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		                                    Thinking Torah Blog		                                </span>

04/07/2022 05:00:00 PM

Apr7

Rabbi Josh Whinston

There is always a lot to say about this week's Torah portion, Metzora, and its explanation of expiation for the person with scaly skin disease. The rituals involved are fascinating and mirror the priests' appointment rituals. As is often the case, expiation on behalf of the afflicted involves a sacrificial offering, and yet the Torah knows that now all people have the means to make an offering. The Torah acknowledges the different means accessible to people by allowing those of lesser means to offer a less costly sacrifice. Even if one is poor, one can affect expiation and "get right" with God. Given the "medical" nature of tzara'at, this scaly skin disease, this week's Torah portion is a good reminder that we continue to live in a country with a broken health insurance system. For Americans of differing finances, access to healthcare is not equal, and the possibility of financial ruin due to medical expenses is quite real for many Americans. Our ancestors found a way to have Israelites of lesser means get right with God and access the tzara'at "healing process." So too, we must continue to insist that Americans in the 21st century have equal access to healthcare.

Tue, December 6 2022 12 Kislev 5783