Sunday, April 25, 2010



Yup. We skipped Tazria-Metzora. My bat mitzvah parsha. As I read through these parshiot, I recalled the torture of coming up with a relevant dvar torah about leprosy and menstruation over twenty years ago. Of course, I am aware of the rabbinic connection between tzaraat and lashon hara and that that is the most common, relevant, and inspiring way to go. But, I just couldn't do it. First of all, it is nowhere in the text. The parsha simply has nothing to do with lashon hara, so I cannot justify dedicating a "parsha lesson" to something that is completely midrashic. And, more importantly, I am concerned about transmitting the message that we assume people with physical external ailments (such as swellings, rashes, and discoloration) have committed some morally offensive act(like lashon hara) and therefore must be banished (albeit temporarily) from the community (outside of the camp). This seemed like dangerous, uncomfortable, morally problematic territory to me. Not to mention, it makes for a weird craft. Of course, I did find the following "leper puppets" online as a way to teach the Christian Bible story of Jesus healing the ten lepers:

But, that was just not my thing. It doesn't seem to appeal to other Jewish educators either. The parsha sites that I visited generally used this week to teach Sefirat HaOmer or Yom Haatzmaut (both timely cop-outs) instead of touching this Parsha's unseemly topics. I however, in my unwavering commitment to the parsha, would rather skip it altogether than pretend it is about lashon hara, the omer, or Israel. Ok, fine, it was also Maya's 5th birthday and I had tea parties to plan and pinatas to stuff.


  1. I'm catching up on your blog and was excited to read you're making aliyah this summer- best of luck and yasher koach. Do you plan to keep up the blogging there?

    Reading your Tazria Metzorah post reminded me how hard that week was for me on my blog- there is nothing in that parsha that anyone wants to hear about in the same sentence as food. I ended up making a chumus-like spread that mimicked the material used to cover a home after it was scraped of tzaraat. I could see an art project there - cleaning a model home of all the tzaraat and then repainting.

  2. I definitely hope to keep blogging next year although the focus might shift to "Blogging Beer Sheva" :)

  3. you had such a great project for a parsha a couple of months ago-the jellybean choshen-that I came back to see how you could inspire me for this week's Torah portion. Disappointing but funny. Will post again if I come up with anything interesting.
    Good luck in Be'er Sheva. I lived there as a child in the 70's...I hope to check out your new blog.
    Becky in San Diego