Tazria: Birth and Death

April 24, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
There is no greater joy than having a child. From a religious perspective, bringing new life into this world is the most tangible way of demonstrating that we were created in G-d’s image. The initial biblical portrayal of G-d is that of a Creator. And the first mitzvah given to man is to be fruitful and multiply and to conquer the earth, mandating us to imitate and partner with G-d in the continuing process of creation. The Torah describes...
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Tazria and Hachodesh: Home Building

April 05, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The first of Nissan and the first of Tishrei mark the beginnings of the Jewish year. The solar aspect of our calendar—representing the fixed laws of nature—begins in Tishrei; whereas the lunar cycle—symbolizing the ups and down of Jewish history—begins on the first of Nissan. The solar year mirrors the agricultural cycle and begins as the rainy season approaches, whereas the lunar year, reflecting the supernatural...
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Tazria: Back to the Beginning

April 28, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Perhaps there is no parsha less studied than Tazria (and its frequent partner, Metzora). With its focus on the detailed laws of tzara'at, a "disease" that we would have great difficulty defining or even recognizing were we to see it—and with its laws no longer applicable—many prefer to focus on the eight verses that open the parsha. These verses, detailing the laws of childbirth, follow...
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Tazria: The Cycles of Life

March 28, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
During Jewish leap years, Parshat HaChodesh, the special maftir portion we read on the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Nissan, generally coincides with Parshat Tazria. At first glance, these two parshiot seem to have little in common—Parshat Tazria being one of the most technical and driest parshiot in the Torah, dealing with the intricate and no longer applicable laws of tzara’at. Parshat haChodesh,...
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Tazria: The Potential of Children

April 22, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
There is no event more awe-inspiring than the birth of a baby. It is the closest we can come to acting like G-d, creating something from nothing. It is no coincidence that, soon after the Torah tells the story of creation, man is given the command Pru Urvu—to be fruitful and multiply—joining with G-d in the process of creation.One might expect that, after experiencing the birth of a baby, new parents would be required to bring a...
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