Saturday, April 28, 2012


Tazria-Metzora Lev. 14:2, 5-7 "This shall be the law of the person afflicted with tzara'ath, on the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the kohen.... The kohen shall order, and one shall slaughter the one bird into an earthenware vessel, over spring water. [As for] the live bird, he shall take it, and then the cedar stick, the strip of crimson [wool], and the hyssop, and, along with the live bird, he shall dip them into the blood of the slaughtered bird, over the spring water. He shall then sprinkle seven times upon the person being cleansed from tzara'ath, and he shall cleanse him. He shall then send away the live bird into the [open] field.”

While the Torah speaks of a leprosy of the body, there also can be a leprosy of the heart, mind, and soul. Regardless of whether an illness is primarily physical, emotional, or spiritual, healing may require the afflicted individual to remain in isolation until he or she has recovered. Although sickness can be painful and debilitating, the isolation often required can be used for rest, reflection, and rejuvenation.

May we be blessed, like the living bird let go in an open field, to be cleansed from our illnesses and suffering and reconnect with ourselves and the community with a new sense of freedom and appreciation for life.

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