Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Vayiqra: Parashat Tazria: Two Concepts
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Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
This week, we read two parshiyot, Tazria-Mesorah. They both mainly deal with
individuals who become spiritually impure (Tameh) for various reasons. The bulk
of the texts deal with a "Mesorah", a person who has "Sara'at" (leprosy) and is
If one just scratches the surface, beyond the details of purity and impurity,
one can see a couple of beautiful ideas in these parshiyot.
1. In last week's parasha, Shemini, we read about all the types of kosher
animals, insects, and birds. Parashat Tazria begins with a woman who conceives
either a boy or a girl. The Hatam Sofer writes how the order of the parashiyot
is similar to creation, in that first animals are mentioned and then man.
However, with regard to describing man the Torah speaks of those who are impure
and have sinned (i.e. the leper). The Hatam Sofer says that this is a valuable
lesson. Though man is the chosen being of creation, we must not let that idea
get to our heads and become haughty, thinking that we are big and powerful. To
humble us, the Torah dives into men that are impure, as though to say that man
can be great, but man can also sin. We should always remember that though we are
the center of creation, we are meager and small with respective to Hashem and
His ultimate plan.
2. Early in Parashat Tazria we see that on the eighth day, a male is
Why on the 8th day?
It says in the Mechilta:
"Great is Shabbat, that there is no baby who is circumcised until one Shabbat
passes [since his birth]"
The reason why we have the circumcision on the eighth day is so that the baby
will pass through at least one Shabbat Once the baby experiences the Shabbat,
only then is he "rendered holy" and is worthy to enter into the community of
Israel with a Berit Milah.
Even misvot that seemingly have nothing to do with Shabbat oftentimes relate to
us the importance of the Shabbat. May we continue to observe the Shabbat in
accordance with our tradition and halachot, Amen!