Because this is a leap year, the Jewish calendar adds an additional month, Adar Rishon, so that it remains in proper sync with the Gregorian calendar. As such, there are times when, in order for the annual cycle of the Torah readings to end on Shemini Atzeret (the 8th day of Sukkot), we will have a double parashah reading (the plural of “Parashah” is “Parashot”.) This Shabbat is one of those occasions.
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Both of these readings deal with uncleanliness, which would prevent one from being allowed to enter the Sanctuary and in some cases requires isolating the person until the condition is determined to be resolved. The first reading deals with leprosy (which in Hebrew is called Tzara’at) of the body, clothes, and even the walls of the house, and the second reading deals with uncleanliness caused by bodily excretions, such as a seminal emission and menstrual flow.
The Torah tells us how to determine if the tzara’at is contagious or not, and also what sacrifice is required for either of these forms of uncleanliness, once the person has been declared clean. With regard to those suffering tzara’at, until such time as the person is declared clean, they are to be isolated from the rest of the community.
The laws of purification are complex, and there are those who argue they were instituted for hygienic reasons, and those who argue they are purely levitical (religious); the former hold that these laws prevent the spread of disease and the latter that they are designed to bring us to a more holy station in life.
There are good arguments for both, and I believe that they are two sides of the same coin, being complementary and not exclusionary.
I find it very interesting that these readings, dealing with the need to isolate those with an infectious disease, occur at this point in time when the world is experiencing the same, exact sort of problem. We are all in a form of isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The one main difference is that the current isolation is not for religious reasons at all, but strictly to (hopefully) prevent the further spread of the disease.
But is there a religious side to it?
I think we can look at this pandemic as a way to gauge the spiritual status of a country. For instance, here in America, our politicians (who have been at odds since the election of the current President) are not working together at all to help the citizens, but using the current panic to play the “Blame Game”; one side saying the administration didn’t do enough, fast enough, and the administration saying they did what they did in a timely manner and when they wanted to do more, they were held up passing legislation because the opposing party wanted to fill the legislation with their own “pork”.
In the meantime, the people these politicians are supposed to help and work for suffered and will suffer even more after this de facto Martial Law is lifted because we will be in a recession.
Worst of all is the media, which has unquestionably been at the forefront of the panic and, in my opinion, directly caused the panic with their sensationalism and irresponsible reporting. And as I have said many times, Satan is called the Prince of Power of the Air (Ephesians 2:2), and all our news, whether through radio, TV, or the Internet goes through the air.
This nation used to be God-fearing and brave, but that was way back when I was a kid and God was still a valuable asset to this country. We were formed by the need to worship God, we included God in our government and schools, and we based how we lived on God’s rules. That’s not the way it is today; we have kicked God out of the government, out of the schools, and even out of the workplace. We ignore God and his instructions but are overly sensitive to possibly offending godless people. Americans today are offended by any spoken word, insult and ridicule God-fearing people, are totally self-absorbed, and worship sports figures, movie stars, and science.
The Enemy has been watching and evaluating when the best time will be for him to make his move. He is readying his forces on earth (if you think I am talking about China, you are right, but it’s not just China) and I believe he has already begun his attack. His attack started with a diversion, the Covid-19 attack, which is using the godless people of the media and government to throw all their attention to the popular fear of infection when the real attack is against our economy. And not just the economy of America, but of the world because if America suffers economic devastation, it will become world-wide economic devastation.
The current program of isolation in America is the means to an end; not just for slowing the spread of this current pandemic (which, by the way, won’t really keep more people from catching it in the long run) but for setting us up for the Antichrist to gain a foothold in order to take charge of this country, then the world. When America falls, the world will follow because we are still the most powerful nation in, and the leader of, the world.
The Shabbat reading for tonight couldn’t be more appropriate and timely. We are suffering from an infectious and deadly disease, but it isn’t tzara’at or Covid-19, it is faithlessness and apostasy. This pandemic has proven that people today are easily controlled by fear, which is not what the Spirit of God gives, but is a tool of the Enemy.
People are not saying “Goodbye” anymore, they are saying “Be safe”, but I think we should be saying, “Trust God and don’t be ruled by fear.”
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Until next time, L’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!