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Table Talk Series II: Tazria Metzorah Print E-mail

ShabbatCompletely White: A person whose entire body is covered with Tzara’at is pure. Rabbeinu Bachya compares this law to that of the Parah Adumah, beyond human comprehension. Rav Hirsch however, describes

a person who is beyond help, and will be unable to learn any lessons from becoming a Metzorah. I wonder about both approaches. How should a Metzorah, declared to be pure because his disease covers his entire body, react to a law that is beyond comprehension? The Parah Adumah demands action even if we do not understand. However, the Metzorah is passive. How should he respond to his situation?

I wonder about Rav Hirsch’s approach because this person is asking for the Cohen’s ruling. He obviously cares to some degree. Is it possible that the person who cares enough to find out if he is Tamei or Tahor is beyond help, incapable of learning anything from his experience?

Is it possible that Rabbeinu Bachya actually agrees with Rav Hirsch, and feels that the best medicine for the “person beyond help” is to be the passive ‘victim’ of a law that is beyond human comprehension?


Part of the purification process of a Metzorah is shaving off all his bodily hair. Why does his hair become so important? Is this law conceptually related to Samson’s hair? Is it related to the Kabbalistic custom of waiting until a boy is three-years-old before cutting his hair?

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