

The Torah’s Prescription for Healing

Apr 9, 2013 By Alan Cooper | Commentary | Metzora | Tazria

At a glance, the opening chapters of Parashat Metzora seem like a biblical antecedent of WebMD. Leviticus 13 describes the disfiguring symptoms of צרעת/tzara`at, starting with “a swelling, a rash, or a discoloration” that “develops into a scaly affection” (Lev. 13:1).

Read More
Outside the Camp

Outside the Camp

Apr 24, 2015 By Julia Andelman | Commentary | Metzora | Tazria

The double parashah of Tazria-Metzora ranks at the top of the list of parshiyot to avoid for a bar or bat mitzvah. Its detailed lists of bodily ailments—rashes, colorations, emissions, and secretions—associated with ritual impurity are not the stuff of religious inspiration in contemporary times. I confess to having once colluded with congregants to subtly move the date of their daughter’s bat mitzvah celebration slightly further away from her Hebrew birthday, in order to provide her with a more palatable Torah reading  to chant and speak about than Tazria-Metzora. But this year—the year of #BlackLivesMatter—has caused me to read Tazria-Metzora through a new and painfully relevant lens. 

Read More
Healing of Body and Mind

Healing of Body and Mind

Apr 16, 2010 By Arnold M. Eisen | Commentary | Metzora | Tazria

The Baal Shem Tov, seeking the sort of symbolic meaning in this week’s section of Leviticus that we too search out, found the laws of scaling and scalding, bodily discharge, and fungus in the warp and woof of fabric suggestive of the need for repentance and humility.

 

Read More
Tazria-Metzora

Tazria-Metzora

Jan 1, 1980

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the Israelite people thus: When a woman at childbirth bears a male, she shall be unclean seven days; she shall be unclean as at the time of her menstrual infirmity.

Read More
Metzora

Metzora

Jan 1, 1980

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 

Read More
Metzora

Metzora

Jan 1, 1980

3 There were four men, lepers, outside the gate. They said to one another, “Why should we sit here waiting for death?

Read More