Pearls of Rashi – Parshas Tazria-Metzora II

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This week’s Torah portion, Tazria, tells us (among other things) the complex laws of Tzora’as. The Torah says[1] “This shall be the law of the Metzorah on the day of his cleansing …” Rashi cites the words “This shall be the law of the Metzorah etc.” and explains that “this teaches that a Metzorah may not be pronounced ritually pure at night.”

The simple reason for this, is because the words “on the day of his cleansing” appear to be superfluous. From this we understand that one may only be declared ritually pure “on the day of his cleansing,” meaning during the daytime.

As said above, the Torah begins telling us of the purification of a Metzorah with the words “This shall be the law of a Metzorah – זאת תהי’ תורת המצורע.” This also explains the manner in which one can spiritually “heal,” i.e. purify a Metzorah.

It is clear that Tzora’as is a spiritual disease[2]. It is caused by the sin of being “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 words is “bringing forth a bad name.” In a spiritual sense it refers to bringing forth and drawing down names (letters and vessels) from objects that are not connected to positive, G-dly things. The way to rectify this is through “זאת תהי’ תורת המצורע – This shall be the law (Torah) of a Metzorah.” The “cure” for this spiritual disease is brought about through being occupied in words of Torah.

This is why the Torah begins telling us of the Metzorah’s remedy with these words. The primary rectification of Tzora’as is Torah. This is the primary factor, over and above bringing the Metzorah to the Kohen. However, Torah study can only have the desired effect if and when the Metzorah is brought to the Kohen. The Kohen has the ability to assure that the Torah study is with the proper humility.

I wish one and all a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 12, Page 82

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל
וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס

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

[2]. Otherwise, it would require the care of a doctor, not a Kohen.

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