The Torah concepts of tahara and tum’a, imperfectly translated as spiritual purity and impurity, are impossibly difficult for us to entirely grasp through our intellect. And this is because, simply put, these concepts, or the realities that they express, are so much greater than our own individual selves. The period of impurity which visits a mother upon the birth of a child bespeaks of the passage of pure and perfect knowledge from one world to the next, and the necessary loss that results. The extended period of impurity upon the birth of a daughter reflects the more perfect image of G-d that is embodied in the female soul.
Tazria (Leviticus 12:1-13:59)
Parashat Tazria is read on Shabbat:
II Adar 27, 5771/April 2, 2011