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This Weeks Torah Portion "METZORA"

Summary: 

Metzora teaches the Temple rituals that celebrated a person’s recovery from life-threatening illness. The Cohen (priest) was charged with the duty of overseeing the recovering individual’s transition from illness to health:  "…The Cohen shall visit the quarantined patient outside the Israelite camp...” If he determined that the patient was fully recovered, the patient would undergo a ritual of revival. This highly emotional ceremony involved two doves - one to be sacrificed, and the other to be released into the wild.  The first dove, offered up on the altar amidst prayers for atonement, represented the person who contracted the disease.  The second dove, sent into nature, symbolized the his/her freedom from dire illness and return to normal life. The ritual culminated with the patient’s rejuvenation in a pool of flowing, “living” water – a "Mikveh"

The obvious lesson in this ancient rite was: If G-d has granted us a second chance at life - it behooves us to acknowledge it and express gratitude for it.  All too often we are quick to regard our illnesses as “acts of G-d”.  But the miracle of recovery from illness is also an act of God!  This week's Torah reading, I believe, reminds us of that. 

NOTE: The Sabbath before Passover is known as “Shabbat Hagadol," the "Great Sabbath.”  On this Sabbath we envision the “Exodus of the Future;” the long- awaited global Exodus that will bring humankind out of the age of violence in which we live, into an age of tranquility - Shalom

Shabbat Shalom,  

And a Sweet and Healthy Passover to All!

Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus

Thu, April 18 2024 10 Nisan 5784