Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 12, v. 2: "V'yoldoh zochor v'tomoh" - The cause of defilement after giving birth can be explained with the gemara Taanis 2a. The gemara says that although Hashem gives out keys (sends out intermediaries) for many functions, there are three keys which He does not relinquish, but rather He personally intervenes in carrying out these three functions. They are the keys for rainfall, the resurrection of the dead, and birth. This explains the words in Breishis 30:22, "Va'yiftach HASHEM es rachmoh." Since Hashem's Holy Presence is in attendance at every birth, upon leaving, there is such a void of sanctity that it brings about defilement. This is similar to the defilement caused by a dead body, which is caused by the departure of the sanctity of a Jewish soul. (The Holy Admor of Kotzk in Shem miShmuel)

Ch. 12, v. 6: "Ke'ves .. l'oloh u'ven yonoh o sor l'chatos" - Labour pains are a punishment for the sin of Chavoh (Breishis 3:16). Chavoh sinned on two levels. She allowed herself to be seduced by the snake, "hanochosh hishiani" (Breishis 3:13), a mental process, and she actually ate from the forbidden fruit, "vatikach mipiryo vatochal" (Breishis 3:6), a physical action. Therefore every woman who gives birth must bring an "oloh" offering for the sin of thought, and a "chatos" offering for the sin of action. (Rabbi Shmuel of Sochatchov in Shem miShmuel)


Ch. 14, v. 2: "V'huvo el haKohein" - The gemara Arochin 16a states that one of the causes of "tzoraas" is stinginess. (Note the similarity of the words "tzaar ayin" and "tzoraas." The gemara Yoma 11b says that this is indicated in 14:35, where it says, "asher lo habayis." The house is his, but not for the use of anyone else.)

It is therefore most befitting for the "metzoro" to appear in front of the Kohein for his cure. The primary Kohein, Aharon, was the paradigm of altruism. The Torah testifies that he was glad in his heart when he found out that Moshe would take the lead role in bringing the bnei Yisroel out of Egypt, even though Moshe was his younger brother (Shmos 4:14). The "metzoro" should appear in front of the Kohein and learn this lesson and be healed from his affliction. (Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudoh of Siget in Yeitav Lev)

Ch. 14, v. 4: "V'eizove" - Rashi (Medrash Tanchuma #3) says that his remedy is to reduce his haughtiness, as is symbolized by hyssop grass, which is a lowly plant. Rashi can be understood to mean that he should diminish his haughtiness of acting as if he were hyssop grass and thus excusing himself from helping his fellow man, positing that he is not likely to be helpful. In truth, he says this to avoid helping someone because he feels it is below his dignity. False "anivus" can be a most insidious form of "gaavoh." (Chidushei Hori"m in Siach Sarfei Kodesh)

Ch. 14, v. 6: "Es hatzipore hachayoh yikach ossoh" - The slaughtered bird indicates that the "metzoro" should refrain from speaking prohibited things, just as the slaughtered bird no longer chirps. The bird that remains alive teaches the "metzoro" that he should speak that which is required, and not remain silent. (Rabbi Yehoshua of Belz in Leket Imrei Kodesh)

Ch. 14, v. 32: "Asher lo sasig yodo" - ASHER seems to connote that the norm is that he will be too poor to bring the offering of a well-to-do person. Compare this with "V'im lo simtzo yodoh" (Vayikroh 12:8) by the offerings of a woman who gave birth. V'IM connotes a departure from the norm, indicating that normally the woman is able to bring the offering of a well-to-do person. The person who contracts "tzoraas" has weakened the flow of blessing from Above through his sins. (Rabbi Moshe Yechiel of Ozshorov in B'eir Moshe)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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