Tazria / She Bears Seed
HafTorah Portion 2 Kings 4:42-5:19
Brit Chadasha Matthew 8:1-4
Metsora / Infected One
HafTorah Portion 2 Kings 7:3-20
Brit Chadasha Romans 6:8-23
This week’s double Torah portion begins with Tazria, She Conceives or She Bears Seed. The summary is: God describes the rituals of purification for a woman after childbirth in Leviticus 12:1-8. In Leviticus 13:1-59 God sets forth the methods for diagnosing and treating a variety of skin diseases, including tzara-at (a leprous condition), as well as those for purifying clothing. The parsha continues with Metsora, Infected One, and the instructions for cleansing an infected person and/or house. It is interesting that this parsha has the offering on the eighth day as we studied in the previous parsha. These two Torah portions represent life and death. Birth is the beginning of the earthly life, and metsora represented a slow death.
Tzarass is Hebrew for skin disorder, and is a physical manifestation from a spiritual disorder. Lashon Hara, translated as evil tongue, spawns from and generates animosity and contempt.
This is absolutely a contagious act. It creates in others the urge to either hear more, spread what they have heard, or it puts the bearer of the gossip in a very unspiritual and awkward place. It is a plague that can sweep through a camp, a church, a synagogue and a home.
Most people are under the impression that lashon hara or evil tongue is limited to negative words or lies about someone. Yet, all derogatory speech falls into this category. Even by comparing one to another, this is lashon hara. By comparing someone’s gifts or positive differences to someone else, whom you may view as ‘less’ or unequal or not pleasing to your personality, you laud one while degrade the other. The listener might tend to agree with you, therefore casting their opinion between two human beings; two souls into a good or bad slot. This is especially dangerous when the person that is receiving negative innuendos is deceased for often the negative speech is not fact, as a fact would be stated regarding Korach or Haaman, but rather a testimony of one’s personal opinion of the deceased person. Feelings and emotions cloud our vision and clarity. We often see only our plight.
Yeshua taught us that death is sleep and divine as the soul returns to the Maker. When we even in a slight way, degrade a person who passed on, we defile ourselves greatly. We are the infected one.
Speech is a divine gift, given only to man. To abuse that gift is to abuse the trust that God bestowed on us.
James 3:3-12 ‘When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.’
Our Beit, our house, our temple is within us. We were created in the likeness and the image of The Almighty. When we degrade, insult, pry, categorize someone, or even roll our eyes, we infect our house, our temple.
Proverbs 26:20-23 ‘For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down. Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body.’