Parashat Metzora (Leper) Leviticus 14:1-15:33


Parashat Metzora (Leper) Leviticus 14:1-15:33

Haftarah: 2 Kings7:3-20

In this week’s Torah reading we learn that physical matters can have spiritual implications. In the second half of the parashah one reads how discharges from the body can cause one not only to be impure, but can also be a source of impurity.  Not all conditions were treated the same way—some required an offering and others did not.  However, there was one thing that all forms of impurity had in common:  one did not feel the impurity or know that such a condition would render one impure without the revelation of this from the Scriptures.

Many of the things which Leviticus chapter fifteen deals with are natural occurrences and not tied necessarily to some sinful behavior; yet nevertheless the person would be impure. Why would something that happened naturally be a source of impurity and often times had requirements that were not only inconvenient, but also involved a sacrifice that had a financial element to it? In other words, why should a person be punished for something that is part of one’s normal bodily function or an ailment that may very well be caused by natural factors, rather than anything related to sin? The answer is very simple— to remind us that we were born with the problem of sin.

Many individuals struggle with the theological truth that man by his very nature is sinful. From the day that one is conceived, each person is in need of redemption. One does not have to do anything to be spiritually lost, but rather man is conceived and born separated from HaShem. The laws that one encounters in this week’s Torah reading remind him of these truths. The good news is that within this section G-d provides a remedy for these conditions.  These provisions foreshadow the fact that HaShem would provide the ultimate remedy for man’s sinful condition, Messiah Yeshua.

The question that each person has to answer is whether he is going to accept this revelation as relevant or not. Most individuals simply ignore these instructions as no longer applicable for today. Obviously without a Temple and due to the work of Messiah, no sacrifice needs to be made, but acknowledgment and thanksgiving for what Yeshua did, and an awareness of one’s spiritual condition are still appropriate today. Hence the content of Leviticus chapter fifteen is not to be skipped over or disregarded by the believer today, but is still a source of divine revelation that offers insight into one’s spiritual condition and instruction for behavior and a proper mindset as one responds to HaShem in the midst of daily life. It also represents a test for the believer as to whether he is going to use his own human intellect for determining whether he is in a condition that requires spiritual attention or not, or whether he is going to acknowledge Scripture as the sole source of spiritual instruction and not subject it to human reason and understanding.

Shabbat Shalom

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