Parashat Tazria: “Bring the Miracles” - Vital Transformation

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Parashat Tazria: “Bring the Miracles”

Weekly Pearl of Wisdom for Your Shabbat Table

Parashat Tazria: “Bring the Miracles”

This week, we read about the depths of childbirth and leprosy in Parashat Tazria and begin the month of Nissan!

Parashat Tazria opens with discussing a woman giving birth to a baby boy. We learn that a woman represents a vessel and the baby boy represents continuation. This begs us to ask ourselves, “What is our vessel giving birth to? What do we want to continue and create?”. A mindful start to our answer is making a list. Compile a list, titled “10 things I want to give birth to”. Next, circle one of the 10 items and with a deadline of one year, begin “birthing it”, and begin affecting the world with it.

How can we help our loved ones?

Our Parashat discusses the varieties of leprosy. Physically, leprosy is a rash that is examined and if needed, purified, by the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest. We learn that not all forms of leprosy are visible to the public and it is a result of one’s negativity; it is truly designed to correct our ways. We can look to leprosy to learn how to help correct the ways of our loved ones. The Torah gives us many laws on how to go about constructively criticizing and helping those close to us. It begins with that very requirement: we may only help those close to us, only those we truly love. In our criticism, we must ensure that our friend does not get embarrassed and it must be done privately at first, the same way leprosy is first shown privately. We can learn how to better others based on how the Creator does it. God, we see, only criticizes out of love and with the sole motivation of bettering His creations. When helping a close friend, we must understand that person very well so that we know what push they need to grow. This process teaches us to be deeply aware of our relationship with our close friends, to be aware of how we talk to others, and how we truly love. We learn that if we do not truly love others, then we will be unable to be truly loved. We are closing off love; love given and love received. When we truly love others, then we can truly receive and enjoy love.

How can we attack the disease?

Rabbi Issac Luria teaches that leprosy is a spiritual disease, to combat the disease of our ego. The ego is a very dangerous and sneaky thing; one can appear humble on the outside but carry a large ego inside. So too, leprosy may be internally on the skin but hidden to the outside. When we have ego, we are becoming plagued. The ego is a blockage to receive joy and a real connection with God. We learn that the fight with the ego has no end. If someone claims to have a solution to the ego disease, they are wrong and you are to run far away from them. Now yes, the ego is impossible to kick out, but it is possible to work on! The Path of The Just by the great Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto offers steps to begin working on the ego.

The steps begin with unique awareness in our speaking, sitting, walking, and dressing. With speech, speak with kindness and respect. There is no need to scream or be loud. With walking, walk with one foot directly in front of the other and keep the head raised. In sitting, wait to be seated and sit more to the middle rather than the front or back row. Dress not to be the best-dressed, but to look good according to the occasion. These unique steps allow us to be aware of these areas which are humbling for the ego.

Take it slow and practice every day for 40 days to build up the habit of pushing back against the reflexes of the ego. The ego will never fully be gone, but through these steps, it will not be the first response.

Nissan and the month of Aries

The month of Nissan is a month of change and miracles. Nissan, ניסן, contains the word נס, miracle. “What does it mean to be in a month of miracles? How can I get a miracle?” Entering a month of miracles does not mean we should sit back and wait for miracles to shower us. We learn that we are to be in a miracle mindset. In this month, do the things you thought could happen only through a miracle. Make the changes within yourself to become the version that you were waiting for a miracle to create. Without holding back, start the transformation, and, once you begin, you have made the space for the miracle energy to assist you on your path. In this month, we bring miracles, we accomplish the impossible, and we make it happen!

One name for the month, the first of the 12 months, is חודש האביב, the month of spring. אביב, is the father, אב, of the 12, יב. From this, we learn that just as the month of Aries (Nissan) sets up the stage for the upcoming 12 months, so too do the first 12 days of our month. Below is a spiritual framework intended to synchronize our mindset with the energies represented by the twelve zodiac signs. Each sign corresponds to a specific month of the year, and the advice for each day (running from night to night) is designed to plant seeds of intention and behavior that will bloom throughout the coming year.

April 12th (Night) to April 13th (Night) – Leo

  • Do: Lead with confidence and generosity, recognizing your unique value without seeking external approval.
  • Avoid: The desire for recognition or titles.

April 13th (Night) to April 14th (Night) – Virgo

  • Do: Reflect on personal improvements and appreciate both your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Avoid: Judging others without full understanding.

April 14th (Night) to April 15th (Night) – Libra

  • Do: Recognize your positive qualities and contemplate your purpose in the world, seeking reconciliation where needed.
  • Avoid: Negative self-talk and self-criticism.

April 15th (Night) to April 16th (Night) – Scorpio

  • Do: Approach life with passion and urgency, as if it were your last day.
  • Avoid: Harmful competition and envy.

April 16th (Night) to April 17th (Night) – Sagittarius

  • Do: Manifest miracles for yourself and wish them upon your loved ones, maintaining optimism.
  • Avoid: Saying things you might regret for years to come.

April 17th (Night) to April 18th (Night) – Capricorn

  • Do: Assess your life’s achievements and unmet goals with seriousness.
  • Avoid: Despair, understanding that everything happens for a reason.

April 18th (Night) to April 19th (Night) – Aquarius

  • Do: Embrace joy, smile for no reason, and show love to those close to you in a playful, unorganized manner.
  • Avoid: Forcing your spiritual or moral beliefs on others.

April 19th (Night) to April 20th (Night) – Pisces

  • Do: Introspect to identify and overcome barriers to being your true self.
  • Avoid: Reverting to old habits or addictions, particularly as you prepare for spiritual renewal.

Shabbat Shalom

-Rabbi Eliyahu Jian

Eliyahu Jian May 22, 2024

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