Metzorah 5774

This is the Torah of the Metzorah (14:2) – What is the Torah of the Metzorah? Is there a different one than for the rest of us? The Pardes Yosef explains that in Chovos HaLevavos the author notes that one who speaks Lashon Hara loses his mitzvos and his Torah merits. Thus, at the time he finally does Teshuva, he is beginning his own Torah accounting anew.

And behold the Nega has healed from he who has Tzoraas (14:3) – Why is he still called a Tzarua if the Nega has healed? The Daas Kedoshim explains that so long as he has not had the chance to tell Lashon HaRa again, his Teshuva is incomplete. Thus, he is still a Tzarua until the opportunity for growth happens. Rav Aharon Shteinman Shlita  notes that the Toras Kohanim notes that the Tahara is dependent upon the Kohein’s declaration that he is Tahor. Without the declaration, the person remains Tamai.

And the Kohein will command and he shall take for the one seeking Tahara…cedar .. and a hyssop (14:4). – In the Haftorah normally read on Parshas Tazria, we read of Naaman the general who was told, via the agent of Elisha, how to restore his health. Naaman was incensed as to why Elisha did not come to speak to him directly. Why didn’t Elisha want to meet with Naaman directly? Rav Yitzchock Knobel Shlita explains that one of the things that brings Tzoraas is Gasas HaRuach – haughtiness. Rashi explains that the one with Tzoraas who thinks he is like a cedar, must humble himself like a hyssop. Elisha understood that Naaman’s anger was indicative of his lack of understanding about this basic principle and so by not meeting with him directly, it encouraged Naaman to seek a reason and ultimately to be humbled in front of Hashem.

This is the story of the one who has Tzoraas within him (14:32) – Why is the poor person with Tzoraas referred to as “Asher Bo HaNega” as opposed to the rich person who is merely a Metzorah? Rav Zalman Sorotzkin ztl. explains that there is nothing more odd and shameful than the poor person who displays his Gaava and speaks Lashon Hara. Such an approach is indicative that the Nega is deeper than on the surface – it is inside of him, at the soul.

When you go into the land of Canaan that I am giving you to possess, I will place a Nega in the homes of the land you possess (14:34) – Why is the land referred to as “Eretz Canaan that I will give you”? Why is it also referred to as Eretz  Achuzatchem? Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer ztl. notes that one of the reasons for Negaim is Gaava. When the people enter the land and think to themselves that it was their strength alone that got them Eretz Yisroel – that is Gaavah. It will bring on Tzoraas. Rather, one needs a sense of humility (Hachnaah = Canaan) and when one has it, one will realize the fact that Eretz Yisroel is a gift from Hashem.

And the Kohein shall command and they shall remove the stones to the outside of the city (14:40) – The Rash quotes a Tosefta which explains that stones with Tzoraas must be removed from all cities in Eretz Yisroel. Why the cities yes and the farms and countryside no? Maran HaRav Schachter Shlita was fond of quoting Rav Menachem Zeimba ztl. who noted that the Kedusha of the cities was part of the Kedushas Beis HaMikdash in a lower level form while the country-side was only endowed with Kedushas Eretz Yisrael. The former cannot co-exist with Tzoraas while the latter can.


And you shall warn Bnei Yisrael from their Tumah and they shall not die in their Tamai state when they make my Mishkan Tamai (15:31) – Rav Moshe Feinstein ztl. notes that the warning to separate close to the Veset (Shavuos 18b) is taught by the Zavah on purpose in order to highlight that even when a situation is out of the ordinary, one is obligated to try to avoid having an Ones.  



Haftorah: “And they crushed him against the gate and he died (Melachim II: 7:20) – Rav Tzvi Tau shlita explains that the sentry was not guilty of challenging Hashem’s ability nor the Nevuah of the Novi Elisha. Rather, his sin was in his “Hareidiyut” wherein he believed that Hashem would not WANT to save the Jewish people. It was in his lack of belief in his people that when they were indeed saved, he was killed in the crushing onslaught.