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Tending to our physical and spiritual health

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Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 8:29 am

Parshat Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1–15:33

Tzara’at, the biblical discoloration of human skin and other objects, is given center stage for the majority of two parshat in the Torah. But tzara’at can be confusing. Since tzara’at that appears on the body includes quarantine in its treatment, it seems to be a physical illness. The Torah is obviously not a medical text. Why does it discuss this illness at all? If tzara’at, however, is not a physical illness, but rather a spiritual/supernatural condition, it certainly would be within the Torah’s purview. If that would be the case, however, we would expect the Torah to make some mention of its spiritual cause — but it doesn’t. Is the nature of this affliction physical or spiritual?

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