Thursday, April 23, 2015

Overcoming Life's Challenges

In this week's parshas, Tazria and Metzorah we learn about the laws of a Metzorah, one who contracted a spiritual affliction called Tzaras. 

Tazria, tells all the laws of diagnosis and quarantining the Metzorah. Metzorah, tells of the process of purification the Metzorah would undergo to reenter the Jewish camp. 

The purification process starts with the words "This is the Torah of the Metzorah", however looking back to the laws of diagnosing and quarantining there is no such preface. Wouldn't it have made sense to say "This is the Torah of the Metzorah" at the start of the laws of the Metzorah? Why wait until the purification process to say this? 

The real question is, what do see when you meet a Metzorah? Do you focus on the ailment, or on the possibility to reenter? How does the Metzorah view himself? Does he see himself as an outcast?  Or as a person who was granted the opportunity and the time to search his ways and refine himself to have a more meaningful existence upon reentery? 

Therefore by the purification and reentery the Torah says "THIS is the Torah of the Metzorah". The focus needs to be on the positive. 

It is natural for us to focus on the negative. When our children or students misbehave or when life hands us a devastating blow, it is easy to focus on the negative.To focus on the child's punishment or to feel "oh how miserable my life is!" 

Of course the child needs to be dealt with appropriately, and the devastation hurts. Expressing the hurt and sadness is necessary, just as the Metzorah needs to be quarantined. These steps may be necessary but they need to ultimately be trumped by positive purposeful thinking and action. 

I remember when I was finished my first round of tests. The neurologist gave me his preliminary findings "you have bulbar ALS". I had no idea what it meant. He explained the severity of it to me and said he was going to refer me to an ALS specialist. 

I was there alone. Walking out of his office into the empty hallway I broke down in a fit of bitter tears. When I composed myself I headed out of the building. The first thing I witnessed stepping out, was a young man falling to the ground having a seizure. I ran to help him. 

It dawned upon me that there is still much purpose for me. I decided that regardless of the outcome of any future "tests" I would remain positive and find ways to fill life with meaning and purpose. 

This has turned my life and the lives of those around me happier and by far more fulfilling. 

We all suffer hardships and pain, it's what we do with them that makes the difference, "This is the Torah of the Metzorah". 

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Dedicated to the Fabulous Five who have stepped up when this all started, took on the responsibility to support our family and started HurwitzFamilyFund.com as a way to have others take part as well. 

3 comments:

  1. Hi Rabbi. Thanks for continuing to inspire us

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  2. I know that I have erred, that I have made self inflicted difficulties. This Torah portion gives me hope that I am redeemable. I am repentant and change my perspective and actions my life and the life f those around me will improve dramatically. Tank you Rabbi for stimulating thought and action-- for the good. Dr John

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  3. Ends beautifully with:

    I ran to help him.

    It dawned upon me that there is still much purpose for me. I decided that regardless of the outcome of any future "tests" I would remain positive and find ways to fill life with meaning and purpose.

    This has turned my life and the lives of those around me happier and by far more fulfilling.

    We all suffer hardships and pain, it's what we do with them that makes the difference, "This is the Torah of the Metzorah".

    ReplyDelete