Shabbat Tazria / Metzorah (Lev. 12:1-13:59 / 14:1-15:33)
Tazria begins the discussion of situations where people, places or things are “unclean” or “impure” – which may or may not be as negative as it sounds.
However, the very first thing in Tazria (“When she gives birth”) is babies. After a woman gives birth, she is considered impure for a certain number of days (different for a boy versus a girl). Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Could it be a liturgical showcase of every mother’s efforts? A guaranteed “hands off” space to prevent horny husbands from jumping back on the bandwagon too soon? A way of ensuring that every mother has a chance to bond with each child, free from interruption or interference of the outside world? Or could it be recrimination for vows and oaths a mother in childbirth is likely to say but not necessarily mean (or even remember) afterward?
Regardless, this is where we want to start the discussion – thinking about that very basic natural event.
Limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring something you consider to be “baby food”.