Shabbat Shalom Dear Readers Parshat Tazria 5776

April 8, 2016
chofetz chaim

The Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, who codified laws concerning permitted and prohibited speech

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This week, parshat Tazria, candle lighting will be at 7:10 in Brooklyn, NY. Candle lighting is 18 minutes before sunset To find candle lighting in your place of residence, you can index it at Chabad.org by zip code or by city name. Both Chabad.org and Aish.com have excellent articles that can be printed out for reading on Shabbat, which is, of course a day when all observant Jews are off-line and in touch with each other, in person.

This week, Chabad.org has an article about parallel universes, and how the concept is seen in Jewish tradition.

Aish.com has an article about Operation Magic Carpet, the secret operation that was mounted during the early years of the State of Israel’s existence to bring the Yemenite Jews to safety in Israel. It is most moving to read about the righteous gentiles involved in the dangerous rescue mission

This week’s parsha, Tazria deals with Tsaras, which is often mistranslated as leprosy. In reality, the condition resembles psoriasis far more closely, although it is an entirely different condition. None of the laws of Tsaras apply to leprosy or to psoriasis. Tsaras is a spiritual condition with physical manifestations. It is tied to lashon hara, forbidden speech such as slander and gossip. Both of these sins of speech create separation, isolation and division in the community.

Tzaras involves complete isolation from the community, complete separation from others who are not afflicted with it. Tzaras is triggered by gossip and other forms of hurtful speech, which also create rifts between friends, family members and even spouses. A person who has maligned others and finds themselves afflicted in this manner has time to contemplate the hurtfulness of creating such social divisions.

The laws governing speech are complex and comprehensive. They are a wonderful aid to creating familial and communal peace. A visit to the Chofetz Chaim Foundation on line will provide an enlightening introduction to these laws, which have a universal relevance.

 

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