The holiest of actions are the ones that come from the heart. Big or small, every turn of hand has the power to uplift all of humanity when done with love.
This week’s portion of Tazria-Metzora deals largely in part with the repercussions of our actions. The portion reads like a list of rules and regulations for the Israelites regarding purity or uncleanliness – much of which it would seem does not apply to us today, as we do not have a High Priest to inspect us, or a Holy Temple in which to cleanse. The Zohar, however, tells us that we can find the relevance of the portion even in its name, as Tazria translates to, “She conceives.”
Conception is a funny thing in the Bible. It’s not always linear in nature. For instance, we read about Jacob’s love for Rachel, but Jacob was fooled into marrying her sister, Leah. It says that Jacob’s thoughts were of Rachel during his marital relations with Leah, and therefore the right of the first born was given, not to the first born son of Leah – Reuven – but rather to the first born son of Rachel – Joseph. What does this tell us about conception? It tells us what we as students of Kabbalah have undoubtedly heard many times over: Consciousness affects everything. If actions have consequences (and we know that they do), those consequences are not a result of our actions alone, but to where our heart resides as those acts are conceived.