Avoiding צרעת Like the Plague

Artscroll declares: For hundreds of years, the popular translation of צרעת [tzaraas] has been “leprosy,” and it was commonly accepted that prevention of the disease’s spread was the reason for the quarantine of a suspected victim of tzaraas and the exclusion from the camp of a confirmed מצורע [metzora], the person smitten with the malady. […]

Judges and Grudges

The petition of Zelafhad’s daughters to Moshe emphasized that their father “was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin”: א וַתִּקְרַבְנָה בְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד, בֶּן-חֵפֶר בֶּן-גִּלְעָד בֶּן-מָכִיר בֶּן-מְנַשֶּׁה, לְמִשְׁפְּחֹת, מְנַשֶּׁה בֶן-יוֹסֵף; וְאֵלֶּה, שְׁמוֹת בְּנֹתָיו–מַחְלָה נֹעָה, וְחָגְלָה וּמִלְכָּה וְתִרְצָה. ב […]

There Is No Friend Like A Sister

Consider the remarkable, even uncanny, inverse structural similarity between the grim, yet moving, Medrashic Tale of Two Sisters and Christina Rossetti’s dark, wonderful and quite extraordinary Goblin Market: אמרו: מעשה בשתי אחיות, שהיו דומות זו לזו והייתה האחת נשואה בעיר אחרת, בקש בעלה של אחת מהן לקנאות לה ולהשקותה מים המרים בירושלים, הלכה לאותה העיר […]