Thursday 20 April 2023

Shabbos Tzetl: Tazria-Metzora & Rosh Chodesh Iyar

5:28pm - Candle Lighting, Friday
6:24pm - Havdalah, Saturday
(Melbourne Australia)
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Shabbat Shalom! 
Chodesh Tov!

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Tazria-Metzora: Leviticus 12:1 - 15:33
Shabbat Rosh Chodesh: Numbers 28:9-15

The name of the Parshah, "Tazria," means "conceives" and it is found in Leviticus 12:2. The name of the Parshah, "Metzora," is often translated as "leper" and it is found in Leviticus 14:2.

The Parshah of Tazria continues the discussion of the laws of tumah v'taharah, ritual impurity and purity.

A woman giving birth should undergo a process of purification, which includes immersing in a mikvah (a naturally gathered pool of water) and bringing offerings to the Holy Temple. All male infants are to be circumcised on the eighth day of life.

Tzaraat (often mistranslated as leprosy) is a supra-natural plague, which can afflict people as well as garments or homes. If white or pink patches appear on a person's skin (dark red or green in garments), a kohen is summoned. Judging by various signs, such as an increase in size of the afflicted area after a seven-day quarantine, the kohen pronounces it tamei (impure) or tahor (pure).

A person afflicted with tzaraat must dwell alone outside of the camp (or city) until he is healed. The afflicted area in a garment or home must be removed; if the tzaraat recurs, the entire garment or home must be destroyed.

As outlined at the start of the portion of Metzora, when the metzora ("leper") heals, he or she is purified by the kohen with a special procedure involving two birds, spring water in an earthen vessel, a piece of cedar wood, a scarlet thread and a bundle of hyssop.

When a home is afflicted with tzaraat, in a process lasting as long as nineteen days, a kohen determines if the house can be purified, or whether it must be demolished.

Ritual impurity is also engendered through a seminal or other discharge in a man, and menstruation or other discharge of blood in a woman, necessitating purification through immersion in a mikvah.

Shabbat Rosh Chodesh: Isaiah 66:1-24; Isaiah 66:23

Isaiah 66:1–24

This haftorah, read whenever Shabbat coincides with Rosh Chodesh, mentions how in the messianic era, every Shabbat and every Rosh Chodesh everyone will come to the Temple to worship G‑d.

In this prophecy Isaiah tells us how G‑d (who is too great to be fully contained in physical space, even in the Temple) pays attention to the humble G‑d-fearing person, and rejects a person who does (or even intends) evil.

The prophet continues to foretell the fortune that will come upon Jerusalem (and the Jewish nation) in the time to come, and how even non-Jews will come to recognize G‑d and assist in restoring the Jewish people to their land and their Temple.


And G‑d spoke to Moses, saying: ... A woman who conceives and gives birth (Leviticus 12:1-2)

Rabbi Simlai said: Just as man's creation took place after that of cattle, beasts and birds, so, too the laws concerning his [ritual impurity and purity] come after those concerning [the impurity and purity of] cattle, beasts and birds. Thus it is written (Leviticus 11:46-47), "This is the law of the beasts and of the fowl and of every living creature... to differentiate between the impure and the pure"; and immediately thereafter, "A woman who conceives..."

Why was man created last among the creations? So that if he is not meritorious, we say to him: "A gnat preceded you, a snail preceded you."

(Midrash Rabbah; Rashi)

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