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Rabbi Feingold's D'var Torah

Tazria-Metzora - 04/15/21

Plagues, quarantine and cleansing rituals.  Affected people and affected structures.  This is the theme of this week’s double Torah portion, Tazria-Metzora. (Lev. 12-15) This section of Leviticus used to seem so quaint and antiquated.  Too bad our ancestors didn’t know about modern hygiene and medication. Too bad they didn’t have vaccines.  The whole experience of disease and house contaminations operated in the realm of fear, mystery and spiritual prescriptions rather than medical ones.  Now we “get” Tazria- Metzora.    But, after more than a year of control measures, the best medical treatments available, and even millions of people getting vaccinated, we are still operating very much in the realm of fear, mystery and prayer when it comes to the coronavirus.  Experts keep offering their advice.  Just as in Leviticus, the control measures are repeated over and over, in the hope that people will comply.   And just as in the Torah, today’s spiritual institutions are doing their utmost to inspire hope through the power of prayer.    There is much we do not know even as more and more people are vaccinated.  Let us choose the advice of experts, always err on the side of caution, and continue our prayers until this plaque is no longer a threat.

Wed, April 21 2021 9 Iyar 5781