Leading Idea: Tzara’at and its implications

Leading Idea:  Tzara’at and its implications

Some helpful conceptual distinctions  raised by the exercises  and secondary sources that are worth keeping in mind when exploring this theme are:


  • to protect others from you (contagious diseases),
  • to protect you from  them (Leukemia, whereyou might fall sick from being in touch with others),
  • to enable you to get better (spending time ‘away’ in a psychiatric hospital where you can then get the care and help you need, or spending on a spiritual retreat).
You can also look at the difference between different kinds of isolation:
  •  loneliness and solitude (in solitude I can keep myself company and be happy about it, when I am lonely i can’t even keep myself company)
  • Being alone by choice or being alone by circumstance, or being alone by force.

This can lead nicely  into the text  on lashon  hara as a spiritual disease,  and to also to think about the kind of isolation  Miriam ‘s isolation was.


  • Punishment other people inflict on you
  • Punishment that you inflict on yourself through self- neglect (not looking after yourself)
  • Punishment you inflict upon yourself  as a result of a psychological condition (feeling guilty, anorexia, depression).
  • Punishment that is deserved v’s  punishment that is undeserved
  • Punishment that ‘matches’ the crime (is relevant to what was done)  v’s punishment that simply inflicts pain/punitive measure