Parshas Tazria – Food Glorious Food {Eliezer}

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{Eliezer} Based on the teachings of: R’ Shalom Rosner & R’ Akiva Tatz

Please Keep in Mind – the Yartzeit of my father, Dr. Howie Guterman, this coming 29th Adar II (March 31st):
Chaim Yitzchak ben Michoel Shlomo – May his Neshama Have an Aliyah…


Why does Tazria (beginning with the concept of childbirth) come after Shemini (ending with the laws of keeping Kosher)?

Medrish: Before a baby is born [GM’ Niddah explains the baby learns all Torah (R’ Tatz: This giving of all knowledge and smacking it away is done to get that initial spark of inspiration, which is then removed to demonstrate work must be done throughout life to regain it. The faintest glow always remains of which a torch can eventually flare from) but upon exit] Hashem commands he/she about keeping Kosher. He teaches the about to be born child what to eat before appearing into the world AND G-d asks to accept all the Mitzvos (commandments) in His Torah.

How is Kosher symbolic of all the rest of the 613?

R’ Avraham Shore quoting R’ Tzaddok: Basic Judaism focuses on what and how we eat. So much of our life is focused on eating, both the mundane and the sanctified. Morning, afternoon, evening, ShabbosYomtov, we Jews eat all the time! All we do is sleep, eat, and do mitzvos/pray! How much shopping do we especially do for Pesach?!

How we approach this aspect of routine has a ripple effect throughout our lives – what we are ingesting and what we do before and after it. The 1st sin of creation had to do with EATING! The first Commandment (Don’t Eat THIS) and the first ever recorded Sin. Why would this in particular be the 1st sin? It is not even one of “the big three” we must die for. Killing even came a little later with Kayin.

Vilna Gaon: We know that to get to the root of something we must always look to the beginning for its source [ex: the first time AHAVA (love) is ever mentioned is by Avraham offering Yitzchak as a sacrifice (an ultimate GIVING (hav), both ways].

This 1st source of sin, must therefore encompass ALL sins. If we act appropriately in THIS area, it will have an affect on our lives completely. We must act like people instead of animals when we deal with our food. This applies when we are eating at home, a kiddush, a wedding, at work, or at a Passover Seder. Once we accept all laws governing food (the seed/root of serving G-d) it will “blossom” through all our actions (our leaves, fruits and berries).

R’ Tzadok: Halachick (G-dly) manners ‘branch’ out to interpersonal manners.

Rabeinu Bachai even wrote a whole book on all laws of eating, how, what, when, where and why (because of its huge significance in life).

R’ Rosner: At the PESACH SEDER: We have 4 sons. The Rasha (wicked son) asks, “What is all this service that YOU are doing?” YOU indicates a physicalness (a seeming sense of individualness) involving human consumption. The Rasha doesn’t get it! This is how you serve G-d, through eating? That affects your whole life? What’s the deal with your eating? The Rasha does not understand the idea of taking the physical and uplifting it to the proper spiritual level. He says “it’s not for me… Let me eat my own way.” And our answer is so appropriately to KNOCK OUT HIS TEETH!! This is exactly how WE should eat! The Rasha does not get the purpose for it, so he doesn’t deserve it. This is exactly how WE serve Hashem.

May we all enjoy our food properly, eat our way into the world to come, and prepare a delicious meal for Moshiach when he comes to bring the 3rd Beis Hamikdash, speedily in our days. Amen.

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