Weekly Reading Insights: Tazriya 5765

 

Overview of the Weekly Reading: Tazriya

To be read on 29 Adar II 5765 (April 9)

Shabbat Erev Rosh Chodesh

Shabbat HaChodesh

Shabbat Mevarchim

Torah: Lev.12:1-13:59;Maftir: Ex. 12:1-20; Haftorah: Ezekiel 45:16-25:1, 46:1-18 (Sacrifices from Rosh Chodesh Nissan)

Tazriya is the 4th Reading out of 10 in Leviticus and 27th overall, and 48th out of 54 in overall length.

Tazriya opens with childbirth laws, followed by a long discussion of the distinguishing signs of tzara’at* on skin, hair, and garments.
*
tzara’at is a discoloration appearing on skin, hair, garments, and houses, and is sometimes (inaccurately) translated as 'leprosy'


FROM THE MASTERS OF KABBALA (K:27-65/Tazriya)

From the holy Zohar, teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Z:27-65/Tazriya)

And when the souls issue forth [from the treasury of souls in malchut], they emerge as male and female, and after [they have descended to the physical world] each separates and goes its own way.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.

* * * * *

From the holy Ari, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Safed (A:27-65/Tazriya)

Of course, every individual has a unique divine soul, which is meant to express itself as his/her distinctive "divine personality" with its own unique contribution to the world's understanding of G-d's presence in the world.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.

* * * * *

From the Shelah, Shney Luchot HaBrit by Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz (S:27-65/Tazriya)

The message there is that G-d makes purity emerge even out of impurity. [From the "skin", the external aspect of our beings, will eventually come a spiritual benefit; what appeared to be a descent will ultimately be an advantage.]

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.


FROM THE CHASSIDIC REBBES (V:27-65/Tazriya)

"When a woman conceives and gives birth to a male, she shall be impure for seven days." (12:2)
In principle, spiritual impurity is caused by the departure of holiness. A holy place or object becomes unclean when the sanctity that once rested on it is no longer there. (It is for this reason that a dead body is considered impure, i.e., the soul that animated it has departed.) Our Sages taught that only G-d holds the "key" to the miracle of birth; only He can "open" the womb or keep it closed. Every birth is therefore a manifestation of holiness, after which the sanctity departs, creating a state of spiritual impurity.
(The Kotzker Rebbe)


A MYSTICAL CHASSIDIC DISCOURSE

from the Chabad Master series, produced by Rabbi Yosef Marcus for

www.ascentofsafed.com and www.kabbalaonline.org


MOSHIACH THIS WEEK (M:27-65/Tazriya)

Why do our Sages describe Mashiach as a "metzora" (one afflicted with a disease resembling leprosy, where blotches form on the skin) and the Holy Temple as "a house afflicted with 'leprosy' "? Since there are blotches of evil in the world that prevent the light of redemption from being manifest, the power of these lights is turned inward and is reflected in the leprous blemishes to be visited on Mashiach and the Temple. Ultimately, however, "the metzora will be purified" and the inner light identified with him will be expressed throughout existence. Then, "the spirit of impurity will be removed from the earth."

[Reprinted with permission from L'Chaim Magazine (www.lchaim.org).]


An essay from Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter, director of Ascent

(for a free weekly email subscription, click here) (W:27-65/Tazriya)

The Talmud tells how the three heavenly keys - to rain, childbirth, and revival of the dead - are not given over to an emissary (Taanit 2a). If G-d controls the womb, how can impurity come from it? The answer is that impurity enters only after the pregnancy ends.

The Kotzker Rebbe explains that in every important event, when holiness is strengthened, impure energies are also roused. Because of the power of pregnancy and birth, to which G-d controls the key, impurities are kept out until the baby is born. Then the holiness leaves, and impure energies gain entry.

This is similar to the impurity that overtakes the body once the soul leaves. Similarly, when we excel in some area, especially in something Jewish, there is a danger of being unconsciously overwhelmed by negative energies and subsequently backsliding. Keep up your guard, and use each special event as a step to move higher.

Judaism teaches that a husband and wife are interconnected on a multitude of physical and spiritual planes. Parashat Tazriya brings an example of this, regarding the above sacrifice offered after birth. The Chozeh of Lublin notes that the verse can also be read, "And he came closer to G-d...," referring to a husband's repentance. Husband and wife are so unified that repentance performed by the husband can affect that status of his wife's purity. When we examine our interpersonal relationships, we must remember that we are connected on levels beyond the obvious.

Former IDF fighter pilot, Professor Shlomo Kalish, spoke about a recent tragic event in which a F-16 plane crashed. The pilot became confused due to vertigo and could not distinguish in which direction he was flying. Professor Kalish explained that at elevated heights and fast speeds, sea and sky look the same even in the daytime. While it is natural to fly according to sense perception, much of a pilot's training is to force him to rely on cockpit instruments. Over and over they are told, to rely on instruments, especially in a case of doubt.

We too: it is often hard to tell what is up and what is down. Our personal perceptions of heaven and earth often mislead us. It is imperative that we fly our lives according to the instruments of Torah.

The arrival of the Redemption includes two elements: the merit of our divine service and G-d's promise to send Mashiach. From this we can understand the divided opinions of the Sages as to which month in which the Redemption will occur. Some say it will be in the month, Nissan, as was the first redemption from Egypt; others say it will occur in Tishrei, the month of the High Holidays.

Chassidut explains that Nissan is when an effluence of divine light descends from above, as occurred at Pesach when G-d performed miracles to save us. Tishrei and the High Holidays involve the repentance we do - our spiritual efforts. This parallels the two opinions above: Nissan corresponds to G-d's promise, and Tishrei to our efforts.

But what, in fact, was the ultimate answer of the Sages? That Mashiach will come during Nissan! The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that the principle aspect of the Redemption is divine light being revealed from Above. The Redemption must be in Nissan because the sheer power of the revelation will far outshine the light produced by our spiritual efforts here below.

Looking carefully from our "almost-Redemption" vantage point, we can already see the supra-natural beginning to overtake and replace the natural world.

Shabbat Shalom, Shaul

P.S. Please also read my weekly Shabbat Law, below.)

(for a free weekly email subscription, click here)


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