Many folks including me consider this weekʼs Parsha, Tazria the most disgusting Parsha. This week we learn about skin problems in gross details. Rashʼs, zits, leprocy, oh my!
Thereʼs no doctors, no dermatologists, no pimple cream in the exodus story. Thereʼs only the priests. Imagine coming to see the Rabbi when you have a skin problem. Today, we would never even consider this.
What caused the skin problems, what do we do about them and most importantly what can we learn from this.
I donʼt think weʼre reading about literal skin problems. I believe the rabbis are grappling with how to deal with gossip and other social misbehavior. What else makes a better and more graphic example? You lie, you get pimples. You gossip and your get leprocy.
We are told how the priests would examine a person, have them cover themselves up and sometimes tear their clothing then send them out of the camp for a period of time and then they would be cured. Sounds a lot like public humiliation!
Apologies need to be made, maybe a financial transaction, but most importantly a face to face has to happen. Only after weʼve faced up to what weʼve done and then the slow undoing of the deed can we hope to find resolution.
The only cure is going off by yourself and reaching deep into yourself and coming to terms with what you said and how much pain youʼve caused another person.
Yes, Tazria is a gross Parsha. But, sometimes the truth is ugly and has to presented in such a way that it grabs our attention.