Sunday, April 30, 2017

Double-parashah Tazria-Metzora--5777/2017 thoughts, take 2

Tzaraat/"leprosy" of a garment?

Tzaraat/"leprosy" of a house?


Yes, seriously, but only if one trades biblical terminology for 21st-century terms.

The garment and/or house, as described in this reading (see Leviticus 13:47 and 14:33-57), probably have mildew and/or mold, and while we, today, wouldn't call the garment or the house sick, we might speak of toxic substances, indoor pollution, and/or allergens, which can make people sick.

Case in point:  When we were renovating our bathroom a few years ago, we were required by law to hire a firm that specialized in hazardous-waste removal to pack up everything that was ripped out or otherwise removed and take it to a hazardous-waste disposal site, in case the waste contained asbestos, a known carcinogen.

The Torah/Bible comes surprisingly close to taking the same approach when it requires that the "leprous" stones and plaster be removed to a place outside of the city.

For the curious, here's the end result of that renovation.


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