Torah Tidbits

2 September 2014 / 7 Elul 5774

Visit Torah Tidbits online

Issue 996
Parshat Tazri’a - M’tzora (m’vorchim)
April 19, 2012
Lead Tidbits
Other Tidbits
ParshaPix Explanations

Parsha Pix

Following the birth of a baby boy, there is a 7-day period of Tum’a for the mother followed by a 33 day period of Tahara.
Knife for Brit Mila follows the 7th day, i.e. on the 8th day.
For the birth of a baby girl, the periods of Tum’a and Tahara is 14 days and 66 days.
Then come the turtle dove and lamb, which are two parts of the Korban Yoledet, the offerings of the woman who has given birth, after 40 or 80 days.
There is a hand afflicted by a NEGA… this represents the various N’GA’IM that can afflict the body of a person.
The shirt with a NEGA represents those garments and materials that are able to be afflicted with NIG’EI HABEGED.
The number sign, a.k.a. SULAMIT (in Hebrew), pound sign, hash, cross-hash, hex, and the best name: octothorpe. In this Parsha- Pix, it represents the SH’TI & EIREV, the warp & woof weave of garments afflicted by a NEGA.
That lizard-like reptile is a CHAMELION, noted for changing colors - a significant factor in the determination of NEGA’IM.
The traffic light also refers to the changing of colors in the NEGA’IM. This is a particularly appropriate graphic to use for this, since its colors are all mentioned in the sedra. Hair in a wound changing to yellow (or not). And the term Y’RAKRAK, greenish, or maybe strong green. So too ADAMDAM, reddish, or powerful red.
The two birds are part of the purification process of a M’TZORA. The TZIPOR (two of them) of the purification process for a M’TZORA is the D’ROR - speculated to be a sparrow or one type of swallow. Pictured in the ParshaPix are sparrows. Neither bird of the two required is a korban (sacrifice) and is therefore not necessarily a dove or turtledove - those being the only two birds eligible for the Mizbei’ach.
Also pictured are the cedar tree (EITZ EREZ), the hyssop plant (EISOV), and a red wool thread (SH’NI TOLAAT, not shown), all part of the M’tora’s purification.
The M’tzora is required to shave all the hair of his body (razor)...
including, as is mentioned in the Torah, the eyebrows. In the picture, one eyebrow has already been shaved.
The 2+1 on the lamb are for 2 male sheep and 1 female - part of the procedure of purification.
To the right of the traffic light are the three recipients of the blood and oil of the purification process - the earlobe (one opinion - others hold the top of the outer ear, or the middle ridge of cartilage), thumb, and big toe - of the right ear, the right hand, and the right foot.
Pictured is HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohein Kook zt"l, wearing glasses. This stands for the oft repeated phrase, V’RA’A HAKOHEN, and the kohein saw. Searching the Tanach, one finds that the phrase occurs 14 times altogether, 13 in Tazri’a (chapter 13 therein) and once, a 14th time, in chapter 14 (M’tzora). And to make the life of a Bar Mitzva boy who is trying to study this parsha chal- lenging, V’RA’A HAKOHEN comes in 8 different TROP-combinations. And this doesn’t take into account the 5 V’RA’AHU HAKOHENs with their TROP variations. And this is also not to mention the 40 HEI-VAV-ALEFs in Tazri’a, 18 of which are HI (meaning she) and 22 of which are HU (meaning he), but in most cases really meaning “it”. Not to mention other layning hard-spots in M’tzora. In all, a tough pair of sedras to read. But we digress…
Besides one’s body and certain garments (wool, linen, leather), certain types of homes (depends upon building materials) are subject to N’GA’IM. There is an afflicted house in the lower-left of the ParshaPix.
The double three domino stands for the unique pair of consecutive p’sukim that contain three words each. ULTZARAAT HABEGED V’LABAYIT: V’LASEIT V’LASAPA- CHAT V’LABAHERET:
Along the right side of the PP from the top is EEYORE, Winnie the Pooh’s donkey friend. His name is pronounced very much like the name of the month IYAR that we announce this Shabbat.
Looney Tunes’ Tazmanian Devil, affectionately known as TAZ
followed by the third largest bird in the world, the Rhea of South America. Together, they give you TAZRI’A.
This leads to orange juice, MITZ ORANGE. Take away the NGE and you get MITZORA.
And two Unexplaineds, plus the MazalPic, and these bullets (easy).

Continue Reading
TTriddles "Report"

TTRIDDLES... are Torah Tidbits-style riddles on Parshat HaShavua (sometimes on the calendar). They are found in the hard-copy of

Last issue’s (Pesach) TTriddles:

[1] Mehetabel follows command
Command is TZAV. Gimatriya is 96. That’s the number of p’sukim Tzav has, according to tradition. The problem is that we count 97 p’sukim - could be one-off in gimatriya doesn’t matter; could be a slight difference in dividing the sedra into p’sukim. Anyway, Mehetabel is numerically equal to 40+5+10+9+2+ 1+30 = 97. Who was she? A queen of Edom (B’reishit 36:39). Who was he? Grandfather of Sh’maya (Nechemya 6:10). How’s that for a neutral name. Know any boys or girls named Mehetabel? Didn’t think so.
[2] All except 100 conform to the rule
All Menachot (flour & oil offerings) in the Mikdash are made according to matza rules - they may not be chameitz. Aside from the Two Loaves of Shavuot, which were chameitz, the other exception to the rule are 10 of the 40 accompanying loaves / wafers / crackers / whatever for the Korabn Toda. Psalm 100 is MIZMOR L’TODA.
[3] We announce their day
On the Shabbat following Pesach, we in Israel read Parshat Sh’mini, thereby announcing the fact that in Chutz LaAretz, they were celebrat- ing the Yom HaShmini of Pesach.
[4] 5th, 6th, 8th, 13th (twice), 15th, 17th, 18th, 20th (twice)
Numbers refer to the Hebrew Alef-Bet. Take a HEI, VAV, CHET, two MEMs, a SAMACH, PEI, TZADI, and two REISHes and arrange them to spell PESACH, MATZA, and MAROR.
That’s it. A very modest TTriddle-set, especially for a Trippple issue.

This week’s TTriddles:
[1] This ZOT binds these and no others
[2] Did this before. And now again.
[3] Elul combines with water, fear, and pocket, but in England, it’s the cup in Chanuka
[4] 3 arrows, not 4 gate people
[5] What would have happened to Groucho Marx had he been a purifying former m’tzora?
[6] Eyes at the end - just these two
[7] And Leah became pregnant and (then) gave birth - this week?

Continue Reading
Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

Parshat Tazria introduces us to the laws of spiritual impurity (Tumah) associated with human beings. After becoming contaminated in one way or another, the individual is to undergo a period of cleansing, often culminating in the bringing of an offering. This latter sacrificial part of the process underscores the concept that the Tumah state reflects some inner condition that needs rectifying.
For example, even though the mother has given birth to a beautiful new offspring, she is ultimately to bring both an Olah and a Chatat offering as atonement for the possibility of having negative thoughts during her labor pains, both against G-d and her husband (Ibn Ezra; Nida 31b).
While many of the laws in our parsha pertain to physical hygiene, clearly the Torah is teaching us that the soul needs nurturing, no less than the body. To quote the late Dr. Morris Mandelz”l,“There is no life in the body without the soul… Every movement is an offshoot of the soul’s power. Belief in Hashem is the foundation
for all the preventive and remedial diseases of the soul… and if applied properly to life and living, it will simplify all remedies.. to sustain the life and health of the body.”
How pertinent and profound is the wisdom of our Torah!

Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff

We would greatly appreciate your feedback on the new features (and old ones) in Torah Tidbits [Please send to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)]

Towards Better Davening and Torah Reading

Splitting Hairs - US-ARA and US-ARAHHH

They look the same? Look again. One has a MAPIK in the HEI, the other doesn’t.
That’s US-ARA (US rhymes with loose) and US-ARAHHH.
Both words refer to the hair in a blemish, as to whether it has or has not turned white.
Artscroll’s Stone Chumash renders the first one as ‘the hair’ and the second one as, ‘its hair’. That might just be their way of coping with the missing MAPIK in the first instance. The fact is, that our Chumashim asterisk the MAPIK-less HEI, indicating that it should have the MAPIK, but our Tradition leaves it out.
Did it drop out by accident? Is it explainable by drash? Is it an error to read the first instance with a MAPIK? Hey - sometimes we just raise questions. Maybe a TTreader will give us some answers.

Continue Reading

Go to the Torah Tidbits Article Archives

Candle Lighting and Havdala

Candle Lighting Sponsored By:

Sedra Stats

Word of the Month