This week is Parashas Tazria, Parashas HaChodesh, and my brother got engaged week :)
This week’s Torah portion talks about the laws of human purity and contamination, and specifically as they relate to childbirth. The Torah continues to speak about the four types of Tzara’as. Upon the detection of Tzara’as, (a spiritual skin disease), the afflicted person has to go to a kohein, priest, for a diagnosis! If the condition is indeed Tzara’as, the person is sent into isolation for seven days to be cured from his affliction.
Tzara’as can appear on a person’s body, clothing, or even his house! Next week’s parasha will address how a person can rid himself of Tzara’as.
Parashas HaChodesh is read on the last Shabbos before Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the beginning of the month in which Pesach, Passover, is in! We read about the first mitzvah, commandment, that Hashem gave the Jewish people, that of Rosh Chodesh, the blessing of the new moon on the first of each month. Read more about that back in Parashas Bo, which is the parasha from where Parashas HaChodesh is taken!
It struck me that in order to avoid getting Tzara’as (which we don’t have nowadays), a person has to be so careful in everything he says and does. He can’t say lashon hara (slander) or be jealous. He has to keep all his emotions and words in check! Imagine the self control that takes! In today’s day and age, I find it hard to imagine being so careful in these areas. They’re super challenging, don’t you think? Especially in our fast-paced, over-communicative world!
As we approach Rosh Chodesh Nissan this week, we are a mere two weeks away from the night of the first Seder on Pesach night. Most Jewish households are busy scrubbing, washing, shaking and scraping every last corner to make sure that not a scrape of Chometz can be found. What is chometz? Leavened products. Any grain that was left wet for more than eighteen minutes before being baked becomes chometz. We’re so so careful about what we bring into and around our house, especially at this time of year. We don’t want to “contaminate” any area in the house and have it be proclaimed chometzdik!
Maybe we can take a lesson from the hard work we’re putting into cleaning our houses and spend just a few moments cleaning ourselves. You can pick one small thing to work on during this sometimes stressful time period leading up to Pesach, and you might just feel super accomplished, in more ways than one, when you sit down at the Seder table this year.
I’d love to hear what you think of!
Listening to “Mimkomcha” by Miami Boys Choir on the album Revach. Listening to it streaming from jewishmusicstream.com!