Torah Study

sefer torahWeekly Torah Study is Saturday morning at 9. We meet in the Room 202 of Temple Brith Kodesh (enter by Door A).  We decide year by year how we’ll approach the weekly portion.  Last year we used the weekly d’var Torah from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks as a jumping off point.  This year, we’re going to consider each parsha from a Mussar perspective.  Each week an email is sent out (usually on Thursday) to anyone who may be interested.  You’re welcome on Saturday, whether or not you got the email or had time to read it.  Discussions are generally lively.

Parshat Tazria-Metzora

isolated figureIn the rabbinic tradition, the text of Tazria-Metzora presents a cascade of punishments for sins related to our treatment of others: haughtiness, selfish manipulation, slander, and lashon hara, among others. The nature of the punishments is that they are graduated, which gives the sufferer several opportunities to repent. Also, the final form of punishment (a disgusting skin disease) leads to separation from others, which provides the sinner space to reset their social relationships. The rituals associated with the metzora allow a repentant sinner to reintegrate with society, cleaned-up, so to speak. The implication, which the tradition highlights, is that surface problems can be blessings because they can lead to the sufferer to correct deeper causes

Leviticus (13: 46)
He shall be unclean as long as the disease is on him. Being unclean, he shall dwell apart; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.

Rashi
Because he, by slanderous statements, parted man and wife, or a man from his friend, he must be parted from everybody.

Rabbi Henach Leibowitz
A person with tzara’as must live me’chutz la’machaneh — outside the camp … a person with tzara’as is considered a dead person. He is thought of as such due to the fact that his isolation causes him to lose his ability to give.

The punishment reflects the form of the sin. Why is haughtiness and lashon hara associated with isolation? How is the punishment reflecting the sin? Why is the ability to give so essential to being alive?

Read more…

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Torah Study Archive

Thumb Title
isolated figure
April 28, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Egg packaging with kosher label
April 21, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Priest at the altar
April 13, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Custom made jacket marked with tailor's chalk and basting
April 6, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Calm path with side-lighting
March 31, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
The Mishkan
March 26, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
The High Priest
March 10, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Crossing the Reed Sea
February 9, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
The second plague of Egypt
February 2, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Parshat vaera
January 26, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Moses and the daughters of Midian
January 20, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Jacob blessing Joseph's sons
January 12, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Joseph reveals himself to his brothers
January 5, 2017 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Joseph interprets Pharoh's dream
December 29, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Joseph's coat being shown to Jacob
December 22, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Jacob meets Esau
December 15, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Jacob deceives Isaac
December 8, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Burial of Sarah
November 25, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Abraham's tent
November 18, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Lech Lecha--Going out
November 16, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
The drunkenness of Noah
November 3, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Jealousy, by Edvard Munch
October 27, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Guitar at sunrise
October 13, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
The Israelites ready to cross into the promised land
October 5, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Sunset over a valley with a meandering river
September 29, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
birch bark showing the shape of a heart
September 14, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Your word is hour bond, so take them seriously
August 17, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
elderly man on a scooter
August 17, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
flamingo amongst swans
July 7, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
Scary giant
June 30, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study
sparrow pelted by snow
June 30, 2016 by Office
Filed as: Torah Study