PARASHAH TAZRIA (Leviticus 12:1-13:19) Week 27
The Hebrew root word for TZARA’AT is Zara, meaning to sow or to scatter seed. The beauty of Hebrew, a word-poor language, is its expose’ into the deepest meanings buried in each Hebrew letter. The outward physical condition of TZARA’AT was a manifestation of something much deeper, cultivated in the heart of the afflicted person. We shall reap what we sow.
We learn from Torah how mankind was created for intimate communion with the Creator. He fashioned the universe to support an abundant life for mankind, created in His image. Adam and Eve were created to draw near to Adonai, in their pure and innocent state of being, before their sin. It was after their fall in the Garden of Eden that the eternal blueprint for Adonai’s redemptive plan was set into glorious motion.
The motion of the blueprint moved heaven down to earth, and the intersection of a cross was formed.
When the Holiness of Heaven intersected a broken, sinful world, the color purple was born.
The purest blue of heaven was injected into the earthy color red; the color of a blood sacrifice. The color purple burst forth from this combination and came alive. The amazing intersection of the blue of heaven with the blood-red of death from our sin elicits in Adonai a mercy so divine, so powerful, even in our state of uncleanness, there can be beauty and royalty born from the union of our mortal lives with the divinity of the Lord God Almighty.
We know from Torah that Adonai is utterly holy. No form of death may abide in His presence. Anything of death will burn up in His Divine Shekinah. How then would His chosen Nation be trained to tap into the supernatural spirit of Adonai, and learn how to live in holy surrender to His instructions and His ways? How would they be able to understand the holy from the unholy? Like all children, they needed visual and sensory lessons from their Father.
This is the Lesson of “Unclean! More than Skin Deep.” Ancient Rabbis argued that TZARA’AT was more than a simple skin disease needing diagnoses and treatment by the priests. An outward appearance of the white seeds of TZARA’AT showed the entire community there was a sinful spiritual root being cultivated. It was unclean, and more than just skin deep!
The Levitical treatment for TZARA’AT was total isolation from the local community, outside the camp. The afflicted person covered their lips and called out Unclean to the passerby. This was a humbling form of punishment. This would bring necessary change, to the perspective of the afflicted.
This is the Lesson of “Unclean! More than Skin Deep.” TZARA’AT was evidence of anti-social sins such as gossip, lying for personal gain, slander of another community member, or sexual sin. The seven days of separation between re-examinations by the priests allowed time for self-reflection and confession, or VIDUY. These were long, lonely days and nights which surely affected the afflicted with humble repentance.
This is the Lesson of “Unclean! More than Skin Deep.” The Levitical laws of treating TZARA’AT brought healing and wholeness to the spirit of the afflicted first, by way of honest self-examination and confession of sin. This is the deep work of the soul! Adonai knows us from the inside out, yet His ways are sincere. His ways are woven with mercy and grace, regenerating light and life back into the darkness of our spirits. His word is so sincere as to convince us that He is the same, yesterday, today and forever; even though we are not!
“But what comes out of your mouth is actually coming from your heart, and that is what makes a person unclean. For out of the heart come forth wicked thoughts, murder, adultery and other kinds of sexual immorality, theft, lies, slanders…” (Matthew 15: 18-19 CJB)
May we who have been clothed in His royal color purple, have the courage to examine all which we cultivate, sow and scatter, out into our God-given territory. May our lips be salty and sweet, and bear much fruit. May our hands humbly serve the Kingdom, with love. May our love be more than skin deep! May our love penetrate every chamber of our heart and shine a sincere light of love and grace out into the world around us.
On this glorious Sabbath night, as the Candleglow flickers on our tables, and we bow our heads to give honor and thanks to the Creator and Giver of all good things…remember dear seekers…Holy Fire catches what is nearest to it on FIRE!
May we kindle the Menorah of our hearts with HOLY FIRE, and may this Sabbath night be the start of a lifetime left here on earth, seeking His presence in the Candleglow of obedient intimacy with Him.
This is His Shabbat, and to honor it honors our God, and brings forth His blessing!