Shabbat Commentary

5/6 Apr : Tazria : Shabbat comes in 7:26 pm,  ends  8:31 pm

In Vayikra 13:1-3, we read that the individual afflicted with tzara’at goes to the Kohen, either Aharon or one of his sons, and the Kohen declares the individual as either afflicted with tzara’at, and tame, or not. The Kohen, after checking the skin ailment, determines if the person needs to be removed from the community while they are sick. This isn’t the typical role of the Kohen. He went through training, and was part of a lineage that instructed him on sacrifices and leading an Israelite community. However, we don’t read anywhere in the Torah of any instruction he received on dealing with human wounds.

This teaches us the importance of stepping outside of our prescribed roles for the needs of the community. This seems to be the first mention to  Aharon of the need to have the role of tzara’at examiner, and we see no fight from Aharon that this role is outside of his jurisdiction. When someone is in pain, we step up to help them. In a society that is based on community, we sometimes have to take responsibility and act in ways we wouldn’t expect.

Written by Rabbi Paul Arberman




April 4, 2019