This week’s parsha continues the discussion of the skin disease discussed in last week’s parsha. This week, it’s not the human; it’s the house he or she lives in. If you have a house with scuzzy walls, you actually have to take the affected stones out, along with the mudbrick that held them in the wall, and toss the stones and the mudbrick on the tamei pile. You also have to sacrifice a turtle dove. And before you complain about the poor little turtle dove, when is the last time you had a chicken dinner?
Then the parsha moves on to bodily fluids. Men have their fluids; women have their own monthly ones. Either way, these fluids make a person tamei. For a man, it’s a day. For a woman, it’s seven days, after which she must go to the mikveh (ritual bath) before she is pure again. And also – guess what – another turtle dove!
In the case of bodily fluids, tamei is sort of like a taboo. “A taboo expresses this feeling that something special, some holy power, is involved, and our response to it must be very careful” — Penelope Washbourn
Food for Thought
Is there anything in your life that makes you feel tamei?