Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Double-parashah Tazria-Metzora--5777/2017 thoughts

Never mind, just see here--I haven't been able to bring myself to read this, this time around.  Please excuse my cynicism.

On a second thought, see here, too--Rabbi Avital Hochstein has something interesting to say:

"One of the ways in which a society builds and sustains hierarchy is through directing and restricting sight lines—determining who are the seers and who are the seen. Those who see are those who have status and power. The chapter reveals who has the knowledge and the power by highlighting the sight lines."

See part 2.


Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

The article by Rabbi Hochstein is interesting. I think implicit in his description is that the Kohen is not an objective observer. If he is just assessing the status of the skin lesion he only has choices in borderline cases.

I was taught the opposite lesson from the parsha. One of the people of highest rank in the biblical society - the kohen - is required to observe and minister to someone of the lowest (temporary) rank - the leper. This humbles the kohen, must leave the refined precincts of the Tabernacle and interact with someone who is suffering. And it provides comfort to the leper, who realizes that even while he is (temporarily) barred from camp his plight is of concern to someone as important as the kohen. The leper gets personal attention from someone of high rank even in his isolation.

Of course, either of these approaches (or both with different people or at different times) could have been the actual implementation of these laws.

Wed Apr 26, 12:27:00 PM 2017  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Interesting point, Larry. The rules certainly do require the Kohen to leave his usual lofty location.

Stay tuned--I'm cooking up another post on these parashot.

Sun Apr 30, 10:34:00 AM 2017  

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