Parsha Tazria a' Metzorah
27 & 28. Tazria and Metzora
This is a tough Torah portion when you first start out studying in greater detail – well it was for me anyway. I believe we have only just begun to scratch at the surface of the depth of this particularly parashat and we could spend years on this one alone!
It was so amazing to me as I sat reading these chapters that it linked in so beautifully to the 3rd week of the Counting of the Omer and the seed-bearing plants. This chapter is all about life, the bearing of seed and the mixing of seed when we look at our spiritual well being.
Have you ever read these chapters and wondered why in chapter 13:13 the priest was to declare a person who was covered top to toe in leprosy clean of the disease but if there is a spot of raw flesh on him he would be pronounced unclean? It has always felt to me that it should be the other way around.
I was listening to a one of my favourite Torah teachers – L. Grant Luton a few years back and what I cleaned from his teaching was that when you have only a small area of leprosy on your body this is when you are a danger to yourself and others. This status is a small sign that sin is beginning to manifest in your life and there is a danger of mixing of righteousness and sin. Think about just a small little sin – a small inkling of unrighteousness mixed up in a batch of mostly righteous behaviour. Eventually that small sin begins to cause confusion within the person and to others, we see that most of the time the behaviour is in line with Father’s ways – surely this little thing can be overlooked but this the exact danger and isn’t this when we begin to compromise?
It sounds just like the church of Pergamum. They hung onto the righteous name of Adonai and were surviving in the place where the throne of Satan was established but they also held onto the teachings of Balaam, who caused the Israelites to stumble into idolatry in the desert and they subscribed to the teachings of the Nicolaitans. Both of these groups were about blurring the lines of the Torah and the believers of the time were known to be dipping their toes into the cloudy waters of paganism just a little bit – and isn’t that just enough to begin to spread throughout a believers heart? Isn’t this how it all starts out? You see when there was just a small spot of leprosy it could be hidden but when the entire body was covered there was no hiding from it. It was in plain sight and there was no danger of anyone misunderstanding the state of their own spiritual being or that of another. The sin could not be hidden or covered.
Tza’arat was not Hansons disease in terms of leprosy, it was a spiritual condition. Could we see this state of being as a gift? A gift that Elohim would bring upon the person, a condition that would speak directly to their souls and show them that they needed to do some work for their future spiritual health and to live a life of abundance. They needed to clean house and get their hearts right before their Maker and here was an opportunity.
Today we cannot see tz’ararat. There is no priest to come and inspect our skin for signs of this condition. We need discernment to recognise this state. It is Yeshua – our High Priest - who will come and examine our spots but only if we let Him and if we are found to be spiritually tamei or unclean what would this mean for us? If we still lived in the camp of Israel, we would be sent out for 7 days.
Initially I thought of this consequence as a very shameful thing. Everyone would know that you are in a spiritually weakened state and it would be quite devastating to the individual but in truth it would be a space to seek Father’s face, self-examine, repent and surrender to His will and way. What could be better than that? If this was the fate of anyone I loved I would be overjoyed that they were finding their way back to HaShem and if this was me, after the initial emotion of shame and anguish, I would hope that I would embrace this time of teshuva – an opportunity to return to the presence of my King and to a state of health and strength.
As we count the Omer for 7 weeks, with 28 days left, let us take this as an opportunity to get our spiritual well being back in line with Adonai’s will and way. Perhaps we have taken a few detours and compromised some of our decisions without realising it, perhaps some of these swellings on our spiritual skin have been hidden from view and Father is offering us a gentle time out of the camp to get back on track, to ensure there is no mixing of the seed of truth with what is completely acceptable in the world.
This is an opportunity to be in space of self-examination, repentance, surrender and seeking. Let’s not miss this time and let’s be intentional with each step we take towards Shavuot.
Baruch Hashem and be blessed,