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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 14, v. 2: "Zose ti'h'yeh toras ha'metzora b'yom tohoroso" - This will be the law of the afflicted person on the day of his purification - The Chovas Halvovos writes that if a person speaks loshon hora about another, his mitzvos are transferred to the victim of his speech. We can thus explain these words of our verse to mean that this will become the "Torah of the metzora," i.e. it will revert back to him, when he goes through the purification process. (Har Zvi)

Ch. 14, v. 2: "Zose ti'h'yeh toras ha'metzora b'yom tohoroso" - This will be the law of the afflicted person on the day of his purification - The future form "ti'h'yeh" deserves clarification. The Beis Yisroel of Gur explains that on the day of his purification he brings a crimson thread and "eizov" grass, symbols of humility. It is insufficient for him to feel contrite and humble only at the time of his purification ritual. "Zose ti'h'yeh," this shall be his attitude in the future as well.

Ch. 14, v. 2: "V'huvo el haKohein" - And he shall be brought to the Kohein - The metzora spoke loshon hora, and he justifies this by claiming that he simply is telling the untarnished truth. He probably despises the Kohein, a descendant of Aharon Kohein Godol, who has inherited the nature of smoothing out disagreements between people by even using the ploy of "bending" the truth to bring peace between people, as is related, that Aharon went to one party and said the person who was upset with him wants to make amends and beg forgiveness, even if it wasn't the case. This "truth seeker" is to be brought in front of the Kohein, who is at the other end of the spectrum from him, to learn that the Torah's "truth" is guided by bringing people closer to each other, and not a truth of disharmony. (Rabbi Volf of Dzhikov)

Ch. 14, v. 3: "V'nirpo nega hatzoraas min hatzoru'a" - And the affliction is healed from the afflicted person - It would seem to be more logical to say that the "afflicted person is healed of his affliction, "V'nirpo hatzoru'a min ha'nega tzoraas." However, this teaches this person a profound lesson. He has gone through a most trying and embarrassing procedure, appearing in front of the Kohein, being locked in his home, announcing that he is "to'mei" wherever he goes, living in solitary confinement outside the community, and now, finally bringing items to the Beis Hamikdosh that are uniquely for a metzora's purification process in plain view of anyone present at the Beis Hamikdosh. He might now think that he is totally purified and "as good as new." However, this is not the case. A person who has spoken loshon hora to the point that he is given a Heavenly sign, has sinned quite grievously. The "nega" of the "metzora" has been healed, but he must always keep in mind that he was a "metzora" and has a propensity to sin again. This will help him in his ongoing battle to speak properly. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 14, v. 5,6: "V'shochat hatzipor ho'echos, Es hatzipor hachayoh" - And he shall slaughter the one bird, And the live bird - The most prominent sin connected with "tzoraas" is loshon hora. Part of the purification ritual of the "metzora" is the slaughtering of one bird and the sending away of a second one. This alludes to the axiom, "Hachaim v'hamo'ves b'yad haloshon," life and death are in the control of the tongue. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 14, v. 34: "Ki sovo'u el eretz Canaan" - when you will come into the land Canaan - Rashi says that Hashem is making an "announcement" that when he bnei Yisroel will vanquish the inhabitants of the land and take over the properties, upon razing a house because of "tzoraas," they will find hidden treasures placed in the walls by the Emorites. What need is there for an "announcement?"

The rule that items found in one's property become his based on the power of acquisition without the owner's knowledge, "chatzeiro shel odom koneh shelo midato," only applies to an item that is normal to be found there. An example would be birds in a nest built on his property. Items that are highly unlikely to be found there, such as treasures of gold in a wall, do not go under this rule. Therefore a previous "announcement" was made, so that the bnei Yisroel would consider it a likelihood that there would be such items in their walls. As well, even though there is a law of acquiring spoils of war, this only applies to items one realizes that he has control of, but not items hidden in a wall. Even though the vanquished are under the bnei Yisroel's control, i.e. for taxation and the like, such items do not belong to them, and "gezel aku"m" applies (gemara B.K. 116b). By being previously apprised of the likelihood of hidden treasures in the walls of homes, the bnei Yisroel had in mind during the war to also take these items as spoils, thus alleviating "gezel aku"m." (Ponim Yofos)

Ch. 14, v. 34: "V'nosati nega b'veis eretz achuzas'chem" - And I will place an affliction in the house of the land of your inheritance - Rashi says that upon razing the house the owner will find treasures that were hidden in the walls by the earlier Emorite inhabitants. If so, how is this a punishment? As wealthy as the person becomes from the treasures, he is now temporarily without a house. The verse in Mishlei says, "Birchas Hashem hee taashir v'ein imoh etzev," the blessing of Hashem will bring wealth and there is no annoyance with it. Since finding the treasure includes the loss of his home, the person realizes that this treasure is not a "birchas Hashem." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 14, v. 36: "B'terem yovo haKohein liros es ha'nega" - Before the Kohein will come to see the affliction - Rashi says that the household items are removed to avoid their becoming defiled if and when the Kohein declares the house defiled. Why go to all this trouble when in doubt? Don't remove the items and if the Kohein concludes that the house is defiled, let him then tell the owner to remove the items, just before he pronounces "to'mei." Moshav Z'keinim answers that we fear that the Kohein will be swayed by the vessels. If he sees a few paltry items in the house of a destitute person, he will more readily say "to'mei," and if he sees vessels of great value in the house of a wealthy person he will be swayed to not say "to'mei." As noted in Rashi, the majority of vessels can easily be purified. It is only earthenware vessels that have no manner of becoming pure, that are affected. It thus seems that the Moshav Z'keinim is differentiating between valuable and almost insignificant vessels of earthenware, a bit hard to comprehend that this would sway the Kohein.

The Sforno says that the delay caused by emptying the house of its vessels before the appearance of the Kohein on the scene gives both the owner of the home time to reflect, repent, and pray, and for the Kohein as well, to pray for the welfare of the home owner.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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