Tazria

Tazria: Back to the Beginning

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a "disease" that we would have great difficulty defining or even recognizing were we to see it—and with its laws no longer applicable—many prefer to focus on the eight verses that open the parsha.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 on the heels of the laws pertaining to animals as outlined at the end of parshat Shmini.  

Tazria: The Cycles of Life

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common—Parshat Tazria being one of the most technical and driest parshiot in the Torah, dealing with the intricate and no longer applicable laws of tzara’at.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, on the other hand, describes the preparation for and excitement of the Exodus, the most powerful and relevant event in all of Jewish history.

Tazria: Joy in Children

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 the great joy, and the subsequent party, when Yitzchak was born. A primary theme of sefer Breisheet is the yearning for children.

Tazria: Spending Limits

There is no aspect of our life that is beyond the purview of Torah. People need its rules and regulations in every area, to keep their natural animalistic tendencies in check. As we all know, one of the greatest desires of man is for increased wealth. “He who has a hundred wants two hundred,” the Sages of the Talmud declares. Thus, it should not be surprising that over 120 of the 613 mitzvoth regulate the proper accumulation and distribution of money. By contrast, there are less than thirty laws addressing the subject of kashrut.

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