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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Tazria

Parashat Tazria

The Union of Time and Space

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The Zohar on our Parasha [Vayikra 12] states: "'And God spoke to Moshe saying: When a woman, etc.' Rabbi Elazar said: 'By night on my bed I sought him' [Shir ha-Shirim 3:1]. It says: 'On my bed,' and not 'in my bed.' What is meant by 'on my bed'? Knesset Yisrael said to the Holy One, blessed be He, questioning the Galut. 'We lie among the nations in the dust of unclean lands.'" Thus, "on the bed," and not "in the bed," which suggests an intimate relationship with the King.

Jewish self-alienation and national fragmentation is only mitigated by the state of Israel. Living a Jewish life in the land of Israel assumes redemptive significance. Time and space, the union of physical and spiritual with 'person' is the Divine equilateral triangle, the perfect shape. Rav Kook has taught that Knesset Yisrael [the nation], the land and time [Shabbat and festivals] are inextricably linked; it is a shared identity with the Divine as stated in the Zohar [Behar]: God, Torah, and Israel are one.

Overcoming alienation and fragmentation is the desire of every created being. It is the return of the self to the Eternal self. How appropriate is it that our Parasha speaks about birth and the covenant of circumcision. The brit-covenant is the removal of the orlah-the foreskin, the classic symbol of alienation, a chatzitza-separation.

Erev Shabbat in Jerusalem, early in the day at the Machane Yehuda market and later at candle lighting time, one may experience this unity of time, space, and person. Those who have come home, who have returned, will overcome the self-alienation of Galut and the fragmentation of dual allegiance. The goal of Yichud and Devekut, the wondrous unity of the One, is our portion in this Holy Land that merges time, space, and person.

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