Tazri'a and Mezora
For the week of April 28, 2001 / 5 Iyar 5761
Torah: Vayikra / Leviticus 12:1 - 15:33
Haftarah: 2 Kings 7:3-20

Don't Jump to Conclusions

The priest is to examine him... (Vayikra / Leviticus 13:8).

The instructions on how to deal with destructive skin diseases and mildew provide us with how we can determine the true nature of many of life's problems.

If someone had a certain skin condition or suspected their home or clothing had destructive mold or mildew, the priest was to examine the person, house, or material and determine whether or not drastic measures were to be taken. God outlines the things that they were to look for, the details of which we don't need to get into here.

What's important for us is that over and over again we read the words, "The priest is to examine…" There were conditions that looked similar to the serious ones, but were fairly harmless and did not demand drastic measures. The priest was not to just glance at the condition and come to a conclusion. He was to examine it to determine its exact nature. Once his conclusion was made, then the appropriate actions would be taken.

This is how we should be approaching much of life's problems. We often jump to conclusions about things without carefully examining them. But how is it that we can apply the Torah's instructions about skin diseases and mildew to this, when there is nothing here about such things as moral, relational or doctrinal issues. Or is there?

The priests were learning in this instance that they were to take great care before coming to their conclusions. It would have been easy for them to lump all sorts of conditions together based on their similarities. But it was only in the case of clear distinct symptoms that drastic measures be taken.

Even though God was giving them instructions about particular conditions, this was giving them an approach that would affect how they looked at other situations.

So many of life's problems look the same at first glance. It is only after we thoroughly examine a situation that we find out what it is actually all about. Once we discern what is really going on, only then we can take the appropriate action.

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