Friday 12 April 2024

Shabbos Tzetl: Tazria

5:39pm - Candle Lighting, Friday
6:35pm - Havdalah, Saturday
(Melbourne Australia)
Eruv Status: KOSHER
Good Shabbos!

Please click here to view the Yeshivah Shule Tzetel for Shabbos Parshas Tazria. Please click here to view the PDFs of Weekly Publications.



Leviticus 12:1–13:59
The name of the Parshah, "Tazria," means "conceives" and it is found in Leviticus 12:2.

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.

II Kings 4:42-5:19.

This week's haftorah describes how a prophet miraculously cured an Aramite general of his tzara'at ailment. The bulk of this week's Torah reading discusses this skin disease and its related impurity.

The haftorah begins with a brief mention of one of the prophet Elisha's miraculous feats. He received a paltry gift of twenty loaves of bread and a sack of grain. At Elisha's insistence, this gift was shared amongst his hundred students. The food was enough for all—and there was even leftovers.

Naaman, general of the powerful Aramite armies, contracted tzara'at. A young captive Israelite maid advised him to seek the assistance of the "prophet in Samaria." Acting on this suggestion, the king of Aram dispatched a message to the king of Israel, "Behold I have sent Naaman my servant to you, and you shall cure him of his tzara'at!"

The king of Israel panicked, until Elisha sent him a message: "Why have you rent your garments? Let him come to me now, and let him know that there is a prophet in Israel!"

Elisha advised Naaman to immerse in the Jordan River. Despite his initial reluctance to do so, Naaman carried out the prophet's orders, and was immediately healed.

Elisha refused to accept any gifts from Naaman. The general promised Elisha that he would no longer serve any deity other than the One G‑d, and he departed.


On the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised (12:3)

Isaac and Ishmael were engaged in a controversy. Said Ishmael to Isaac: "I am more beloved to G‑d than you, since I was circumcised at the age of thirteen, but you were circumcised as a baby and could not refuse." Isaac retorted: "All that you gave up to G‑d was three drops of blood. But lo, I am now thirty-seven years old, yet if G‑d desired of me that I be slaughtered, I would not refuse."

(Midrash Rabbah)

Jewishness is not a matter of historical consciousness, outlook, ethics, or even behavior; it is a state of being. This is the deeper significance of the debate between Ishmael and Isaac. When the Jew is circumcised on the eighth day of life, he is completely unaware of the significance of what has occurred. But this "non-experience" is precisely what circumcision means. With circumcision the Jew says: I define my relationship with G‑d not by what I think, feel or do, but by the fact of my Jewishness—a fact which applies equally to an infant of eight days and a sage of eighty years.

(The Lubavitcher Rebbe)

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