Shabbat Tazria-Metzora: The Elixir of Life

 מִי-הָאִישׁ, הֶחָפֵץ חַיִּים Mi ha’Ish he’Hafetz Hayim? Who is the one who desires life? – Psalm 34.13 The early Shabbat morning prayers called p’sukei d’zimra (verses of song) are a way for us to  prepare spiritually to pull aside our Zoom veils and seek the presence of holiness together  They include some rather direct opportunitiesContinue reading “Shabbat Tazria-Metzora: The Elixir of Life”

Shabbat Tazria/Metzora: “The One Who is Ill Shall Be Separated from the Camp”

…and other surprisingly relevant aspects of ancient Jewish text in the days of COVID-19 In years past it has been tempting to dismiss this doubled parasha in VaYikra (Leviticus) as superstition at worst and outmoded at best. Because of the focus on skin disease, we laugh at “the dermatologists’ parsha” and wait for more upliftingContinue reading “Shabbat Tazria/Metzora: “The One Who is Ill Shall Be Separated from the Camp””

Shabbat Tazria-Metzora: Lift Every Voice

Why does the mind so often choose to fly away at the moment the word waited for all one’s life is about to be spoken?  (Alice Walker, The Temple of My Familiar) This week we have a Torah double-header. Our parashat hashavua (Torah text for this week) is two: both Tazria and Metzora. Both refer toContinue reading “Shabbat Tazria-Metzora: Lift Every Voice”