This week’s Parasha is entitled Tazria, meaning “she conceives.” It is taken from the book of Leviticus 12:1-13:59.
Moses is told to say to the nation, that a woman during her menstruation or after conceiving a child, that she is unclean and not allowed to enter the Sanctuary, and that whatever she touches is unclean; and anyone who touches her or anything that she has touched will be unclean until evening; and that she must stay outside of the camp. She is unclean 40 days after the birth of a son, but 80 days after the birth of a daughter.
The reason she was unclean for a longer period for a girl is not stated, but perhaps a reason was that the child would someday be subject to uncleanness associated with female discharges and childbirth; and perhaps the reason was that a woman, Eve, was the first to sin, and women are the ones who give birth, bringing more sinners into this world.
In giving birth the mother experiences bleeding as well as secretion of other bodily fluids, and this made her ceremonially unclean.
The theme of this chapter is personal cleanliness and ritual purification for the mother, without which she could not return to normal life in her home or in the camp.
Each male child became a child of the covenant when he was circumcised eight days after his birth.
This operation also pointed to the spiritual surgery that God wants to perform on every human heart.
Forty days after the birth of a son, or 80 days after the birth of a daughter, the mother was required to go to the sanctuary and offer the sacrifices for the mother’s cleansing.
A year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a dove or pigeon for a sin offering. The burnt offering symbolized her dedication to God as she returned to her normal life, and the sin offering took care of the sins in her life and gave her a renewed relationship with God.
These sacrifices also reminded everyone that every child, no matter how beautiful or delightful he or she might be, is born in sin and must one day trust the Lord for salvation.
These instructions show God’s concern for the health and welfare of His people. Those 40 days after the birth of a son, or 80 days after the birth of a daughter, provided opportunity for rest and recuperation, as well as time for bonding between mother and child.
This “enforced isolation” would also protect them both from possible sickness carried by visitors, or the spread of any infection she might have.
Chapter 13 contains requirements about lepers. This tragic disease of leprosy is a chronic, infectious disease, characterized by flesh eating fungus, sores, scabs, raw open and running flesh with white shining spots beneath the skin. It renders its victims ceremonially and physically unclean.
Every other disease, when cured, is referred to in Scripture as a “healing” but the cure of leprosy is often referred to as “cleansing.”
The leper affected everyone and everything he touched. If he drank out of a vessel, the vessel was defiled. If he lay upon a bed, the bed became unclean, and if anyone later sat on that bed, they also became unclean. All that he did was full of the same offensiveness as himself.
The Lord required lepers to remain outside the camp. They were to be shut out from the people of God. They were dead to all the enjoyments of life. A leper was forbidden to worship at the Sanctuary. So, it is with the sinner in regard to the people and things of God.
Whenever a leper was cleansed under Jewish Law, the leper did nothing – the priest did it all. Note that it was the priest and not a physician, for it was considered as much a spiritual as a physical malady.
What is fascinating is that if the priest found any uninfected area on the leper, the leper was pronounced unclean. But if the leprosy totally covered him so that his skin was completely white, he was to be declared clean.
It’s when we see ourselves totally guilty, totally infected with sin and outside the blessings of God that we begin to understand.
If we humble ourselves and go to Him with no pretense of having any merit of our own, we receive the grace of Adonai and through Yeshua our sacrificial lamb we are declared “clean.” But please consider at what cost.
Rabbi Harris pointed out that one of the names the rabbis had for the Messiah was “The Leprous One.” It is because of the prophecy of Isaiah 53 which describes the Messiah as despised and rejected.
Yeshua is not only the King of Kings and Lord of Lords but was in a very real sense the Leper of Lepers. He was mocked, tortured, spat upon, whipped to the point that his body became sweaty, bloody, with raw open and running flesh.
He was a wretched sight. He was despised and rejected – and all for us. He became sin – He became unholy – He became everything the Father hated. He was, in that moment, the ultimate leper – separated from his Eternal Father so that we could have the salvation of the Father.
In closing, understand, it was the Father who gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16).
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
Yeshua suffered death to please His Father. Yeshua was obedient to His Father even to the death of the cross. It was the Father’s good plan to crush Him and cause Him grief (Isaiah 53:7).
It was His Father’s wrath that was poured out upon Him. And all for our benefit. It was His Father who raised Him from the dead. And it is now at His Father’s right hand where Messiah Yeshua is now enthroned.
Thank You, FATHER GOD.