Friday, April 20, 2018

Dvar Torah - from Rabbi Yitzchok Wolpin

This week we are privileged to read the portions of Sazria and Metzora. (In Israel they are one week ahead). The portion of Sazria begins with the laws pertaining to a woman who gave birth and the offerings she must bring. The Torah also repeats the mitzvah of circumcision - Bris Mila. In the remaining part of Tazria and Metzora, the Torah discusses the different leprosies which can occur either on a person, clothing or a home. Each case must be shown to the Kohen who is to determine whether it is a true leprosy which is impure or just a warning sign. The stringent one of all is leprosy on the human body, which if found to be impure, the plagued individual must leave his home and go outside the residents area and call out loud Tumey tumey - meaning impure, impure, so that people stay away from him. When cured, the mitzora (leprotic) must bring a special offering. These leprosies come onto a human as a punishment for slander and evil talk.

The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh writes that the reason why we wait until the eighth day to do a Bris, is to ensure that a Shabbos passes, in order to obtain sanctity from the Shabbos in preparation for this holy event. Why is it that the Torah chose specifically in this portion to write that one needs to perform this mitzvah on the eighth day? Perhaps there's a theme connecting this entire portion. The Shem M'Shmuel writes, why is it that at first the Kohen locks person up for seven days to see what develops with the leprosy? It is do that a Shabbos passes by and on Shabbos a person is more focused on his spirituality than on the rest of the week, because when one is less involved in the pursuit of materialism one can connect to his soul better. Therefore the Torah gives him a chance to wait a Shabbos to see if he repents, and the leprosy will disappear. Both, Bris Mila and the Tzoraas (leprosy) bring out the potential of the holy Shabbos.

The commentaries explain why is it that a Metzora needs to yell Tomey Tomey (impure impure), double language ? There are two types of impurities. There's an impurity that is a result of a pure person who came into contact with an impure object, such as a corpse or other impure objects. The impurity is from an outside source a Metzora is impure from the inside, due to his inappropriate behavior toward his fellow human being, this is a much more severe impurity, therefore it requires him to yell twice Tomey (impure). Maybe that is also the connection to Shabbos, as suggested earlier. Shabbos is a day which is sanctified on its own, unlike Yom Tov which is dependent on when we declare Rosh Chodesh (the new month). Let one who is impure on his own do tshuva on the day that is holy on its own.

Gut Shabbos,

Rabbi Yitzchok Wolpin

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