A Dvar Torah for Tazria and Metzora
'She will cause to grow the child in her womb'
Parsha Tazria and Metzora
By Cecily Routman, Founder & President Jewish Pro-Life Foundation © April 4, 2020
Our dear friend Cecily Routman, Founder & President Jewish Pro-Life Foundation has wonderfully captured the essense of this week double Parsha. She has written:
A Metzora is an individual suffering from a skin disease reflective of willful arrogance expressed as harmful mistakes in action and judgement. The resulting social isolation and bad feelings provide an opportunity for self examination and atonement leading to spiritual growth and maturity.
Both portions inspire us to do our part to reestablish Torah based thinking and living in order to restore our faith, mercy, and support of the gift of life. Personal and national redemption will bring much good to our world and hasten the coming of Moshiach.
The Torah reading this week, Tazria: Leviticus 12:1-13:59, opens with a list of rituals purifying a woman after childbirth. Tazria means ‘she will cause to grow the child in her womb’, alluding to the Divine Blueprint of Life - the seed that houses within it the design for another human being from conception onwards. Mothers devote much energy to growing children before birth and nurturing their development afterwards, however, it is the responsibility of each individual to grow into the spiritually mature person that truly reflects the image of God.
The portion’s discussion of impurity moves beyond the previous week’s listings of impure animals to a discussion of flawed human beings, who have the unique ability to grow spiritually through Torah study, prayer, atonement, self sacrifice, and service to God and our fellows. While God gives us an innate desire to grow closer to Him and to a life based in Torah principles, our spiritual growth often stalls due to fears, personal ambitions, misinformation, misunderstanding of Torah fundamentals, and worldly distractions. These pitfalls invariably result in an acute personal crisis, disappointments and heartache, and emotional and mental disturbances. Motivated by pain we make an effort to renew our relationship with HaShem, leading to further spiritual elevation. This explains why God allows sin, especially sin rising out of ego and self will. It ultimately leads to sincerely genuine personality change.
In Tazria, we learn that Tzara’at, specific light colored abnormal lesions on the garments, body, or head, indicates the character defects of gossip, slander, and haughtiness. This unsightly physical condition concomitant with imposed social isolation drives the sufferer to abandon malicious truth telling, justified faultfinding and self righteous egotism. The process can ultimately produce a purified individual who stays focused on self improvement rather than pointing out the flaws in other people.
Commitment to self appraisal and spiritual growth comes only after painful awareness of our own limited understanding, as well as a heart felt desire to rely upon HaShem’s grace, love and kindness. Tolerance, patience, and empathy inform our efforts to educate our Jewish family and friends about the need for life saving alternatives to unplanned pregnancy. We cannot find fault with those who fall under the spell of the death culture, as many of us once did. Baruch HaShem that our eyes are opened to the miracle and value of human life in the womb. As we try to save Jewish lives and heal Jewish hearts, we believe that HaShem can ignite serious self examination of long held abortion assumptions and bestow a life affirming view on each Jewish soul.
May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and good life upon us and upon all Israel. Amen.
Our sincere thanks to Cecily Routman, Founder & President of the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation. We at Beit Emunah remind you all of the Sacred Words of our Creator and King:
"Choose LIFE so that you and your offspring may live!" Deuteronomy 30:19
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