Pearls of Rashi – Metzora II

This week’s Torah portion, Metzora, tell of the procedure for the purification of a Metzorah. The Torah teaches us that[1] “This shall be the law of the Metzora on the day of his cleansing. He will be brought to the Kohen.” Rashi cites the words from this verse “This shall be the law of the Metzora etc.” He explains that “this teaches that (a Metzora) is not (pronounced) ritually pure at night.”

As is the case with every word of Torah, this must be teaching us a lesson. In our time, Tzora’as skin blemishes no longer exist. In that light we need to understand what practical lesson we can learn from this.

The Torah begins the description of the purification process of a Metzora with the words “This shall be the law of the Metzora on the day of his cleansing …” In the original Hebrew, the Torah says that “this shall be the Torah of the Metzora.” We have translated the word “Torah” as “law.”

The Alter Rebbe explains[2] that the Torah is teaching the way spiritually purify a Metzora. Tzora’as is a spiritual disease. It is caused by “Motzi Shem Ra – מוציא שם רע,,” which is translated as libel, spreading false rumors which besmirch another’s name. However, the literal translation of these Hebrew words is “bringing forth a bad name.” In a spiritual sense, one brings forth and draws down spiritual names (letters and vessels) from objects that are not connected to positive, G-dly things. The way to rectify this is through “this shall be the “Torah – law of,” being occupied in words of Torah. This is in keeping with the teaching of the Sages that[3], “the entire Torah is names of Hashem.” By learning Torah, one draws down a holy name which purifies an impure name.

This is why the Torah begins telling us of the Metzora’s remedy with the words “this shall be the law (Torah in Hebrew) of the Metzora. The primary spiritual rectification of Tzora’as is Torah. It is only afterwards that it says that “he shall be brought before the Kohen.” That is because in order for Torah to have the desired effect, the Metzora must be brought to the Kohen. This is because the Kohen is the one that assures that the Torah study is with the proper humility.

May our Torah study bring about the complete and true redemption with Moshiach now!

Wishing one and all a good Shabbos and a Kosher and happy Pesach!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 12, Page 82

Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י בני משפחתו שיחיו

[1]. Our Parshah, Vayikroh 14:2.

[2]. Likkutei Torah, Parshas Metzora, Page 24, the end of Column 4.

[3]. The Ramban in his introduction to the Torah. His source for this is Zohar, Section 2, Page 87, a.

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