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Health, Nutrition & Torah: Metzora

| April 14, 2010

Courtesy Alexander Smolianitski (http://flickr.com/photos/smolianitski/)

Courtesy Alexander Smolianitski (http://flickr.com/photos/smolianitski/)

The Text:
“The priest shall examine the affection on the skin of the body…when the priest sees it, he shall pronounce the person impure…the priest shall isolate the affected person for seven days.  On the seventh day the priest shall conduct an examination, and if the affection has remained unchanged in color and the disease has not spread on the skin, the priest shall isolate that person for another seven days.  On the seventh day the priest shall again conduct an examination:  if the affection has faded and has not spread on the skin, the priest shall pronounce the person pure.”

The Context:
This portion contains graphic descriptions of people who have leprous affections. It describes the process a priest should go through in order to determine whether a suspected leper is indeed leprous and how the leper should be removed from the camp.

What it Means for Advocates:
The Torah prescribes that lepers should be isolated. Upon recovery, they can return to the camp, but while they are affected they are to remain on the fringes. Today, there are many people who live on the fringes of society. Some of them were forgotten or neglected by family, others were let down by society.

Many of the homeless and hungry people in the United States are veterans of our armed services. Has our country failed these service people by not providing the proper benefits of health care, mental health care and re-entry into society after their service?

Consider this: although veterans make up only 11% of the adult population, one out of four of the homeless in America are veterans.

Learn about how you can make a difference in the lives of local veterans.  Read about resources available, hospitals, counseling, and shelters and write to your representatives to show that concern for veterans is an important issue to you.

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