When you believe in the Torah as a practicing Orthodox Jew, you see the connection between the section of the Torah that is read in the synagogue each week (called the Parsha) as a predictor of biblical times.
Everyone feels there is something out of the ordinary about this current Coronavirus that we are going through. Why would it make sense to shut the whole world done to protect against the spread of the disease when we have modern medicine and we are not living in the middle ages?
The new concept that materialized overnight was social distancing. No one ever heard about it before and if you acted this way just three weeks ago you would have been locked up as germaphobic.
So an Orthodox Jew turns to the Torah to try to make sense out of what is going on. This week, because of the special intricacies of the Hebrew calendar we read two parsha sections: Tazria and Metzora.
In Parsha Metzora, chapter 15: verses 7 & 8, it says:
7) And he that touches the flesh of him that has issue (contamination) shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening.
8) And if he that has the issue spits upon you (who are uncontaminated) then he shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening.
So if you are touched or spit upon by a person who is contaminated you have to bathe yourself and wait a period of time.
While this does not work for the virus, it did work for the Biblical concepts of Spiritual contamination and Spiritual Purity. This is called Tumah and taharah in Biblical language.
Now we don’t have these concepts in today’s world because we are all considered spiritually impure because without the Mashiach we aren’t able to build a temple and bring sacrifices.
My Rabbi (Rabbi Ephriam Sprecher) suggested to me, perhaps the whole reason we are going through this new Social Distancing exercise is to prepare ourselves for the return of the Mashiach and a return to Temple times with these concepts of Tumah and Taharah.
One doesn’t learn a new concept without a lot of pain in general. Normal people who used to be quite nice, now want to throw a rock at you or shoot you, if you violate their new “social distance”. And for some, it is quite far away. The same person who shook your hand three weeks ago, yells space-space-space. And the dirty looks you are given are beyond belief.
Yet could it all make sense if we were being prepared to return to biblical times? Only time will tell the truth.
Love Yehuda Lave
During these trying times, we are supposed to eat healthily, so this story comes to mind:
A Healthy Breakfast
Moshe was talking to his psychiatrist. “I had a weird dream recently,” he says. “I saw my mother but then I noticed she had your face. I found this so worrying that I immediately awoke and couldn’t get back to sleep. I just stayed there thinking about it until 7 am. I got up, made myself a slice of toast and some coffee and came straight here. Can you please help me explain the meaning of my dream?”
The psychiatrist kept silent for some time, then said, “One slice of toast and coffee? Do you call that a breakfast?”
- Jewish Education
- Jewish history
- Jewish Identity
- Jewish Law - Halacha
- Orthodox Judaism
- PARSHA POSTS: METZORA
- PARSHA POSTS: TAZRIA
- Weekly Torah Portion