Sunday, April 14, 2013

Double-Parsha Tazria-Metzora, 5773/2013 thoughts

Slightly-belated notes re yesterday's Torah reading (for which you can read Parshat Tazria's basics here and Parshat Metzora's basics here:
  • I object on principle to the rabbinic notion that "leprosy" (or whatever skin condition the Torah was discussing) was a punishment for lashon ha-ra (very roughly translation:  malicious gossip)--in my opinion, that interpretation is a classic case of blaming the victim.  It reminds me far too much of the "taboo" manner with which people viewed cancer when I was a young child in the fifties, discussing "cases" in hushed tones as if the victim of that often-fatal disease had been stricken because of some moral failing on his or her part.
  • Speaking of "leprosy" being considered a punishment for lashon ha-ra, check out Rabbi Jill Hammer's interpretation of the positive side of Miriam's affliction with "leprosy" here.  (My discussion of her session on Miriam is about halfway through that post--look for the blue Rabbi Jill Hammer link.)

You can find links to my previous Tazria-Metzora posts here.

Conservadox discusses one opinion regarding the diagnosis of "leprosy" in Parshat Tazria.


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