Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Metzora 5632

The first half of this week’s parsha describes the procedure that a metzora must undergo in order to return to a state of purity. Chazal teach us that tzora’as is a consequence of slandering. The Midrash says that the word metzora alludes to this because the word can be split into two words, motzi ra/spew out bad (speech).

The Sfas Emes understands the word ra/bad here, as an allusion to the evil inclination. God created us with a good and an evil inclination. Chazal teach us that we are expected to serve God with both the good and the evil inclinations. God gave us the evil inclination, as well, to utilize in our service to Him. The metzora erred in that he motzi ra/expelled the bad (inclination.) The evil inclination becomes a hindrance to our service, a source of impurity, only when we reject it as a tool with which to serve God. Otherwise, it helps us to come close to God by providing challenges and opportunities that enable us to grow.

This concept may be alluded to in the procedure for purifying the metzora. The procedure calls for two pure birds. The Sfas Emes says that these birds may represent the two inclinations within us, the good and the bad. The Torah refers to both as pure just as it refers to our soul – which contains the evil inclination – as pure. The key is not to reject any part of the root of our soul. We need all of it to achieve the mission for which God sent us into this world.


JSJcbs said...
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JSJcbs said...


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