by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHIOS TAZRIA-METZORA 5770 BS"D
Ch. 12, v. 7: "Zose toras ha'yole'des" - This is the law of the woman who has given birth - Why isn't this verse placed at the end of all the laws of a woman who has given birth? The gemara Brochos 19 says that "one should not open his mouth to the satan," meaning that he should not utter a negative statement about himself or others, as this will be a push towards the negative happening taking place. Our verse, if placed at the end, where the laws of the offerings of a poor woman are discussed, would be giving voice to this being the "Torah of" a poor woman, making it a greater likelihood that Jewish women would be poor. It is therefore placed earlier, at the end of the laws of the offerings of a wealthy woman. (Admor Sar Sholo-m of Belz)
Ch. 13, v. 3: "Hofach lovon" - Has turned white - the Kli Yokor writes that white hair indicates weakness, both spiritually, as we have here in our verse, and physically as well. It is known that sheep with white wool are not as robust as those with dark wool, and similarly, horses that have white hair are weaker than those with dark hair.
Ch. 13, v. 4: "V'hisgir haKohein es ha'nega" - And the Kohein shall lock in the nega - There is a disagreement if the word "nega" here simply means the affliction, meaning to demarcate it, or if it means the PERSON who has the affliction.
According to this second opinion, why doesn't the verse clearly state "hanogua," the afflicted person? Tiferes Ovos answers that the verse teaches us that the Kohein should only judge the affliction and not take heed of the afflicted person. If he were to take this into consideration he might wrongly rule the affliction as a "nega" when found on an enemy of his, or wrongly say that it is not when judging a friend. Isolate the "nega" only and judge it.
In a previous edition we cited Haksav V'hakaboloh who says that by calling the afflicted person "the affliction' the verse teaches us that he is deeply affected by his sin, equating him with his condition. We similarly find this on the positive side as well, where King Dovid says, "Vaani sfiloh," I and prayer are one and the same.
Ch. 13, v. 59: "Zose toras nega tzoraas" - This is the law of a skin affliction - The Baal Haturim notes that the term "Torah" is found five times in the parsha of "Tzoraas." He explains that this teaches us that he who speaks loshon hora, the main cause for "nega tzoraas," is as if he has transgressed the five books of the Torah. This is explained to mean that in each of the books of the Torah we find the sin of loshon hora. In Breishis the snake's enticement of Chavoh, etc. The Chid"o in Tzemach Dovid says that the five times allude to the five types of loshon hora, which are likewise remedied by the intricate procedures of the sacrificial service at the end of the "metzora's" affliction period.
1) Simply speaking loshon hora, which corresponds to the chattering of the birds that are brought.
2) Walking to speak to the recipient of the loshon hora, "holeich rochil," which corresponds to the Kohein's placing blood on the "metzora's" toe.
3) Hearing loshon hora, which corresponds to placing blood on the "metzora's" ear lobe.
4) Seeing someone speaking loshon hora and not taking action, represented by one's hands, corresponding to placing blood on the "metzora's" thumb.
5) Speaking hidden loshon hora, which is not obvious, "ma'keh rei'eihu ba'so'ser," corresponding to bringing olive oil, whose placement is smooth and causes no commotion.
Ch. 14, v. 2: "Zose ti'h'yeh toras hametzora b'yom tohoroso" - And this will be the law of the afflicted person on the day of his purification - M.R. Vayikra 3 says that these words are in consonance with the verse in T'hilim (50:15), "V'lorosho omar Elokim mah l'cho l'sa'peir chukoy." This can be explained based on the emara Arochin 15b which says that the rectification for one who speaks loshon hora is for him to use his power of speech for Torah study. A person might then incorrectly assume that he can speak hoshon hora and simply eradicate its negativity by studying Torah. However, our verse says "Toras" only is effective "b'yom tohoroso," when he is purifying himself, not continuously sullying his soul with further loshon hora. This is because when he speaks loshon hora he has the status of the "rosho" about whom the verse in T'hilim says, "V'lorosho omar Elokim mah l'cho l'sa'peir chukoy." (T'cheiles Mordechai)
Ch. 14, v. 2: "Zose ti'h'yeh toras hametzora b'yom tohoroso" - And 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 loshon hora on another receives the other persons sins and his own merits are transferred to the one he spoke about. Rabbi Yoseif Patchinovsky in Pardes Yoseif says that this is alluded to in our verse. "This WILL be the Torah of the afflicted person (who spoke loshon hora)." There is an indication in the use of the future tense that until now it is not his Torah. Until he comes to rectify and purify himself of this sin, his Torah is not his, as it is transferred to his victim. Upon coming to purify himself his Torah study will be his, "Toras hametzora."
Ch. 14, v. 3: "V'hi'nei nirpo nega hatzoraas min hatzorua" - And behold the affliction is healed from the afflicted person - This phrase seems to be reversed, and should have said that the afflicted person is healed from his affliction. Yet the verse says the reverse. Hashem is using very powerful medicine to bring the loshon hora speaker to repent. He has a clear physical sign of a spiritual disorder and he is quarantined. He might fool himself into thinking that these hardships in and of themselves serve the purpose of cleansing his soul. The verse therefore tells us that this is not true. The healing of the "nega hatzoraas" must come "min hatzorua." He must do true soul-searching and decide to mend his ways. The gemara Brochos 7a says that subordinating one's heart to do that which is correct accomplishes more than many flagellations.
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 - Earlier, by the wealthier person who has "nega tzoraas" (14:2) the verse says, "Zose ti'h'yeh toras hametzora." Why here does the verse say that the affliction is IN HIM? Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin answers that notwithstanding anyone's financial situation, speaking loshon hora is wrong. However, when a well to do person speaks disparagingly of another it is at least understood why he is condescending of another and speaks negatively. He is a simple "metzora." Our verse is discussing a poor person, who in general does not look down at others. If he speaks disparagingly of another it shows that the disorder is deeply embedded in his psyche, hence "asher BO nega tzoraas."
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 - Logically, the poor person offers less costly items for his purification process, as his efforts in giving less costly items is at least equal to more costly items for a person with an average income. However, as just pointed out, the sin of the poor person is more grievous, sin he speaks disparagingly of another. He is a "dal gei'eh," which in and of itself is a cause for "tzoraas" (Rashi 14:4). The gemara Psochim 113b says that the sin of a destitute person being arrogant is beyond comprehension. Although the Torah gives us a formula for his purification, nevertheless, it is incomplete, leaving a stain that must still be eradicated, as indicated by the words of our verse, "asher LO sasig yodo." (Chasam Sofer)
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