D’var Torah: O holy Shabbes Inspiration Tazria

By Rabbi James Stone Goodman


when you bear a child [Lev.12:1]

you will be unclean

a certain number of days —


Tamei – impure

tahor – pure

you become tahor

when you are released from tamei

with time and sacrifice.

Raise up your eyes

north south east west

look down

can you count the dust of the earth?

So will be your seed. [Gen.13:14-16]

The future –

more than we imagine

the present

a dark mirror,

But the future

will spread itself out

north south east west

we will get lost in vastness —

Look up

look down —

Look forwards

backwards too, you sentimentalists,

you are

tahor – purified,

You are safe


in the world.


Maqam Bayat

D [3/4] E half-flat [3/4] F [1] G

Each Shabbat is associated with a musical figure

A maqam

Cognate of maqom

Signifying Place


Rabbi James Stone Goodman serves Congregation Neve Shalom and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association.