Bissel to Nibble #14

A Short Shabbat Reflection from the Weekly Parsha by Rabbi Mark

*Bissel: (bis-sel) Yiddish.  Meaning: “a little.” “Give me a bissel lox on my bagel, would you, darling?” A biselleh is even less. (
Served each Friday afternoon, noonish.

Parshat Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12-15:33)
Pile of stones in the Bolivian DesertThis week’s parsha is a bit icky, as we are invited, along with Aaron, the priest, to enter into the biblical examining room.  There, we get a close look, as tzara’at, attaches to skin, clothing and homes.  It requires a specific cleansing ritual, as well as isolation.  After priestly diagnosis of infection, a person is separated from the group, clothes are separated from touching anything, and the stones of a house are separated and put outside the city.   Through an intricate purification process, cleansing can happen.


  • What can we learn from this ancient process?
  • Beyond protection from being contagious, what role might separation play in this ritual?
  • What causes us to feel separated from ourselves, our community, our society and our homes?

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mark Melamut

About Gabriele Lange

Multi Media Consultant in SF Bay Area WebDesign at City College 2008-2011 Professional Photographer since 1998 Lived in Berlin, Germany between 1987-1994
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1 Response to Bissel to Nibble #14

  1. ccsfsuppport says:

    From time to time, I get rejuvenated by separating myself from everyone — it can be a bike ride, a walk by myself or with the dog, or just sitting quiegtly in a room with no one there. Perhaps the cleansing process of a physical problem also cleanses at an emotional/spiritual level when one is separated from a community. Certainly, one might think about how the community matters and the role/value of the community when one is separated from it.
    Connecting to the lifeforce story you shared on Friday evening —- when I feel the need to separate myself and go off to be alone, it is both rejuvenating and reaffirming of my lifeforce as an individual, not just a person in a family or group.

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