Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 14, v. 3: "V'ro'oh haKohein v'hi'nei nirpo nega hatzoraas" - The afflicted man should see the Kohein, the holy tzadik. Just by looking at his holy visage the afflicted person will be moved to repent and to be healed. (Rabbi Sholo'm of Belz in Leket Imrei Kodesh)

Ch. 14, v. 35: "U'VO asher lo haba'yis" - "U'VO" means "And he shall come." In last week's parsha dealing with the affliction of the body, the Torah says "V'HUVO" (13:2), meaning "And he shall be brought." We can explain this difference with the words of the M.R. 17:4. Hashem first sends afflictions to one's house, "ni'gei batim." If the owner "gets the message" and repents there is no need for further Celestial intervention. If this doesn't strike a responsive chord, then Hashem sends afflictions to one's garments, with which one clothes his body, striking closer. Again, if there is a positive response things will deteriorate no further; they will even improve. If both of these messages don't help, then Hashem attacks the person with afflictions on his body proper.

Our verse discusses "nigei batim," afflictions which come onto one's home. If the person is motivated, he will willingly COME, "U'VO." He gets the message with the first knock on his door. The verse in 13:2 discusses the person who has not reacted and has already had "tzoraas" visit his home and his apparel. Now he has the "tzoraas" appear on his body. He is unmoved or it would never have come to this point. He does not willingly go to the Kohein. He must be BROUGHT, "V'HUVO." (The Sheima Shlomo, the Holy Rabbi Shlomo haLevi of Karlin)

Ch. 14, v. 35: "U'vo asher lo habayis V'HIGID laKohein" - Compare to 13:3 where the one who is physically afflicted with "tzoraas" also goes to the Kohein, but the word "v'higid" is not mentioned.

The Holy Chozeh of Lublin had a chosid who was extremely poor. Whenever he went to his Rebbe, his wife reminded him to advise the Rebbe that he was very poor, and possibly the Rebbe would give him a blessing for a decent livelihood. However, when in the presence of the Holy Chozeh, the chosid totally forgot about his physical depravations and only discussed his spiritual pursuits. This happened time and again.

Once before he departed to the Chozeh, his wife decided to come along, as she would not forget to plea to the Rebbe for their physical needs. When she related their situation to the Rebbe, he responded that regarding one's physical flaws (ni'gei haguf), it is not necessary to relate the details to the Kohein, as it does not say "v'higid" by the "tzoraas" of the body. However, regarding the afflictions of the home (problems with livelihood), it is necessary to relate this to the Kohein, as it says "v'higid" by "ni'gei batim." (Gan Yoseif by the baal Pardes Yoseif)

Ch. 14, v. 36: "V'lo yitmo kol asher baboyis" - Rashi explains that the Torah concerns itself with even salvaging vessels of minimal worth. This teaches us that we should likewise attempt to bring everyone closer to Hashem, even a person for whom we feel that there is no possibility of reaching great heights. (Rabbi Yaakov Aharon of Alexander in Beis Yaakov)

Ch. 14, v. 54: "Zose haTorah l'chol nega hatzoraas" - This is the Torah. It is a remedy for every spiritual malady. (Degel Macha'neh Efrayim)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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