Metzorah – Your Spiritual Retreat

We noted last week a skin condition of former times called Tzara’at. This week we learn that the sufferer, known as the Metzorah (the name of this week’s Parsha), had to be quarantined for the designated specified time of healing. Quarantine is an imposed removal from society for the protection of others. But there are times when wisdom dictates that we take an elective ‘quarantine’ – commonly referred to as a ‘retreat’. A vacation is one form of ‘retreat’ but there are also purpose-driven retreats, often to introspect, or train, or meditate, and others formats. We Jewish people have a number of prescribed retreats. On a daily basis, just before falling asleep, we are asked to introspect and assess the achievements or shortcomings of the day. Once a week we have the Shabbat retreat, a day when we alter our pattern of behavior and refocus on our inner self and our relationship with the world. On a monthly basis, the Rosh Chodesh seeks from us to make a ‘cheshbon nefesh’- a spiritual accounting of our performance over the month. And of course we have the annual Rosh HaShanna when that personal assessment takes place for the whole year. These are important retreats for the purpose of growth and development. Do you plan your retreats? Why not create a Shabbat family retreat – meaning a day where technology doesn’t intrude, close communication and bonding takes place, and when you can take stock of what is happening in your life and make adjustments accordingly. If you don’t take time to retreat, time will force you face the quarantine of illness or the inevitable quarantine of broken relations.