Every year we retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt, and how “with a strong hand and an outstretched arm” God freed us from slavery. This week you might identify the things in your life to which you are currently enslaved, and the kind of “strong hand” that you need to help free you from that enslavement. Find someone to whom you can stretch out your arm in friendship, support or love and thereby help free them as well.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this Torah portion is the story of the "scapegoat" that Aaron the High Priest selected each Yom Kippur upon which he symbolically paced all the sins of the community. He then sent the goat out into the wilderness to carry the sins of the people way. Most of us would love to find a "scapegoat" of our own whenever we recognize that we haven't lived up to our own highest expectations of ourselves.
Although this portion generally refers to physical diseases and the role of the priests in bringing spiritual healing to the afflicted, the Torah tells us to recognize when there "seems to be as it were a plague in the house." Think about the various ways we act with each other that brings "a plague as it were" upon your own house and resolve to redirect your emotions and behavior in the week ahead in a more healing direction.
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