By Rabbi Mark Melamut
Parshat Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12:1-15:33)
A Yearn to Return
Sometimes life is simply icky. Whether its little things like the regular use of my pant’s leg as a napkin by my children or the squashed banana slugs we saw on our recent hike, or bigger things like hearing sad news about dear and loved ones who may be ill. Like life, our inherited wisdom of the torah is not just a beautiful smelling rose at the end of a long, green stem, but it also includes thorns, and even icky stuff as well. This week we learn in intimate detail about skin disease, tsara’at, and how in biblical times, it affected a person’s body, clothes and even their home. And, we learn how to become cured, or purified from this contagious affliction.
Without going into too much detail, we learn that the Priest (not the doctor) is called, an appointment is made, and a person enters into a period of inspection. Following a positive diagnosis, that person would then be isolated, and live “outside the camp,” separated from the community. I can only imagine that one living on the outside must have felt a yearn to return to the center.
What contemporary issues or feelings keep us feeling isolated, separated, or “outside the camp?”
Do we feel a yearning to return to a center, to ourselves, to community, or to that which we call sacred in our lives?
How can we make the move in our lives from feeling less “outside” to feeling more “inside?”
Shabbat shalom, Rabbi Mark Melamut