Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 14, v. 2: "B'yom tohoroso v'huvo el haKohein" - Is he then brought to the Kohein on the day that he becomes pure? The Kohein has to go to the afflicted person who is now residing away from civilization and he has to view the affliction, and it could still take weeks before the Kohein announces that the "tzoraas" is gone. Then there is the bringing of sacrifices, the complete shaving of his body, another one week waiting period, and bringing of more sacrifices until it is the "day of his purity."

This teaches us a penetrating lesson. The afflicted person has been away from society for a while. Hopefully, he has learned his lesson and will not return to the sin of loshon hora. However, on the day of his becoming pure, and with it his return to society, there is the fear that he will immediately go back to speaking loshon hora. If he feels himself being drawn to this on the "day that he becomes pure," he should immediately be brought to the Kohein to be strengthened in his resolve to not commit this terrible sin again. (Rebbe Reb Heshel in Ori V'yishi)

Ch. 14, v. 2: "V'huvo el haKohein" - Why specifically to a Kohein? When people speak loshon hora it is often aimed at the spiritual leaders of the nation (see Rambam end of hilchos tumas tzoraas). The penitent is brought in front of a Kohein so that he subordinate himself to the leaders of the nation. Why indeed is it so common that people speak evil of great people? The Chovas Halvovos in Shaar Habchinoh chapter #7 writes that when a person speaks loshon hora against someone, he takes the sins of that person and adds them to his own account. This is Hashem's way of cleansing great people of their few sins. (Taam Vodaas)

Ch. 14, v. 4: "V'eitz erez ushni solaas v'eizove" - Rashi (Medrash Tanchuma #3) says that these items are brought to teach the haughty "metzora" that if he feels elevated as an "erez" tree, he should lower himself to the level of a worm and hyssop grass. If so, why is symbolism needed for haughtiness at the time of his repenting? A person could repent from his haughtiness by totally negating himself. This is unhealthy. He should still consider himself a worthy person, a proper servant of Hashem. However, this should not bring him down the slippery slope of becoming strung up and feeling superior. He should still be like an "erez" tree, but tempered by "tolaas" and "eizove," a healthy balance. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 14, v. 35: "K'nega" - The owner of the afflicted home does not say that a "nega" has appeared in his home, but rather, LIKE a "nega." This is because our Rabbis teach (T.K. 14:75, M.R. 17:6) that Hashem places the "nega" into the home so that when it will eventually be razed, the treasures of the previous residents of the house, those of the Emori nation, will be uncovered. The seeming "nega," K'NEGA, is actually a blessing. (Rabbi Ben Tzion of Bobov in Kedushas Tzion)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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