Friday, April 08, 2011

Metzora 5635 First Ma'amar (part 1 of 3)

This week's parsha describes the process of purifying a metzora/leper.  The Midrash in this week's parsha quotes a pasuk in Tehillim (50:16), "ולרשע אמר א-להים מה לך לספר חוקי ותשא בריתי עלי פיך/And to the wicked God said, 'To what purpose do you recount my decrees and bear My covenant upon your lips?"  The Midrash[1] explains that God does not desire the praises of the wicked.  The Midrash brings this pasuk to shed light on the beginning of our parsha, "זאת תהיה תורת המצורע ביום טהרתו/This will be the law of the leper on the day of his purification." (VaYikra 14:2)

What is the connection between the pasuk in Tehillim and the pasuk from our parsha?  To answer this question we need to understand why the pasuk uses the word toras/law of.  In fact, the Torah uses this word in various places.  For example, "תורת הזב/the law of the zav" (VaYikra 15:32) 

Even though in these instances, the word תורה means law, it hints to the Torah.  The Torah is not simply a scroll with words on it.  The Torah is a powerful spiritual entity through which flows spiritual power into the physical world.[2]  

Our pasuk that begins the description of the leper's purification contains the word תורה/law/Torah so that we may infer that rectification comes about only through the spiritual power embodied by the Torah.  In fact, not only rectification but all actions are possible only because of the power those actions receive through the Torah.

To the extent that we rectify our actions we can come close to and experience the spiritual power of the Torah for everything in the physical world has its spiritual roots in the Torah.  Our very souls have their roots in the spiritual entity that we call Torah.  However, to the extent that our souls are flawed, we cannot come close and experience our spiritual roots.  When the Midrash teaches that God does not desire the praises of the wicked it means that they are spiritually incapable of connecting to their source.

[1] VaYikra R. 16:4
[2] The Zohar (1:5a) teaches that God used the Torah to create the world

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