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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Tazria 27-7

(She) will conceive

Leviticus 13:55-59

These are the regulations concerning contamination by mildew in woolen or linen clothing, woven or knitted material, or any leather article, for pronouncing them clean or unclean.

Lev. 13:59 NIV

Why does the Torah speak so much about “tzaraat"?

The Torah deals a lot with the plague of tzaraat. According to my understanding none of the diseases known in the world today have these symptoms as the Torah describes. However, we have several examples in the Scriptures of people who had this disease; some of them were healed, especially by our Rabbi.

All these cases have something in common i.e. they happened in a time when the Eternal's dwelling was among men – in other words, when the tabernacle or any of the two temples were standing.

This teaches us that the Eternal's presence is like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, His presence heals all our diseases; but on the other hand, more faithfulness is required from the people and especially among the leaders to prevent diseases and plagues from coming upon us.

The Torah uses quite an amount of text dealing with this disease because it could be manifested in many ways in human beings and in objects close to men, so every case had to be explained in detail.

Besides, it seemed to be infectious and therefore it was important to be very meticulous with its removal so it wouldn't affect others (cf. Deut. 24:8).

Furthermore, by comparing this plague to sin, we learn to be meticulous with sin in our souls to stop it from growing, doing everything possible to eliminate it and pulling it out from the root. In order to do that, we need to cry out to Heaven for help because men are not able to pull out their sin without help from Above.

We also learn that the Eternal is very interested in this plague because He devotes a large amount of text in His Book to deal with this issue. This fact holds a great messianic secret – that's why in Jewish tradition the Messiah is also called "The Leper".



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