tazriaTzaraasAfflictions, in more pustular detail than you had ever imagined! 

Have you ever gone to a paint store and tried to find the right shade of white – or as Procol Harum sang, a Whiter Shade of Pale? There are many, many shades of white, and concomitantly, many degrees of tzaraas, and places where tzaraas can appear.  

White, a colour we now often and still associate (however incorrectly) with purity and virginity, in Torah is a harbinger of tumah, of what we bluntly consider to be religious impurity. 

Anyone who has watched the inexorable growth of white mold on a cement floor, knows there is cause to worry. There is a contamination, a damp destabilization of a structure that must be attended to. And yet it seems, whilst dampness can indicate a dis-ordering, a presence of tumah, in Torah, water is an agent of spiritual cleansing. Fire and water – both carry negative and positive potential.