National Board Dvar Torah: Parshat Tazria!

Posted on April 8, 2016
Shanee Markovitz, National Ambassador of Education, Southern NCSY

Shanee Markovitz, National Ambassador of Education, Southern NCSY

This week’s parasha, Parashat Tazria, is purely unique (pun DEFINITELY intended).

A few interesting things that the Parasha deals with:
The purification process that a woman goes through after giving birth.
How Kohanim engage the people in different purification rituals.
The details of Tzara’at (lesions that overtake one’s garments, house, or body as a consequence to Lashon Hara).
Yes, this Parasha deals with Tzara’at. And though the description is relatively gruesome and perhaps slightly nauseating, it is absolutely fascinating to see the actual physical consequences of speaking badly about other people. To think that not long ago our ancestors were living in a time that they were PHYSICALLY affected by what they said is mind-blowing!
This simple fact restrengthens the idea that our generation has a much harder time connecting to G-D than the previous generation. Every generation gets more and more difficult.
This is both positive and negative, like everything in life.
Negative: It is SO. SO. HARD. So often do we feel like our connection is dwindled down. So often do Jewish people struggle with understanding and relating to God. We have to THINK before we speak and do it from our hearts, since we don’t have physical reminders like Tzara’at to tell us- Whoa, you seriously messed up man. Everything takes so much more control and determination and SELF-MOTIVATION.
Okay. So there are a lot of cons. Any positives? Of course. Of course.
Firstly, we don’t have to deal with leprosy and burning our clothing and knocking our houses down and living encamped by ourselves with gross things growing on our skin.
But more importantly, it is almost as if we have more free choice. I do not speak Lashon Hara because I CHOOSE to do so. I understand the Mitzvah and it resonates with me. I follow the Torah and Hashem not because I am scared of physical consequences, but rather because I believe in it fullheartedly. And so on the other hand, perhaps our relationship with our creator is MORE real. We choose is pro-actively every single day.
[Bonus Content: When you really think about, the consequences for Lashon Hara really do remain the same. Eventually, one is disconnected or excommunicated from their community, because people catch on to that one person who talks about everyone else. Nobody likes that. Plus, fostering that negative behavior and mindset in one’s household leads the walls of the house to metaphorically crash down. Something is not right inside. **DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.]