Published Date: April 21, 2017
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Tazria and Metzora Leviticus 12:1 – 15:33, continue the discussion of the laws of tumah v’taharah, ritual impurity and purity.
A woman giving birth should undergo a process of purification, which includes immersing in a mikvah (a naturally gathered pool of water) and bringing offerings to the Holy Temple. All male infants are to be circumcised on the eighth day of life.
In this week’s Haftara Prophets reading II Kings 7:3 – 7:20, discusses the story of four men stricken by tzara’at, a skin ailment caused by sins one of the main topics of this week’s Torah reading.
Haftorah’s backdrop: King Ben-Hadad of Aram besieged Samaria (the Northern Kingdom of Israel). The resulting famine was catastrophic, reducing many to cannibalism. King Jehoram of Israel wanted to execute the prophet Elisha, considering that his prayers could have prevented the entire tragedy. Elisha reassured the king: “So has G‑d said, ‘At this time tomorrow, a seah of fine flour will sell for [merely] a shekel, and two seahs of barley will sell for a shekel in the gate of Samaria.'” One of the king’s officers present scoffed at the prophecy: “Behold, if G‑d makes windows in the sky, will this thing come about?” Elisha responded, “Behold, you will see with your own eyes, but you shall not eat there from.”