Parshiot Tazria-Metzora - 5761
Connection to Yom HaShoah - Yom HaAtzmaut”
On this Shabbat, the People of Israel will read the double Parshah, “Tazria-Metzora.” Parshat “Tazria” begins with the Laws of the “Yoledet,” the Jewish woman who gives birth, who brings life into the world, male or female, and the sacrifices that she is required to bring, even before all the ultimately joyful ”sacrifices” that will be required in raising the child.
Metzora, on the other hand, deals with the Laws of the individual afflicted
with the disease called “Tzaraat,” no longer extant in the world, a
disease the cause of which was spiritual, abuse of the gift of speech
provided to the human being, but the symptoms of which resembled the
physical disease of leprosy. In
some respects, for example, the contamination that is part of the way the
“Tzarua,” the human being afflicted with this disease is treated by
Jewish Law, having the disease resembles death.
However, the Torah does not necessarily condemn the “Tzarua” to
permanent isolation and disease. He
is to be examined by the “Kohen,”
the Priest, serving here as Spiritual Physician.
If the patient exhibits certain symptoms, defined by the Written and
the Oral Law, assumed to correspond to the individual’s spiritual healing,
he or she is declared once again to be “pure” by the “Kohen,” and
undergoes a purification process.
week, the People of Israel commemorated the victims of the Holocaust, an
event of Biblical proportions, the nearly successful genocidal attack upon
the Jewish People by Hitler and the accursed Nazis, that wiped out a third
of our numbers and almost all of European Jewry.
of Jewish blood were shed, as a “Korban Asham,” a guilt-offering.
I don’t know precisely what sin or combination of sins triggered
the Holocaust, but the very fact of its massive horror, when the Jewish
People “seemed” to be completely unprotected, as prophesied first by
Moshe in the “Tochacha,” the dire warning, in Parshat “Ki Tavo,”
seems to indicate that it involved expiation of a major sin of disloyalty to
And, as the Talmud says, when “Androlomosia,” a plague of
gigantic proportions comes to the world, it takes the righteous with the
wicked, as indeed happened in the Holocaust, when all Jews were taken, and
no questions were asked. Six
million “korbanot,” sacrifices, one and a half million of them children,
were brought by the Jewish People.
week we celebrate “Yom
HaAtzmaut,” Independence Day of the modern State of Israel.
The initial “purpose” of the “Medinah,” the State, was as a
place of refuge for the grievously wounded Jewish People.
And independence was bought at a steep price in blood of additional
Jewish martyrs. But these
martyrs shed their blood as the Jewish mother gives her own blood in the
birth process, and as the blood of the sacrifices that she brings upon
bringing life into the world.
of course, “Eretz Yisrael,” the Land of Israel, is infinitely more.
For it is the Holy Land, the Land promised by G-d to our forefathers
and their descendants. It is the Land conquered by Yehoshua and the Twelve Tribes
upon their emergence from the desert some 3,250 years ago. It is the Land in which “Shlomo
HaMelech,” King Solomon, built the first Temple in Yerushalayim, which
stood for more than 400 years until it was destroyed by the Babylonians.
It is the Land in which Ezra and Zerubavel returned from the
Babylonian Exile some 70 years later and began to rebuild the destroyed
Temple. And that Second Temple
stood for approximately another 600 years, until it was destroyed in 70 CE
by the Romans, who would eventually (ca. 315 CE) metamorphose into the
“Mekom HaMikdash,” the Place where the Holy Temple stood was where a
Akiva reminded his weeping colleagues approximately 1900 years ago, that
it had indeed been prophesied that this
Place would be destroyed and would become a place of utter desolation, and
its destruction would usher in an Exile for the Jewish People of
indeterminate length, but it had also been prophesied that it would be the
spiritual center of a Land of indescribable blessing in the time of the
Community of Israel now observes a clarification of reality. It is becoming clear that those who were perceived by some as
potential partners-in-peace are in fact still our blood enemies.
The distortions of Jewish History that had begun to poison the youth
of Israel are now recognized as lies, and our great heritage is beginning
once again to be taught. The
idea that the Jewish People has no claim to the Land of Israel is being
proved wrong by the indisputable facts of history and of archaeology, though
our opponents are doing their best to destroy physical evidence of our
willingness of many of our brave brothers and sisters to live in and raise
their families in areas on the West Bank of the “Yarden,” the Jordan
River, that are unquestionably part of the Divine Inheritance of the Jewish
People, are part of Biblical “Eretz Yisrael,” is being perceived more
and more as a spirit of heroism that involves the enhancement of life.
Though currently it seems, even to the individuals involved, as testified by
a representative of Elon Moreh last Shabbat, more like walking in the
“Valley of the Shadow of Death” (“Tehilim”/Psalms 23).
believe that the Community of Israel has learned in its bones the following
lesson of the Holocaust: that it was a punishment administered by G-d that
somehow, over and above the unspeakable horror, and over and above the
incalculable and inconceivable suffering that it brought to our People, was
necessary and for our benefit, to push us back to Him.
And therefore I believe also that the events transpiring before our
eyes are indeed “atchalta d’Geulah,” the “beginning of the
they represent the beginning of the great “Nechama,” the Consolation,
being provided to us by G-d, for only He could, “Anochi Anochi
hu Menachemchem,” “I, even I, am the One that consoles you,” (Yeshayahu
51:12), after the modern-day “Churban,” or Destruction, of the
Rabbi Pinchas Frankel