This week we read Parshat Metzora. I call this parshah, with tongue planted firmly in cheek the “Bnai Mitzvah favourite.” This parshah contains verses having to do with bodily emissions, diseases such as leprosy, and laws and regulations pertaining to infected clothing and household items. There are no dramatic stories here; only texts that would appeal to a budding physician or scientist. Nevertheless, from these detailed texts and laws we learn the important middah: “be thankful for healing.” The parshah teaches that after being healed a person should bring an offering to acknowledge the passage through physical states. This occurs not only with healing, but also with transitions from one physical condition to another, such as after giving birth. This parshah draws our attention to the significance of our physical states in relation to our spiritual states. Physical changes, whether they be in states of health, fertility, or physical development often correlate with changes in how we understand and relate to God. This Shabbat, may we all take a moment to reflect on the wonder of our physical existence; to be aware of our physical well-being; and to pray and be thankful for healing and physical changes that draw our attention to the wonder of our existence.

Shabbat Shalom,

Moreh Greg