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5 Facts About the Parsha Metzora That (Maybe) You Didn't Know

Published on Wednesday April 10th, 2019

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parsha that you can share at your Shabbos table.

14:2

זֹ֤את תִּֽהְיֶה֙ תּוֹרַ֣ת הַמְּצֹרָ֔ע בְּי֖וֹם טָהֳרָת֑וֹ וְהוּבָ֖א אֶל־הַכֹּהֵֽן׃

This shall be the ritual for a leper at the time that he is to be cleansed. When it has been reported to the priest.

What are the 7 sins that cause Tzara’at?

  • These are the 7 sins that cause Tzaraat: Lashon Hara/evil speech, murder, false testimony, immorality, haughtiness, stealing, and poor business practices. The seven sins are alluded to by the Torah having 7 chapters that discuss these laws. So too, the words “negah tzaraat/leprous mark” appear 7 times.

What happens to the soul of one who doesn’t repent before death?

  • One who does not repent before death will be all alone in the next world. This is because all the righteous souls flee from such a person. His soul is sent to the “fourth chamber,” known as “Tit Hayaven/quicksand,” in a place called “Nega Tzaraat,” where souls suffer tremendously.

14:4

וְצִוָּה֙ הַכֹּהֵ֔ן וְלָקַ֧ח לַמִּטַּהֵ֛ר שְׁתֵּֽי־צִפֳּרִ֥ים חַיּ֖וֹת טְהֹר֑וֹת וְעֵ֣ץ אֶ֔רֶז וּשְׁנִ֥י תוֹלַ֖עַת וְאֵזֹֽב׃

The priest shall order two live clean birds, cedar wood, crimson stuff, and hyssop to be brought for him who is to be cleansed.

What do the cedar tree and crimson stuff have to do with Tzara’at?

  • The cedar, a massive and tall tree, alludes to the sinner’s haughtiness. The crimson thread, which comes from a small creature, and the hyssop, which is a small bush, both allude to the sinner’s need to become humble.

14:8

וְכִבֶּס֩ הַמִּטַּהֵ֨ר אֶת־בְּגָדָ֜יו וְגִלַּ֣ח אֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָר֗וֹ וְרָחַ֤ץ בַּמַּ֙יִם֙ וְטָהֵ֔ר וְאַחַ֖ר יָב֣וֹא אֶל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֑ה וְיָשַׁ֛ב מִח֥וּץ לְאָהֳל֖וֹ שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִֽים׃

The one to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and bathe in water; then he shall be clean. After that, he may enter the camp, but he must remain outside his tent seven days.

Why does a metzora need to immerse himself in a mikva?

  • The reason that a metzora immerses in a mikvah for purification is to symbolize, that just as the world was full of water before man was created, so too, the sinner is now becoming a new man,  abandoning his sinful past and starting anew.

14:34

כִּ֤י תָבֹ֙אוּ֙ אֶל־אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲנִ֛י נֹתֵ֥ן לָכֶ֖ם לַאֲחֻזָּ֑ה וְנָתַתִּי֙ נֶ֣גַע צָרַ֔עַת בְּבֵ֖ית אֶ֥רֶץ אֲחֻזַּתְכֶֽם׃

When you enter the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, and I inflict an eruptive plague upon a house in the land you possess.

How many houses were affected by Tzara’at, until the time the second Temple was destroyed?

  • The Talmud teaches, that there has never been a house afflicted with tzaraat nor will there ever be one in the future. We see from here, that the mitzvot are for us to study and we are rewarded for doing so, even if for whatever reason, they are not practiced.

 

Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box

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