Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Tazria

This week's Parsha (12:1-8) describes one of the few mitzvos applicable exclusively to women. A woman who has given birth is required to bring a korban before being permitted to touch Kodesh or enter the Mikdash. The korban is brought 40 days after the birth of a boy and 80 days after the birth of a girl. The reason for this mitzva is that during the pangs of childbirth a woman is likely to have impulsively vowed to refrain from further relations with her husband. Niddah 31b. (Note that in any event a vow of this type would not be legally binding, see Kli Yakar.)

The Sforno on 12:8 presents a different reason for this korban. He says that during the entire post-partum period of 40/80 days the woman has necessarily been pre-occupied with and focused on matters relating to the workings of the reproductive organs. It is not appropriate for her to enter the Mikdash in this lingering state of mind. The korban therefore serves to re-focus her attention away from the post-partum period and prepares her to once again turn toward the Mikdash.

The Sforno's insight affords a deeper understanding of the last pasuk of Parshas Yisro (20:23) where the pasuk requires that a ramp, and not steps, is to be used by the Kohanim to ascend the mizbeyach. The reason for this is given by the pasuk as 'asher lo sigoleh ervascha alav', meaning so that 'your ervah' not be revealed.

Rashi on this pasuk in Yisro explains that because Kohanim wear michnosayim (pants) there would not be bona fide ervah revealed in any event. Rather, utilizing steps would require longer strides to be taken, and taking longer strides is akin to ervah being revealed. How does taking long strides lead to ervah being revealed, bona fide or not?

Based upon the Sforno in Tazria, this Rashi can be explained as meaning that, physically, a man ascending stairs (as opposed to a ramp) will have no choice but to separate one leg from the other by some meaningful distance, thereby presenting moments of potential focus on ervah. The basic idea, both in Tazria and in Yisro, is that the Mikdash is no place for focus on ervah, no matter how subtle.


Gal Einai, Copyright 2006 by Gedalia Litke and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

Grabbing The Conductor's Hand
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Why Bring the Children?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Plenty of Redeeming Values
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Heard but not Seen
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

An Urge to Be Even Better
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

The Covenant and Remembrance
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

ArtScroll

Casting the Mold for Next Year's Blessings
Rabbi Yosef Aryeh Schlussel - 5761

Connected
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Repentance or Excuse?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

> Sputterless
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Shofar: The Court Summons
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

The Secret of Teshuvah
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Long Way Back
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Perceptions
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5768

Personal Business Plan
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Spiritual Impressions
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information