From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/tazria-mtzora
Tazria – M’tzora (תַזְרִיעַ – מְצֹרָע — Bearing Seed / A Leper) – Leviticus 12:1-15:33
The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the Israelite people thus: When a woman at childbirth bears a male, she shall be impure seven days; she shall be impure as at the time of her condition of menstrual separation.” – Leviticus 12:1-2
The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: “This shall be the ritual for a leper at the time of being purified .” – Leviticus 14:1-2
- God describes the rituals of purification for a woman after childbirth. (12:1-8)
- God sets forth the methods for diagnosing and treating a variety of skin diseases, including tzara-at (a leprous affection), as well as those for purifying clothing. (13:1-59)
- Priestly rituals to cure tzara-at when it afflicts humans are described. (14:1-32)
- Rituals to rid dwelling places of tzara-at are presented. (14:33-57)
- The parashah denotes male impurities resulting from a penile discharge or seminal emission. (15:1-18)
- The parashah concludes with accounts of female impurities caused by a discharge of blood. (15:19-33)
II Kings 7:3-20
From My Jewish Learning.com https://www.myjewishlearning.com/torah-portions/parashat-tazria-metzora/
In the Torah portion Tazria, God instructs Moses about the purification rituals for mothers following childbirth. God then describes to Moses and Aaron the procedures for identifying and responding to those infected with leprosy. In Metzora, God describes the purification ritual for people and homes afflicted with skin diseases; God also instructs Moses and Aaron regarding the laws of the emission of bodily fluids.
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tazria
Tazria (תַזְרִיעַ — Hebrew for “childbirth”)
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metzora_(parsha)
Metzora (מְצֹרָע — Hebrew for “one being diseased”)
The Triennial Reading – Lev. 13:40-14:32 – deals with the process and rules for those infected with leprosy and skin diseases. In the first section, persons with leprosy were to rend their clothes, bare their heads, cover their mouths, call out “unclean, unclean!”, and dwell outside the camp. The second section describes the ritual for cleansing a person with skin disease.
REFLECTION – Counting
We are often advised to make each and every moment count. The past thirteen or more months certainly have been an exercise in counting the days since so-and-so or number of days until X-Y-Z. Then we are reminded that this time between Pesach and Shavuot, the period between celebrating our freedom from slavery and the giving of the Torah, is one devoted to counting.
In Temple Sinai’s D’rash last Friday evening Rabbi Ruth Adar spoke of five reasons for the mitzvah of Counting the ‘Omer. In brief, these are: 1) God said to in Leviticus 23; 2) it connects Passover to Shavuot, and reminds us of our part of the covenant to uphold; 3) along with studying Pirkë ‘Avot at this period, it fosters self-improvement; 4) it is an expression of our anticipation, and cultivates excitement about Torah in our lives; and 5) it creates mindfulness.
For a full understanding of these five, you may want to access Temple Sinai’s last Erev Shabbat Service using the following web address. Rabbi Adar’s lesson is about 2/3s in:
COUNTING THE ‘ÓMER
We are in the 49-day period of Counting the ‘Ómer, which began Sunday evening, March 28 and continues until Shavuot, which starts the evening of Sunday, May 16. The ‘Ómer is counted each evening.
Today, Friday, day 20 begins this evening at sundown. Before the ‘Alëinu, after stating that one is ready to count the ‘Ómer, the following blessing is said:
Baruch atah Adonai Elohëinu Mélech ha’olam, asher kid’shánu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivánu ‘al S’firat Ha‘Ómer.
Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us to count the ‘Ómer.
After the blessing, one recites the appropriate day of the count. After the first six days one also includes the number of weeks that one has counted. For example:
“Hayom ‘esrim yom, shehëm sh’nëi shavua’ v’shishah yamim la‘Ómer/ba‘Ómer.”
“Today is 20 days, which is two weeks and six days of/in the ‘Ómer.”
https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/how-to-count-the-omer/ and other websites have more detailed information on Counting the ‘Ómer. Some emphasize the Kabbalistic and mystical aspects of this practice.
PIRKË ‘AVOT – Ethics of the Fathers
From Pesach to Shavuot on each Shabbat some study a chapter a week from Pirkë ‘Avot. Following are a few selections from the third chapter.
From Sefaria.org https://www.sefaria.org/Pirkei_Avot.3
1: Akabyah ben Mahalalel said: mark well three things and you will not come into the power of sin: Know from where you come, and where you are going, and before whom you are destined to give an account and reckoning.
2: Rabbi Hanina, the vice-high priest said: pray for the welfare of the government, for were it not for the fear it inspires, every man would swallow his neighbor alive.
12: Rabbi Ishmael said: be suppliant to a superior, submissive under compulsory service, and receive every [person] happily.
15: [Rabbi Akiva used to say:] Everything is foreseen yet freedom of choice is granted, And the world is judged with goodness; And everything is in accordance with the preponderance of works.
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of brutality, abuse, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, violence especially against all minority communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, disease, pandemics, natural disasters, war and gun violence.
This coming week, the 5th through the 11th of Iyar, we lovingly remember:
Grandson of Harvey Ross
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this Friday evening, April 16, 2021.
Zoom continues updating its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this evening:
Topic: Torah Study – Triennial Reading Lev. 13:40-14:32
Time: Apr 16, 2021 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Apr 16, 2021 07:30 PM Arizona
To join the Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat!