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By Rabbi Aron Tendler | Series: | Level:

Haftorah Tazria
II Kings 4:42 – 5:19

This week’s Haftorah takes place during the era when Elisha, the student of Eliyahu, was the primary Navi. The Haftorah begins with the miracle of Elisha feeding 100 men with 20 loaves of bread and grain.

The main story of the Haftorah involves Naaman, the commander-in-chief of the forces of Aram. Aram was the dominant power in the area, and Israel was subject to their control. Naaman had contracted leprosy for which his physicians were unable to offer a cure.

A younger maidservant, who had been taken captive in a raid on Israel, suggested that Naaman go see Elisha the Prophet for a cure. The king of Aram composed a letter of introduction to Yehorum the king of Israel, who upon hearing Naaman’s request that he be cured of leprosy rent his garments in misery over the seemingly impossible request. Elisha, upon hearing about the request and the king’s reaction, criticized Yehorum and said, “send him to me.”

When Naaman arrived at Elishas home, Elisha didn’t even greet him. He sent a message to Naaman to bathe in the Yarden (Jordan) seven times and he would be healed. Naaman was at first angered over Elisha’s conduct and seemingly ridiculous prescription, but was then convinced to do as Elisha had said. Upon emerging from the Yarden his skin had regained a much more youthful appearance than it had been before the leprosy.

Naaman offered Elisha great wealth, but Elisha refused. Naaman accepted the truth of G-d’s divinity and promised to serve only G-d in the future.

The relationship to Tazria is the topic of Naaman’s Tzaras and the clear massage that it is truly a divine affliction, rather than a mere skin infection.

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