April 11, 2024 / 3 Nissan 5784 • Parshat Tazria
Issue 816
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman


Tazri'a discusses a now-extinct disease known as tzara'at, which appeared on a Jewish man or woman's skin, garment, or home as a reflection of some subtle spiritual imperfection in the person.

This is the law governing a lesion of tzara’at on a woolen or linen garment, warp or woof, or any leather article, to be rid of defilement or to be defiled. 

Leviticus 13:59

Spiritually, our “garments” are our faculties of thought, speech, and action, which “clothe” – i.e., enable us to express – our intellect and emotions.

We are born with intrinsic intellectual and emotional capacities; it is very difficult to change these. In contrast, it is easy to control our manner of thinking, talking, and acting – as simple as changing our clothing.

By sanctifying our “garments,” i.e., thinking and talking about holy things and using our limbs for holy actions, we can gradually remake our intellect and emotions, as well. Having holy ideas – seeing the world through G-d’s eyes and ears, so to speak – becomes second nature. Similarly, having holy emotions – liking or avoiding things based on their conduciveness to holy, wholesome, and positive living – also becomes second nature.

By choosing how we “dress” ourselves, then, we can ultimately influence what kind of person we become.

--Daily Wisdom Volume 3