by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHIOS TAZRIA-METZORA 5773 BS"D
Ch. 12, v. 2: "Ishoh ki sazria v'yoldoh zochor" - When a woman will have a child and it will be a male - In verse 5 it says, "V'im n'keivoh seileid," - IF she will give birth to a female. These verses seem to indicate that the birth of a male is more imminent. Since a man generally prefers to have sons and the gemara offers strategies that increase the probability of having a male child, the verses express themselves in kind. (n.l.)
Ch. 12, v. 3: "U'va'yom hashmini yimol b'sar orloso" - And on the eighth day he shall circumcise the flesh of his covering - The Rambam in Moreh N'vuchim writes that it would be safer to circumcise a child when he is stronger, logically at the age of one year. However, at that time the father's love for his son would be so great that there is a fear that he will not circumcise his son. It would then follow that he should be circumcised immediately upon birth, as the love grows even over eight days. However, before eight days the child is too fragile.
The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh explains that the milestone of eight days for strength is based on the child's having passed through a Shabbos, which gives him both spiritual and physical strength. This is akin to what we find in Breishis Raboh 10:9, that the world itself was in a tenuous state until after Shabbos came. A person is a microcosm of the world.
Ch. 12, v. 3: "U'va'yom hashmini yimol b'sar orloso" - And on the eighth day he shall circumcise the flesh of his covering - The Baal Haturim points out that this verse has the same number of words and letters as the verse that begins "Va'y'chulu" (Breishis 2:1). This is another allusion to the law that circumcision on the eighth day overrides the restriction of Shabbos (gemara Shabbos 132a).
Ch. 12, v. 3: "U'va'yom hashmini yimol b'sar orloso" - And on the eighth day he shall circumcise the flesh of his covering - The mishnoh Megiloh 20b lists mitzvos that are to be done only by day and says that they may be done any time of the day. Circumcision is omitted. Although it is true that circumcision any time on the eighth day is proper just as the others that are listed, it is of the utmost of importance that circumcision be done early in the day whenever possible. Notwithstanding that it is commendable to act with alacrity regarding the other mitzvos as well, and earlier is preferable, the immediacy of circumcision early in the day is greater. This is because it bestows a permanent sign of sanctity and is an entrance rite into "kedushoh." This is why "breisos" that mention the rule of alacrity by mitzvos use circumcision as their example. It has become lax and for frivolous reasons people push this mitzvoh to later on in the day (Aunt Tilly is not here yet). Some places regularly wait until past mid-day. This is a wrongdoing of immense proportion and should be stopped. (Oruch Hashulchon)
Rabbi Sholo-m Mutzapi writes that the reason recent generations are lackadaisical in doing mitzvos and studying Torah is because the first mitzvoh that was done with them, namely circumcision was delayed for no compelling reason.
In a previous edition we have dealt with the issue of waiting later into the day to allow for a righteous person to be the circumciser and/or the "sandek."
Ch. 12, v. 3: "U'va'yom hashmini yimol b'sar orloso" - And on the eighth day he shall circumcise the flesh of his covering - A distraught grandfather came to his mentor, complaining that his son-in-law merited having a number of sons and not once was he given the honour of being the sandek, notwithstanding that he was the grandfather, and also helped support his son-in-law generously. His Rav told him that he should not concentrate on what might be a wrongdoing by his son-in-law. Rather, he should be so enraptured with simchoh at the birth of yet another healthy grandchild. It is foolish to take such a great simchoh and to relegate it because of his own feelings. "Vanquish such thoughts from your mind."
Ch. 13, v. 46: "Kol y'mei asher ha'nega bo yitmo tomei hu" - All the days the affliction is in him he will be defiled he is defiled - The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh explains the seeming double-talk. Having the affliction on his skin renders him defiled. Do not think that this is Hashem's doing, giving him a lower status. This is because "tomei hu." He has done this to himself.
Ch. 14, v. 2: "V'zose ti'h'yeh toras hamtzora b'yom tohoroso" - And this will be the law of the afflicted person on the day of his purification - "Metzora" is phonetically close to "motzi shem ra." When a person still has sins of talking then his Torah study becomes discredited, no longer his. When he repents and purifies himself, "b'yom tohoroso," then his Torah study will again become his. (Binoh L'itim)
Ch. 14, v. 2: "V'huva el haKohein" - And he shall be brought to the Kohein - The word "v'huva" can be scrambled and result in "v'ohuv," and beloved. This is an allusion to the words of the Rambam in hilchos teshuvoh chapter 7, that a sinner, before he repents, was hated by Hashem, detested and distanced. After repenting he is "ohuv," beloved, close, and a friend. (Chid"o in Chomas Anoch)
The Holy Zohar writes that the prayers of the person who has the sin of loshon hora, do not ascend to heaven. Similarly, when he repents, his prayers that were kept in storage, ascend.
This is alluded to in T'hilim chapter 17. "Shimoh Hashem …… haazinoh t'filosi." This is because "B'lo sifsei mirmoh." (Maa'tei T'hiloh)
Ch. 14, v. 2: "V'huva el haKohein" - And he shall be brought to the Kohein - The reason the Kohein is the key player in the purification procedure of the baal loshon hora is because in the main people speak negatively about Torah leader, Rabbonim, Poskim. By having him brought to the kohein, the representative of scholarship and service in the Beis Hamikdosh, the sinner becomes contrite and repentant in front of a representative of all the above. This can more likely bring him to true contrition and repentance.
Based on the writings of the Chovas Halvovos shaar habchinoh chapter #8, that the speaker of loshon hora looses his merits and they are transferred to the victim of his speech there is an understanding of why people are so driven to talk badly of Torah leaders. This begets them extra benefits. (Taam Vodaas)
Ch. 14, v. 34: "V'nosati nega tzoraas b'veis eretz achuzas'chem" - And I will place an affliction in a house in the land of your inheritance - The verse does not say that you will find the house afflicted. Rather, it stresses that Hashem will place the nega. This removes any thoughts that the growth on the walls came naturally. (Ramban)
Perhaps it is stressed here more than by the afflictions of the garments and the body because it is common to have mold and other discolourations on the walls of houses.
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