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Tazria: The Bizarre Purification of the Metzora


In this week’s parsha, we are introduced to a strange set of laws related to the metzora, one afflicted with tzara’at. How do we relate to such laws? In this video, Rabbi Fohrman begins to assemble clues, including the midrashic cause of tzara’at, the connection between a corpse and tzara’at, and echoes of this purification process earlier in the Torah.

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About the Author: Rabbi David Fohrman is the dean of Aleph Beta Academy. He has taught at Johns Hopkins University, and was a lead writer and editor for ArtScroll's Talmud translation project. Aleph Beta creates videos to help people experience Torah in way that is relevant and meaningful to them. for more videos, visit: alephbeta.org.


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3 Responses to “Tazria: The Bizarre Purification of the Metzora”

  1. Many authorities feel that tzara'at was psoriasis and not leprosy and indeed many of the Biblical symptoms described seem to be consistent with that diagnosis.Thank G-d,we now have effective treatments for bith conditions

  2. Gary Harper says:

    I noticed most of this myself a few weeks ago, thanks for refreshing it. HaShem mourned the drowned Egyptian army, while Israel celebrated. The righteous are separate of the sea on mankind. Those who raise themselves up above their fellows, who HaShem afflicts, are always eventually reabsorbed into the sea of mankind, or may even pass through, if they repent. Their example is a sign to the whole nation, one which brings life to it. The unrepentant are a sign also, in that they are brought to death within the same sea. HaShem always mourns those who do not repent, and takes no joy in sacrificing them. But those who always seek to do his will, climb out of the sea and occupy the high ground. So, wear the red string on your wrist, and be the one first born. Will it turn white, or yet remain red? As always, we thank you for the concise explanation.

  3. Brian Van Tubergen says:

    How does the scarlet thread figure into the passover motif? Also, the sacrifice of the female Red Heifer involved cedar wood, wool died scarlet, and hyssop.

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