This Week’s Torah Portion Is Parashat Tazria (Leviticus 12:1-13:59)

I discuss the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Rabbs every Monday at 7pm PST on my live cam and on YouTube.

This week’s we study Parashat Tazria (Leviticus 12:1-13:59).

Watch the videos.

* After a woman has a baby girl, she is tame (impure) for two weeks but only for one week after a baby boy. Are all male-female differences in the Torah anti-woman? Does the Torah look down on the birth of girls? Do Jews?

* Seven days after a boy so she can attend the bris.

* How long do married folks wait to get it on again after the wife gives birth? Does it ever feel tight again after she’s been all ripped up in there? Once a woman gives birth, does her husband get as much love?

* Clothing and houses can not get sick. Chapter 13 is not a medicinal chapter. This is ritual, not pathology. The scale disease is not leprosy, in fact it is no known skin disease.

* The Torah puts the community before the individual. Folks with scale disease are removed from the community until they’re cured.

* So are these cures for skin diseases? Do you think they might work today?

* The only bodily emissions that pollute are semen and menstrual blood. Making a poo is not impure.

* What are the best ways to avoid wet dreams? Is it true that every sperm is sacred, every sperm is good, every sperm is needed in your neighborhood? Let the pagans waste theirs on the dusty soil, God will make them pay for each sperm that can’t be found.

* The entire corpus of rituals is out in the open so the priest can never say, slip me some gold or sleep with me and then I’ll cleanse you. Spiritual seekers don’t have to sleep with me to get my awesome insights. All of the details of my life and thought are on my blog. Clergy who’ve done terrible things to kids have said to them, this is how you will come closer to God. It is a good line and it kills me I can’t use it (on adults).

* What are the conjugal obligations of Torah scholars such as ourselves to our future wives?

* It’s rare in the Torah that it says this is a law for all time. One example is with Yom Kippur. Perhaps many of the laws were just meant to be temporary. Perhaps the Reform are right?

Greg Leake emails: Hi Luke, ching-chong ling-long!

Here is a list of questions that I hope you and Rabbs will think about answering on your show. Possibly this will not fit into your venue, which I completely understand. However, i would find your answers interesting, and I think other listeners would find your answers interesting as well.

1) If you had the money and could live any place in the world you wished to, where would you live? What kind of housing would you live in at this location?
2) If you could sleep with any actress in her prime who has been on the silver screen in the last 50 years, who would it be? (I think I would have to go with Grace Kelly.)
3) If you could work in any profession or role that exists, what kind of profession would it be?
4) a) Luke, if you had not come down with chronic fatigue syndrome, what do you think you would be doing by now?
b) Rabbs, when you chose between medication that would alleviate your condition and Judaism, what do you think would have happened had you chosen to alleviate your condition?
5) Does either one of you feel that there was a girl in your past who qualifies for “the one who got away?” .. the girl you look back on and feel she was the one you should have married and did not?
6) When you look into your past, do you ever see something that looms in your mind as a conspicuous mistake or misjudgment, and if you had not taken the road you did, your life would have been very different?
7) When you look back, is there some opportunity that you didn’t follow up on and now believe that it may have been your big chance that slipped through your fingers?
8) If you could change one major national policy in the US, what would it be, and what would you change it to?
9) If you could completely do away with and dismiss a personal characteristic that you find does not serve you and yet you cannot shake it, what would that characteristic be?
10) If there were a couple of Jewish thinkers of the last 50 years that you could have had conversations with and enjoyed being friends with and learned from, who would those thinkers be? Likewise, who would be two non-Jewish thinkers of the last 50 years that you that you could have had conversations with and enjoyed being friends with and learned from?

If you don’t wish to include the questions, then just kick them out. If for whatever reason some questions have to to do with things you don’t want to go into, find and dandy. These are the kinds of things I sometimes ask myself, and I imagine your viewer would be curious about your thoughts on these matters.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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