Parshah Columnists - Tazria

Guest Columnists
From Pale to Passion
When is a person full of energy and life? It is when they follow G‑d’s word and plug into the G‑dly energy.
When the Truth Hurts
How can we be punished for negative speech when what we say is actually true? And why is the punishment one of expulsion and isolation?
The Power of the Seed
Think about it. This little tiny seed is basically a treasure-chest of DNA, prepared to (in the right circumstances) give birth to any of a variety of beings . . .
Wedding Speeches for Tazria
The Subtle Signals of the Tzaraat
An Essay on Parshat Tazria
Tzaraat should be regarded not as an illness that is designated as tamei, but as “a sign and a wonder” that G‑d uses to mark someone.
Torah Insights
Treasured Words
Our brains prefer the ease and simplicity of clear distinctions. Life, however, is more complicated than that.
Weekly Sermonette
Speak Nicely, but Clearly
"I went to a psychiatrist and he helped me solve my problem," said the compulsive shoplifter. "I don't feel guilty anymore"
When Was Your Last Spiritual?
What’s a “spiritual”? It has all the trappings of the routine checkup we call a “physical”—height, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress tests on the treadmill and up and down the little staircase . . .
Weekly Torah
Words Are Real
Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall
"A person can sees every kind of blemish," rules the Talmud, "except for their own"
Inner Stream
Vulnerability: the Hallmark of Growth
Growth is only possible if we subject ourselves to vulnerability. If we refuse to leave our comfort zone, we will never have new experiences or discover new abilities.
The Last Creation
The Torah teaches that the human being the most superior of all creations. It also states that man is inferior to all other creatures. Both statements are correct...
A Meeting of Two Souls
Her thoughtfulness changed all that; it turned our causal encounter into a meaningful exchange. I realized that she was a real person and not just a passing prop on the stage of my life...
The Mark of Truth
A Compendium on Circumcision
G-d wants us to remove the foreskin ourselves. To demonstrate that as we complete the physical appearance of our bodies, so can we perfect the contours of our souls.…
Three Gifts of Circumcision
Brit Milah carries the promise of three rewards: the divine presence, the land of Israel, and the royal House of David. What is the connection between these three gifts and the covenant of circumcision?
Reflections on the Parshah
Healthy Selfishness
The Mishnah teaches that “all afflictions one sees, except his own . . .”
For Friday Night
Spiritual Birth
Birth and Rebirth
The experience of galut (exile) is compared to a state of pregnancy.
Your Own Choice
Your Judaism, the fact of your being a Jew in the world today and having all those laws and traditions in your background--is this something you chose?
Nature and Miracle
A miracle can be defined as something which directly reveals the power of the Divine. In this sense, reproduction has the quality of a miracle, in particular the birth of a child who is destined to reveal G‑dliness in the world.
What the Rebbe Taught Me
What Do You Really Want?
The Essence of Circumcision, the Essence of a Jew
The extraordinary message expressed by circumcision is what caused it to rise to the top of the list of rituals our enemies sought to eradicate time and again throughout our history. But what is this message?
The Rules of Judgment and Constructive Criticism
Are there any rules to constructive criticism?
The Rules of Judgement
A valuable lesson on how to judge your fellow.
Parshah Musings
The Loving Admonisher
While the cohen wasn't paid for his services and thus couldn't be accused of padding his nest at the community's expense, the question still remains: why did they need a cohen?
Circumcisions and Seders
Assimilated Jews, intermarried Jews, you-name-it type of Jews, all circumcise their sons, and almost all sit down to a Passover seder. Why, what do these two commandments have that the others don’t?
Why Did G-d Bother?
The boys tend to be interested in the gory details, while the girls wonder about the rationale behind the mitzvah
Living through the Parshah
Fighting Ire With Fire
The spiritual ammunition of the Shabbat candles
Gossip is charged with intrigue, and feels innocuous at the time. It’s usually afterward that the guilt settles in.
Bad News Is Good News
Why can’t people become better, more wholesome, more peaceful and G‑d-conscious as we progress towards Moshiach? The answer follows the lines of the unusual law of the pure leper.
A Thought for the Week
Birth and Bar Mitzvah
The Wonder That Is Woman
Everyone can become a “mother.” What comes naturally to the female half of creation can be learned and assimilated by all, and not only in giving birth to children, but in every one of life’s endeavors.
Parshah Recovery
Rigorous Self-Honesty
In terms of our spiritual development, we can apply this law to all types of spiritual sicknesses. We are not the ones to make the final diagnosis of our own faults and shortcomings...
More Parshah Articles
Our Children, Our Selves
In twenty-four articles and stories, mothers and fathers tell of the love and the pain, the joy and the fears, the wisdom and the faith, the mystery and the mysticism of having children
The Mikvah
Everything you wanted to know about Mikvah but didn't know to ask.
Covenant & Conversation
The Price of Free Speech
Allowing people to speak badly about one another will eventually destroy the integrity of the group.
The Circumcision of Desire
The inner history of humanity is in part the history of the idea of love. And at some stage a new idea makes its appearance in biblical Israel.
The Eighth Day
Why circumcision? Why was this from the outset not just a mitzvah, one command among others, but the very sign of our covenant with G‑d and His with us? And why on the eighth day?
Beyond Speech
If It All Turned White, It Is Pure
Most of the parshah of Tazria tells us the laws of diagnosing and quarantining a metzora (leper).
On the Haftarah: Appreciating the Miracles In Our Lives
For the Haftarah of Tazria, From the Teachings of the Rebbe
Be cognizant of the miracles in nature and the “small miracles” we experience every single day.
Life's Passages
Have You Ever Been ‘Bageled’?
Jews have a powerful urge to connect with one another.
What Do You Think?
The Case for Large Families
Each child has opened my heart wider, not only to that child but to the others as well. Each child makes me a better parent to all of our children.
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