TAZRIA PARSHA FRAMED 12 X 16
BOOK OF LEVITICUS
VaYikra (Leviticus)The Book of Leviticus, or Levites, is concerned with the ritual laws and the sacrificial cult. It describes the details of offering sacrifices. The book's emphasis is on purity and holiness. Even though the sacrificial system was abandoned with the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE, Leviticus continued to be an important influence on Jewish life: nearly half of the 613 commandments are found in it and much of the Talmud is based on it. In Europe, it was traditional for children beginning their Jewish learning to start with the book of Va-Yikra. There are twenty-seven chapters, divided into ten parashiyot. The parashiyot of Va-Yikra are: VaYikra, Tzav, Shemini, Tazria, Metzora, Achare Mot, Kedoshim, Emor, Behar, and Bechukotai.
Tazria- Metzora: Turning and thinking about others and speaking out, brings redemption.
We often have a double parasha, reading from the combined Parshiyot of Tazria and Metzora. These are perhaps, for many, the two most uncomfortable portions of the Torah, dealing with all kinds of issues related to ritual purity and impurity. Ritual impurity, or tumah, has nothing to do with hygiene. Instead, it is a spiritual state which prevents a person from participating in the worship life of the community. One becomes impure through a variety of means, all of which are perfectly natural, such as illness, childbirth, physical discharges and contact with a corpse. Purity and impurity are not related to good or evil. However, impurity is considered to be a spiritual disability. For example, Tzara'at, the skin affliction which is discussed at length in this part of the Torah, is not the biological disease leprosy (as it is has historically been translated - it is probably something more like psoriasis or impetigo, which are common in the desert) but rather a state that the Torah understands as the physical manifestation of a spiritual or ritual problem. This is not a medical treatise, nor are the Cohanim serving as paramedics. Rather, tumah is a purely ritual concern, and as the ritual leaders of the community, it falls upon the priesthood to facilitate purification for those who find themselves in a state of impurity.
Copyright: Kolel, The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning.
These summaries and introductions are used with permission of Kolel: The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning in Toronto, Canada. Kolel is a dynamic, pluralistic, egalitarian institution where men and women engage in Jewish learning which values both traditional and liberal interpretations. Kolel is a gateway into a richer expression of Judaism for each individual, wherever their journey of Jewish discovery may take them.
exact frame size is approximate because we frame to order.