by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS METZORA 5771 BS"D
Ch. 14, v. 2: "Zose ti'h'yeh toras ham'tzora b'yom tohoroso" - This will be the law of the afflicted person on the day of his purification - The Chovas Halvovos in shaar hachno'oh chapter #7 writes that he who speaks disparagingly of another has his merits deducted from his account and they are transferred to the victim of his loshon hora. Also, the victim's sins get transferred to him. Pardes Yoseif, based on these words, explains the words of our verse. When will the Torah studied by the metzora be his, "Toras ham'tzora?" It will only be when he repents and purifies himself, "b'yom tohoroso." In T'hilim 34:14,15 it says, "N'tzore l'shoncho mei'ro usfo'secho mida'beir mirmoh. Sur mei'ro vaa'sei tov." As long as one sins by speaker "loshon hora" his positive acts are credited to the victims of his speech. Only when one guards his mouth from speaking negatively and his lips from deceit, and thus turn away from bad behaviour, then is his "a'sei tov" of everlasting value, as he then will be credited with his good deeds. (Adaptation of Marpei Loshon)
Ch. 14, v. 3: "V'hinei nirpo nega tzoraas min hatzorua" - And behold the affliction has been healed from the afflicted one - The last two words of this phrase seem to be superfluous. The point being made is that notwithstanding the detailed procedure that he is undergoing, in the final analysis, he must decide to better his ways and actually implement this, "min hatzorua." The verse in Yeshayohu 52:2 says, "Hisnaari mei'ofor kumi shvi Yerusholoyim." The medrash Breishis 75:1 explains that the "awakening" is akin to a bird that has dirtied itself. No matter how much brushing and banging it receives, it is not properly cleaned. Only when it lifts itself up from the dirt and shakes itself strongly does it become clean.
Ch. 14, v. 4: "V'lokach lamita'heir shtei tziporim" - And he shall take for the one who is becoming purified two birds - Since one is being sent away and not slaughtered, as are all other living things brought to the Mikdosh, why is it brought? Had the Torah commanded to only bring one bird and have it slaughtered, the afflicted person who sinned through loshon hora would mistakenly surmise that he should always keep quiet, as is symbolized by the bird being slaughtered. However, this is not correct. He must learn to control his speech, sometimes speaking and even when speaking, to speak properly, and sometimes remaining quiet. The bringing of two birds and only slaughtering one symbolizes this. (Rabbi Y.Z. Pollack)
Ch. 14, v. 4: "V'lokach lamita'heir shtei tziporim" - And he shall take for the one who is becoming purified two birds - Numerous insights are given for the symbolism conveyed by bringing birds. A new insight is being offered. Although these birds are "bnei yonoh" or "torim," a unique characteristic exists by birds that to the best of my knowledge does not exist by any other creature besides man. That is the ability to clearly enunciate words. People speak, hopefully guided by thought and intent. Parrots repeat what they hear, but with no intent or understanding. Nevertheless, they have the ability to speak. A primary cause for "tzoraas" afflicting a person is that he has spoken "loshon hora." As is explained by the Holy Chofetz Chaim and others, sometimes a person speaks disparagingly of another because he assumes that his words will not be repeated to others, in particular to the victim of his negative words. If a person he felt he could not trust to be discreet would be present he might refrain from thus speaking. However, we know from the Chavakuk 2:11 that, "Evven mikir tizok," a time will come when a stone placed in a wall will scream out that which was perpetrated in its confines. A "metzora" brings birds to symbolize that just as there are birds that can repeat his words he should always be careful to only speak that which is correct to say, as his words can surprisingly sprout wings and be carried over quite a distance. (n.l.)
Ch. 14, v. 32: "Zose toras asher bo nega tzoraas asher lo sasig yodo" - this is the law of the one who has in him an affliction whose hand cannot afford - Why by the wealthier man who is afflicted does the verse say, "Zose ti'h'yeh toras ham'tzora" and not mention that the affliction is embedded in him, "asher bo," as is stated here? Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin in Oznayim laTorah answers that the causes for "tzoraas," either speaking "loshon hora" or being haughty, are not farfetched for a wealthy person. However, for a destitute person to speak disparagingly of another or to act in a haughty manner, indicates an extreme level of decay in his character. This person's "tzoraas" is embedded in him.
This might also explain why by the wealthy person the word "ti'hyeh" appears and not by the poor person. "Ti'h'yeh" indicates that there is a likelihood of it happening. This is true by a wealthy person, but not by a poor person. (n.l.)
Ch. 14, v. 35: "U'vo asher lo haba'yis" - And the one to whom the house belongs shall come - The words "asher LO haba'yis" allude to the cause of the affliction coming in the first place, that he feels that the house in which he resides and all of its vessels are HIS, only for his personal use. He is stingy and does not lend his vessels to others (Rashi on gemara Arochin 16a). Rabbi Yehudoh Chosid in entry #323 writes that it is preferable to befriend an unlearned person who is generous of spirit over a learned person who is stingy.
In entry #1,075 he writes that if one borrows money from a person who lends it to him in a very generous spirit and not begrudgingly, will definitely have success with the money he borrowed. He cites a proof for this from the gemara B.B. 15b, which says that whoever borrowed even a minimal amount of money from Iyov was showered with blessings.
Ch. 15, v. 15: "V'chi'peir olov haKohein …… mizovo" - And the Kohein shall cleanse him …… of his flow - When the offering is brought for a "zovoh g'doloh" the verse says, "V'chi'peir o'lehoh mizov tumosoh" (15:30). Why is there no mention of the "zov's" impurity? The Meshech Chochmoh answers that when a "zov" has two emissions he is already defiled for the following seven days. The addition of a third day only adds on the requirement to have an offering brought to cleanse him, but no additional impurity. Thus the bringing of the offering only serves to purify his emissions and not his impurity, as the seven day period applies even where there is no offering. A woman who experiences "zivoh" for a third day enters into a new level of impurity, now having to have no flow for seven consecutive days and to bring an offering to become purified. Thus processing her offering brings both cleansing from her flow and her impurity.
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