This week's parsha
Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
But It's True
There are conceptions of morality expounded in Torah that are all but unknown to other peoples, defects recognized by Torah and deprecated if not totally ignored by others. This week's Torah portion discusses at length the affliction called tzora'at, commonly translated as "leprosy." The sages describe this affliction as the punishment for loshon hara, an evil tongue.
I was hanging around a social function recently and overheard a few ladies chatting about their growing broods. There were the usual kvetches about chutzpah, which soon morphed into a general discussion about sibling rivalry and the optimum size and makeup of the perfect family. A friendly argument broke out whether they preferred sons to daughters and whether they were better mothers to their older children than their younger ones.
My heart went out to one woman who was standing on the side unable to join in the conversation. She is yet to have children. Even her best friends don’t know how much time and money she and her husband have spent trying to have a child. Though I have been in regular contact with them on their journey, I only know some of the pain they experience daily.
The Case for Large Families
"You have how many siblings and cousins!?"
Great conversation material. It’s never let me down.
Growing up in Brooklyn, I never considered large families unusual. Many of my classmates came from big families. Although having four first cousins in my grade was unique even by local standards, I never gave it much thought. Big families were fun, dynamic and normal.
Over the years, as I found myself mixing in different circles, I became aware that large families are really the exception, not the rule. There aren’t many people with more than 10 siblings and hundreds of first cousins. Who knew?