Machon Meir ENGLISH :MeirTV English
Rabbi Netanel Frankenthal
For over 35 years, Machon Meir has become known throughout Israel as the place to get a deeper understanding what it truly means to be a member of the Jewish people. It has also become the landing point for many new immigrants from all over the world because of the institute’s encouragement of living in the Land of Israel. Machon Meir has also created a strategy to distribute Torah worldwide through their media channel, Arutz Meir. Since it began, Arutz Meir has debuted a range of television series and archived over 25,000 classes which are constantly being updated and viewed daily throughout the world in 5 different languages. With a variety of topics and discussions led by renowned Jewish scholars, our viewers will surely find a class that will create sparks of inspiration. Whether you are looking to connect to your Jewish heritage or you are simply seeking out answers, we exist to imbue the words of Torah and engage our viewers with real and meaningful
Machon Meir MeirTvFrench
Parachat Tazria-Metsora: lachon hara dans la peau
· Rav: Rav Yossef David
· : 15 Avril 2015
Parachat Tazria-Metsora: la paix interieur
· Rav: Rav Yossef David
: 15 Avril 2015 MeirTvFrench
Parachat Tazria-Metsora: La brit Mila
· Rav: Rav Yossef David
: 15 Avril 2015 MeirTvFrench
Parachat Tazria-Metsora: La signification de 6,7 et 8
· Rav: Rav Yossef David
: 15 Avril 2015 MeirTvFrench
Machon Meir MeirTvRussian
Rabbi Yona Levin
“За чашкой чая”
Беседа в тёплой, неформальной обстановке о том,
как современный интеллигентный слушатель воспринимает нашу традицию.
В передаче мы попробуем получить ответы на непростые вопросы,
которые еврейский народ задаёт уже не первое тысячелетие.
Присоединяйтесь, приходите к нам на чашечку чая.
Не стесняйтесь, чувствуйте себя как дома!
Из цикла передач “За Чашкой Чая” 96-го канала из Иерусалима.
Наша Традиция на вашем языке!
Machon Meir ESPAÑOL MeirTvSpanish
Por más de 35 años, Machon Meir ha dado a conocer a través de Israel como el lugar para obtener una comprensión más profunda lo que realmente significa ser un miembro del pueblo judío. También se ha convertido en el punto de aterrizaje para muchos nuevos inmigrantes de todas partes del mundo, porque de aliento de la vida en la Tierra de Israel del instituto. Majón Meir también ha creado una estrategia para distribuir la Torá en todo el mundo a través de su canal de medios, Arutz Meir. Desde sus inicios, Arutz Meir ha estrenado una serie de series de televisión y archivado más de 25.000 clases que constantemente se están actualizando y ver todos los días en todo el mundo en 5 idiomas diferentes. Con una variedad de temas y discusiones dirigidas por renombrados eruditos judíos, nuestros televidentes seguramente encontrará una clase que va a crear chispas de inspiración.
Rabino Rafael Spangenthal
Machon Meir עברית Rabbi Dov Bigon
shiur,Tazria, Rav Dov Bigon
shiur,Metzora, Rav Dov Bigon
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PARSHAH PICKS: The Monthly Marriage (Tazria-Metzora)
TORAH STUDIES: Parshat Tazria-Metzora
Iyar 3, 5775 · April 22, 2015
The previous Sidra, Shemini, contained the laws of ritual cleanliness and purity as applied to animals. This week’s Sidra applies the same concepts to men and women. In the Midrash, Rav Simlai draws an analogy between the fact that animals were created before man, and that they were legislated about before him. What is the substance of this analogy? Was man created last because he was higher or lower than the animals? In answering the question, the Rebbe traces the connection between Rav Simlai’s opinion and his character, and examines an important distinction between innate and acquired virtue, or between the excellence which is inherited and that which is earned. It is a question that has perplexed many thinkers: Who is better, the man who is born righteous or the man who has made himself righteous? The Rebbe considers in depth the role of effort in the religious life.
1. The Name “Tazria”
The names of the Sidrot, as has been mentioned before,1 are not merely labels to differentiate one from the next. Every name in Hebrew, the holy language, is an indication of the nature of that which is named. The names of the Sidrot tell us of their essential content. Thus we find that a number of Sidrot are not called by their opening words, as is usually the case, but by some later word which more perfectly expresses their theme.
An example of this occurs with this week’s Sidra. After the general introduction (“And the L-rd spoke to Moses saying…”)2 the first word is “woman” (ishah): “Ifa woman be delivered and bear a male child.” And yet we do not nowadays call the Sidra Ishah butTazria (“be delivered”).
What, then, is the concept implicit in the word Tazria that sums up the content of the entire Sidra?
There is also a difficulty posed by Rashi’s comment on the words “If a woman be delivered.” Quoting the Midrash,3 he says, “Rav Simlai said: Just as the formation of man took place after that of the cattle, beast and fowl, when the world was created, so the law regarding him is set forth after the law regarding cattle, beast and fowl (contained in the previous Sidra).” Thus the new theme that our Sidra takes up, by contrast with the previous chapters, is law relating to humans, as opposed to the laws relating to animals. Thus the word ishah (“woman”) is not only the first individuating word in the Sidra: It also seems highly appropriate to its subject-matter—legislation relating to humans. How is it that “Tazria”embodies more completely this idea of “the law of man?”
2. Man’s Place in Creation
Rav Simlai, in his comment quoted above, uses the phrase “just as” rather than “because.” In other words, the law of man follows that of the animals, not because he was created last, but for the same reason that he was created last.
What was this reason? Various answers are given in the Midrash and the Talmud.4One is: So that if a man’s mind becomes too proud he may be reminded that even the gnats preceded him in the order of creation. Alternatively, so that heretics should not be able to say that the Holy One, blessed be He, had a partner (namely, Adam) in creation. Again, man was created last so that he might immediately enter upon the fulfillment of a precept. He was created on Friday so that he could immediately sanctify the Shabbat. Lastly, it was so that he might go “into the banquet” straight away; that is, all nature was ready for his use.
But the commentators have noticed that all these reasons, while they apply to man being last in creation, do not explain his being last in legislation. What is the meaning of Rav Simlai’s analogy, “just as?”
The Alter Rebbe, in his book Tanya,5 explained that in one sense man is lower than all other creatures, even beasts which are unclean; lower even than the gnat. For not only does he sin, whereas they do not. But he can sin, whereas they cannot. In potentiality as well as in actuality, sin is a reality for man but not for animal.
3. The Order of Learning
The usual order to take in learning Torah is to progress from the simple to the complex, from the light to the weighty. This applies to what is learned: A child of five begins with the Chumash, moves to the Mishnah at the age of ten,6 and so on. It applies also to the depth of learning: First comes acquaintance with the text and only afterwards come the questions, the dialectics, the in-depth study.7 And it applies to the manner of learning. We do not reach at once the highest level of Torah study for its own sake, like David who8 “elevated the Source of the Torah on High, and united it with the Essence of G-d.” Instead, “when a man does it (studies), in the first place he does so with himself in mind.”9
On the other hand, when the Torah was given, the order was reversed. Its devolution from the spirituality of G-d to the physical situation of man was, as it were, a descent from higher to lower. In the passage in Proverbs10 which describes the wisdom of the Torah, it first says: “Then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him, and I was daily His delight.” Only subsequently were “my delights with the sons of men.” The Torah reached down from the heights of G-d to become the possession of man.11 And we in our learning retrace its path, ascending from our physical situation to spiritual closeness with G-d.
This order of learning is mirrored in the structure of the Torah itself. This is why the laws concerning animals are placed first. To sanctify the animal world, by distinguishing the impure from the pure, is relatively simple. The problem of sin does not arise in their case. But for man to sanctify himself, given his capacity for wrongdoing, is far harder. Thus the laws of human conduct come last. Not because of man’s innate superiority to the animals, but because of his deficiencies. This, too, is Rav Simlai’s opinion as to why he was created last: “So that if he becomes too proud, he may be reminded that the gnats preceded him in the order of creation.”
4. Rav Simlai—The Man and his Opinions
We can now see the connection between Rav Simlai’s comment, that just as man was created last so his legislation comes last in the Torah, and the character of Rav Simlai himself.
A virtue can be possessed in two ways. It can be won by effort, or it can be innate or fortuitous. Each has its advantages. An innate or unworked-for virtue has no natural limits. It is like the difference between talent and expertise. An inborn talent may be unlimited; expertise, painfully acquired, can never quite match it. But in its inwardness, the virtue reached by effort surpasses the virtue which is innate. One is always more closely involved with what one has earned than with what one has been given.
This distinction underlies the two contrasting explanations of man’s place as the last of the works of creation: The first that he is the highest, the second that he is the lowest, of creatures.
In innate capacities, he is the highest. From birth, before he has begun to serve G-d, he is nonetheless possessed of a soul which is literally a part of G-d.12 This he retains, together with an underlying faith, even if he turns away from the Divine will.13 But in those virtues which he acquires through the effort of service, at the outset he is no better than the rest of creation. In fact, what is most readily apparent is his physical nature, his lack of restraint, his capacity for sin. The powers of the soul are as yet undisclosed. They need to be brought to the surface by effort in the service of G-d. Hence the second opinion, that man was created last to be reminded that even the gnat is in this one respect prior to him.
The connection between this view and its author is this: Rav Simlai did not have an illustrious ancestry. The story is told in the Talmud14 that he came to Rabbi Jochanan and asked him to teach him the Book of Genealogies. But Rabbi Jochanan refused, because (according to Rashi) his lineage was undistinguished. Therefore Rav Simlai, unable to lay claim to inherited virtue, appreciated the value and importance of effort and acquired virtue. This explains his reading of the order of creation. When man is created, he has no acquired distinctions except the disposition to sin. He was made last because at that stage he is the lowest of beings.
This also explains why human law should be called Tazria (“be delivered”). For the process from conception to birth is a symbol of effort, of bringing to fruition, in other words of “labor” in both its senses. There is an additional symbolism in the phrase “if a woman be delivered.” The male and female elements in procreation represent respectively the “spiritual awakening from above” (i.e., the Divine initiative) and “from below” (the human initiative).15 And service, effort, struggle are the forms which the human initiative takes.
5. The Two Faces of Man
There is a principle expressed in the Lecha Dodi prayer that “last in action, first in thought.” Thus man, who was created last, was the original intention behind the whole enterprise of creation.
Both opinions agree with this, that man is the apex of created life. But one side of the argument sees his stature in terms of his innate essence:His Divine soul. The other sees it in terms of his potential achievement through the effort of serving G-d, while viewing man in himself as the lowest of beings. This view, which is Rav Simlai’s, sees the two faces of man (“Adam” in Hebrew). On the one hand he is formed from the dust of the earth (“Adamah”); on the other, he is capable of becoming Divine (“Adameh la-Elyon”—“I will resemble G-d”). This is his essential capacity—to transform himself completely, from a natural to a spiritual being.
6. Service and Creativity
The name “Tazria”therefore symbolizes “avodah,” man’s service of G-d. It also suggests the importance of that service. For when a woman conceives a child and it grows in the womb, an entirely new being is brought into existence. The birth of the child merely reveals this creation, which was wrought at the moment of conception. And when man enters on the life of service, he too creates a new being: Natural man becomes spiritual man, Adamah (the dust of “the earth”) becomes Adameh la-Elyon (a semblance of G-d). And his Divine soul, which was innate, becomes also inward, because it has changed from being a gift to being something earned.
(Source: Likkutei Sichot, Vol. VII pp. 74-79)
WEEKLY ALIYOT: Parshat Tazria-Metzora
Iyar 3, 5775 · April 22, 2015
Tazria-Metzora Aliya Summary
General Overview: The bulk of this week’s portion, Tazria-Metzora, discusses various forms of tzara’at, skin maladies which are contracted as a result of engaging in forbidden gossip. Also discussed are garment discolorations which constitute “clothingtzara’at,” and the symptoms and laws of “house tzara’at,” indicated by certain brick discolorations. Following is a discussion of various ritual impurities, including the laws of the menstruating woman.
First Aliyah: The Jewish people are instructed regarding the ritual impurity contracted by a woman who gives birth. The timeframe of this period of impurity differs depending whether the child is a boy or girl. At the conclusion of this period, the woman immerses in a mikvah and is required to bring certain offerings in the Temple. Incidentally, the Torah mentions the obligation to circumcise a male child on the eighth day of his life. The Torah then begins discussing the laws of tzara’at, a skin discoloration — often inaccurately translated as “leprosy” — which renders a person ritually impure. This aliyah discusses various forms of white skin discolorations. A person who has the symptoms of tzara’at must be seen by a priest. If the discoloration is deemed “suspicious,” the priest will immediately declare the individual impure or quarantine him for up to two weeks. At the conclusion of the quarantine period, the priest either declares the individual pure or impure. The Torah then discusses what is done in the event that the tzara’at spreads after the individual was declared pure, or if there is raw skin within the tzara’at, or if the tzara’at has spread over the entire body. We learn the laws of tzara’at which appears following an inflammation on the skin.
Second Aliyah: We learn the laws of tzara’at which appears following a burn to the skin. We discover that tzara’at can also affect the areas on the body covered by hair. The symptoms and laws of such a tzara’at are quite different than standard tzara’at. This section concludes with the laws of a person afflicted by multiple dull white areas on his skin.
Third Aliyah: This section discusses tzara’at which appears on a bald spot, as well a white discoloration streaked with red, which can appear anywhere on the body. Also discussed is the procedure followed by an individual who is afflicted with tzara’at, the main requirement being that he must remain outside the city until his condition clears up. The Torah then discusses “clothing tzara’at,” a green or red discoloration which can affect certain types of materials. The garment is shown to a priest who quarantines it for up to two weeks.
Fourth Aliyah: At the conclusion of the quarantine period, depending on the circumstances the garment is either declared pure, or completely burnt, or only the part which was discolored is torn out and burnt. The Torah then describes the purification procedure for a person who contracted tzara’at. After the priest determines that thetzara’at has been healed, a ceremony involving two birds, a cedar plank, a scarlet thread and water from a live stream, is used for the initial stage of the purification. The individual also shaves his entire body. After a seven day wait, the person shaves again, and brings three animals and an oil offering to the Temple. The priest processes the offerings in the manner prescribed in this section. With this the purification process is completed.
Fifth Aliyah: If the individual suffering from tzara’at cannot afford the above sacrifices, two birds can be substituted for two of the animals. This section describes the slightly different purification process reserved for the impoverished person.
Sixth Aliyah: Homes, too, can be afflicted with tzara’at. If bricks on a home become discolored — acquiring a strong red or green pigment — a priest is summoned. If indeed the discoloration seems to be tzara’at, the priest quarantines the home for up to three weeks. Depending on the spread of the discoloration, the home is either declared to be pure, or the specific bricks are removed from the house, or, in the most extreme situations, the house is demolished. The Torah then describes the purification process for such a home — which is very similar to the initial stage of the purification of the human afflicted with tzara’at (described in the First Aliyah). After concluding the subject of tzara’at, the Torah discusses the ritual impurity of a man who issues a sickly and unnatural seminal discharge, as well as the method by which this person attains purity when the condition passes.
Seventh Aliyah: This section discusses the ritual impurity contracted by a man who issues a (normal) seminal discharge, the ritual impurity of a menstruating woman, and of a man who cohabits with her. All such people must immerse in a mikvah (ritual pool) in order to be purified. Under certain circumstances a menstruating woman was required to bring to the Temple two bird offerings in order to attain purity.
PARSHAH IN A NUTSHELL: Tazria-Metzora
Iyar 3, 5775 · April 22, 2015
The Parshahs of Tazria and Metzora continue the discussion of the laws of Tumah v’Taharah,ritual impurity and purity.
A woman giving birth should undergo a process of purification, which includes immersing in a mikvah (a naturally gatheredpool of water) and bringing offerings to the Holy Temple. All male infants are to be circumcised on the eighth day of life.
Tzaraat (“leprosy”) is a supra-natural plague, which can afflict people as well as garments orhomes. If white or pink patches appear on a person’s skin (dark pink or green in garments or homes), a Kohen is summoned. Judging by various signs, such as an increase in size of the afflicted area after a seven-day quarantine, the Kohen pronounces it tameh (impure) ortahor (pure).
A person afflicted with tzaraat must dwell alone outside of the camp (or city) until he is healed. The afflicted area in a garment or home must be removed; if the tzaraat recurs, the entire garment or home must be destroyed.
When the metzora (“leper”) heals, he or she is purified by the Kohen with a special procedure involving two birds, spring water in an earthen vessel, a piece of cedarwood, a scarlet thread and a bundle of hyssop.
Metzora begins with the laws concerning the purification of the leper. The Rebbe begins with the question, why should we call this Sidra Metzora, “the leper,” a name with unpleasant connotations? Especially when an earlier generation of Rabbis called it, neutrally, Zot Tihyeh (“This shall be…” the law of the leper).
To understand the significance of leprosy as discussed in the Sicha, we must remember that it is considered, by the Torah and the Rabbis, not only as a disease but as a punishment specifically for the sin of slander. It was the punishment that Miriam was given for the tale-bearing against Moses (Bamidbar, ch. 12). A leper was isolated from the rest of the people once his illness had been diagnosed, and made to live outside the camp. Since the disease had a spiritual as well as a physical dimension, this was not simply a hygienic precaution, but had a moral purpose. Likewise his purification was a recovery of spiritual as well as physical health. It is the spiritual dimension of this cleansing procedure that the Rebbe analyzes.
1. Two Names
The Sidra Metzora has not always been so-called. Earlier Rabbis, like Rabbi Saadia Gaon,1 Rashi2 and Rambam,3 called it by the preceding words of the verse, Zot Tihyeh (“This shall be”). Only in more recent generations has it become the custom to call it Metzora.4
But Metzora means “the leper”: A name with unpleasant associations. Indeed, to avoid this, it is referred to in many places as Tahara, “Purification.”5 Why then is it called by this seemingly inappropriate name, especially when there existed beforehand a name for the Sidra with none of these associations?
2. “He Shall Be Brought”
Before we can solve the problem, we must notice two further difficulties in its opening passage, “This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest. And the priest shall go forth out of the camp….”
Firstly there seems to be a contradiction here. On the one hand, the leper is to be “brought to the priest.” On the other, the priest is to “go forth out of the camp” and come to him. Who is to go to whom? In fact, it is the priest who comes to the leper, for the leper was not allowed to come within the three camps. What then is the meaning of, “he shall be brought to the priest?”
Secondly, why was the leper to be “brought?” Why does the Torah not say “he shall come?” The use of the passive verb “brought” suggests that his meeting with the priest was against his will.
In answering the first question, the commentators6 explain that although the leper was indeed to stay outside the camp, he was to be brought to the edge of it, so as to avoid burdening the priest with a long journey. But this explanation is not easy to understand. Although the leper was, because of his affliction, commanded to remain outside the camp, there was no obligation on him to go far away from it. He could stay near its boundaries. And since the instruction about the cleansing procedure was directed to all lepers, including those who were situated near to the camp, the explanation of the commentators does not remove our puzzlement.
3. Repentance: The First Stage
To arrive at an inward understanding of the question, we must consider what Rashi says on the phrase,7 “All the days wherein the plague is in him… he shall dwell alone.” Rashi comments, “(Even) people who are unclean (for reasons other than leprosy) shall not abide with him… because he, by slanderous statements, parted man and wife, or a man from his friend, (therefore) he must be parted (from everybody).” We can say, then, that he is excluded from the three camps because of his association with strife and dissension. His slander causes men to be distant from one another, whereas the idea of holiness is unity.8He has no place, therefore, in the holy congregation. But what is more, he is to be separated even from the other categories of unclean people, because, as Rambam says,9 his slander is progressive. At first it is turned against ordinary people, then against the righteous, then against the prophets, and finally against G-d himself, and he ends by denying the fundamentals of faith. This is worse even than idolatry, for the idolater does not deny G-d, he merely denies His uniqueness.
This explains the phrase “he shall be brought to the priest.” The form of the verb carries with it an assurance for the future that even he who stands outside the three camps, who is isolated by his sin, will in the end turn to the “priest” in repentance. And this was the man whose very nature was to resist this return to oppose holiness, and join forces with the heathen world “outside the camp.” This is why he “shall be brought”—in the passive—for his return is contrary to his will.12
4. The Second Stage
The initiating cause in the awakening of the desire to return is not to be found in the man himself, but in the promise of G-d that even if it requires “a mighty hand… I will rule over you.’’13
But if at first the impetus to return breaks in on him from the outside, it is the Divine will that ultimately it should became part of his deepest nature. Thus there is the further assurance that not only will he repent, but he will experience repentance as the truest expression of his own personality in all its facets: Will, intellect and feeling.
In the light of this we can see why, after the Torah stated that the leper “shall be brought to the priest,” it continues, “And the priest shall go forth out of the camp.”
The first stage of repentance, of “cleansing,” is the sudden revelation of G-d coming in, as it were, from the outside. Because it has not yet become part of his own personality, this revelation is unrelated to the personal situation of the man. He is “brought” out of himself and his environment. But afterwards the priest comes to him: That is, his situation becomes important again, as he strives to translate his revelation into a cleansing of the whole circumstances of his life. And since the “cleansing” extends even to his environment, he achieves something that even the perfectly righteous could not: He sanctifies what lies “outside the camp,” where the righteous man has never been. Thus we say that repentance done from great love turns even willful sins into merits:14 it sanctifies even what lies outside the will of G-d.
5. The Earlier Generations and the Present
Now, finally, we can see why an earlier age called this week’s Sidra Zot Tihyeh,“This shall be…” rather than, as we now call it, Metzora,“the law of the leper.”
Only in the Time to Come will we witness the ultimate transformation of darkness into light, of evil into goodness.
Thus the earlier generations, when this Time was as yet distant, they sensed more readily the idea that evil is conquered by something outside itself than that it should transform itself from within. They belonged to the stage where the leper is “brought,” against his will, to be cleansed, rather than to the second stage where the cleansing comes from within his own situation “outside the camp.” So they did not call the Sidra, “the leper,” because in their eyes he was not cleansed as himself but rather despite himself. Nonetheless, they knew the promise of the Future, and thus they called the Sidra “This shall be.” In other words, the “law of the leper”—the time when the leper of his own accord becomes part of G-d’s law—was something that would be, in the World to Come.
But we, standing already in the shadow cast by the approaching Messianic Age, can make of “the leper” a name for a section of the Torah. We can already sense the time of the revelation of the good within the bad, the righteousness within those who stand “outside the camp.” The light is breaking through the wall that separates us from the Time to Come: The light of the age when “night will shine as day.”15
(Source: Likkutei Sichot, Vol. VII pp. 100-104)