Friday, April 11, 2008


A funny thing happened early in the week as I walked down the exterior hallway at work. We are located up on the 13th floor, and birds often fly up to our floor to take a little repose. That afternoon, I saw something I had never witnessed before: a pigeon sleeping. There she was, perched on the narrow window ledge, all snuggled up into a perfect circle, her feathers slightly wafting in the spring wind. The scene was remarkably peaceful, which made me think of...doves.

And then it hit me! A common thread between Parsha Tazria and Parsha Metzora (not surprising given that these parshot are read together most years) is the korban offered by the woman after childbirth and by the metzora at the end of their purification period. These birds (dove or pigeon) could substitute for the regular offerings if one's financial situation required it. And what a fitting offering, since these birds are peaceful birds (their diet consists almost exclusively of fruit and seeds) , birds who are monogamous, mate for life, and build a family together (the nesting site is reused annually, with the male bird responsible for bringing the building materials and the female bird for building the nest) . A bird that represents Shalom and Shalom Bayis can indeed purify for any tumah acquired by transgressing Shalom and Shalom Bayis, as in the case of the woman in childbirth and the metzora:

  • The woman during childbirth swears that she will never be with her husband again, which transgresses both Shalom Bayis and Shalom; these words are tantamount to blaming her husband for her condition and consequently equivalent to Lashon Hora
  • The metzora spoke Lashon Hora, which transgresses Shalom and Shalom Bayis; Lashon Hora causes strife between one's fellow yid, and disrupts Shalom Bayis since Klal Yisroel is wedded to Hashem
So, B'H' I saw this pretty, peaceful bird. Not only did it brighten my afternoon, but shed some light on the parsha as well...

Good Shabbos.

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