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Hello and welcome! This page provides a weekly commentary from the rabbi and other information from his office.

Rabbi Gabay can be reached at 604-872-4222 or rabbigabay@bethhamidrash.com

Parashat Tazria/Shabbat HaChodesh - Skin Deep

Dear Friends;

This week being Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh, and Parashat Hachodesh, we take out 3 Sifrei Torah somewhat of a rarity throughout the year. The Parasha - Tazria, describes the complicated laws of negaaim - the dreaded dermatological diseases which would render someone impure.

In biblical times, purity and impurity were more easily identifiable than they are today. One's skin, so to speak, told the person at what level of purity or impurity he stood. The kohen, the holy priest was present to diagnose and cure impurities, to provide the necessary moral and physical help to encourage the transformation into a holy person.

Today we see no visual signs of impurity on our bodies. But we would have to be completely bereft of our senses not to be aware of the impurities of the society that we live in. We literally wallow in a sea of impurity of thought and evil behavior and we are bombarded constantly by messages and examples of gross impurity and maliciously evil behavior. And we are alone in combating these evils since the impurity of society ridicules any public attempt at raising the level of purity of that society. Thus we are left to pursue our own lonely, painful, but necessary struggle for self-improvement and the search for personal purity and immortality. We need to search within ourselves instead of on our external skin alone for the ravages of impurity. And we must commit ourselves to the struggle for purity that the Torah demands of us, and thereby raise ourselves to Torah standards of purity. Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom;
Rabbi Shlomo Gabay

Parasha Summary - Parashat Tazria

Rishon, Sheini, and Shlishi: The laws of purity and impurity as they pertain to childbirth are discussed. The basic laws of Tzaraat - a form of leprosy, its diagnosis by a Kohain, the possibility of quarantine, and the laws of Tzaraat as it relates to healthy and infected skin are discussed.

Revei, Chamishi, Shishi, & Shevei: The laws of Tzaraat as it relates to a burn, a bald patch, dull white spots, and the presence of a Tzaraat blemish on clothing is detailed.