Metzorah
metsora PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by yehuda katz   

METZORA "And if he is poor and his hand is unable to afford." (14:21)

After a "Metzora" (a spiritual disease with physical symptoms)is healed sacrifices are offered . The Torah gives a poor "Metzora" an option to give a less expensive sacrifice. A question can be asked in regard to verse 14:21 wording. If the verse begins by saying a poor person, then why does it have to repeat that he is unable to afford? Isn't it obvious that if he's poor, he is probably unable to afford to sacrifice a more expensive sacrifice? Why is the Torah being redundant? I would like to propose , Bezrat Hashem, the following original answer : There are 2 types of poor people, one that defines himself as being poor and another that realizes that he might be poor now but that does not necessarily mean that he'll be poor in the future. The first type of poor person is a pessimist, while the second is an optimist.

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Two types of poor PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by yehuda katz   
METZORA
"And if he is poor and his hand is unable to afford." (14:21)

After a "Metzora" (a spiritual disease with physical symptoms)is healed sacrifices are offered . The Torah gives a poor "Metzora" an option to give a less expensive sacrifice. A question can be asked in regard to verse 14:21 wording. If the verse begins by saying a poor person, then why does it have to repeat that he is unable to afford? Isn't it obvious that if he's poor, he is probably unable to afford to sacrifice a more expensive sacrifice? Why is the Torah being redundant?
I would like to propose , Bezrat Hashem, the following original answer : There are 2 types of poor people, one that defines himself as being poor and another that realizes that he might be poor now but that does not necessarily mean that he'll be poor in the future. The first type of poor person is a pessimist, while the second is an optimist. The Medrash Yayikra Rabba 17:3 lists 10 sins that can cause "Tzaras".Three such sins are as follows:(1) conceit, (2) Lashon hara , malicious gossip, (3) acting miserly. All of these sins share a common denominator, namely whats known in Hebrew as an "Eyin Rah" ( a bad eye).
This type of person sees the world in a negative and pessimistic manner. In other words pessimism is the root cause for "Tzaras".
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Can you fix it? PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by d fine   
A most perplexing Midrash features in Rashi 14:34. Commenting closely on the unusual wording of the pasuk, Rashi writes that HaShem promised us that when we go into the Land of Israel we will contract tzara’as on our houses. Why? So that when we have to knock down our houses in the consequent purification process we will find ancient treasure which was buried underneath our houses. Splendid. But how can we understand this - surely the tzara’as only came because we sinned; so why is HaShem rewarding us with treasures for having sinned? The basic idea is found in Da’as Zekeinim (Vayikra 12:8) that these forms of tzara’as actually serve to atone for the sin. Thus, after one has successfully been through the tzara’as purification process and has become a new spiritually-gleaning person, then one is worthy of reward for your spiritual turnabout. And since one of the sins that causes tzara’as is stinginess (a midah which you have now become re-sensitized to after the purification process), what better way to be rewarded than via riches galore!
 
Bad neighbours PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by d fine   
In downtown perek 14 (pasuk 40), we are told that if bona fide tzara’as is found on a house, the affected stones must be removed and plonked outside of the city. This poses problems when one lives in a detached house; what happens when your neighbour’s house has contracted tzara’as, and the adjoining (corner) stone which both you and your neighbour share has to be removed. Rashi (Sukkah 56b) cites the Midrash which confirms that the shared stones must indeed be removed. But why must poor innocent you (we are always innocent!) suffer? Rashi seems to explain that it was because you had some hand in your neighbour’s sin - the tzara’as was caused by the fact that your neighbour looked at your material bliss with a stingy/greedy/jealous eye (a sin which can cause tzara’as). Had you have taken the time to develop a good, positive, friendly relationship with your neighbour then he would have been happy with your success. In some way or another, you were responsible for your neighbour’s sin, so your suffer the consequences of losing a (shared) brick too.
 
double-birdie PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by d fine   
As part of his purification process outlined at the start of parshas Metzora, the metzora is to bring two birds - see the psukim for what happened [with these birds] next. The Zohar comments that one of the birds is ‘for the lashon hara’ (that the metzora spoke) and the other ‘for the good words.’ What’s the Zohar talking about; where are the good words which the metzora spoke and why does he need atonement for that? The explanation given is that the metzora does not need only to atone for the sin he did in speaking lashon hara; he is also to realise (and gain atonement) for the fact that he missed out on an opportunity. How so? For instead of using those few seconds (and his tongue and voice box) to speak lashon hara, he could have been using his words wisely by speaking positive things; divrei Torah, words of encouragement or compliments to others, etc. These are ‘the good words’ which the Zohar is referring to; the fact that the metzora needs atonement for having failed to open his mouth to speak positive, constructive words. The metzora (and us) is being taught that it’s not enough to avoid sin. We are on this world to positively achieve things too and we must be proactive in this goal. Life is not about not sinning - it’s about perfection!
 
Metzorah PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by Administrator   

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sins are to correct (short) PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by D Fine   
Rashi (14;34) brings a not-so-easy-to-comprehend medrash that says that HaShem guaranteed Bnei Yisrael that they would have to break down their houses (because of tzara'as of the house form) and would find treasure underneath it. Why are we getting a reward for the tzara'as which was caused by sin in the first place? The answer is that punishments are not all there to ‘smack us’ for doing bad - they are so that we can grow from them and become better than we were before the sin. This is how Bnei Yisrael could receive reward for punishments; because they are actually receiving reward for having utilised the punishment to grow spiritually from the punishment. In a similar vein, one who has sinned and has done Teshuva for the sin is now in a stronger position than if he did not do the sin at all; for he successfully proved his strength to separate from the sin
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missed opportunities PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by D Fine   
In our sedra we read about the purification process of a metzora (‘leper’); someone who spoke lashon hara [or was stingy or stole; Torah Temimah metzora 143]. The metzora brings two birds as sacrifices when he becomes pure again; as related at the start of our sedra. The Zohar comments (apparently) that one bird is for the lishna bisha - the derogatory words of lashon hara - that the metzora spoke, and the other is for lishna tava; the good/positive words. What does the Zohar mean; why bring a korban for good words? And besides, the metzora spoke lashon hara, not good words? Rabbi Frand brings an answer that the Zohar means that in speaking these negative words of lashon hara, the metzora committed two offences. First is the negative speech itself, and second is the fact that they missed out on the opportunity to speak good, constructive words; that they didn‘t say lishna tava. One might add a small twist to the answer in explaining that the fact that this person had spoken constructive and positive speech in the past showed that he was capable of speaking positively -
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