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Parshat Metzora

PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
ROSH YESHIVA
IN
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.

AND

MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL


Menachim Z. Shimanowitz

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PARSHA
FACTS

NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 11
11 MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
NO MITZVOT LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION)

NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 90

NUMBER OF WORDS: 1274

NUMBER OF LETTERS: 4697

HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
AFTER PARSHAT METZORA

Melachim II / II Kings 7:3-20

This Shabbat we study Chapter 2 of Pirkei Avot - "Ethics of the Fathers."


פרשת מצורע
THE
PARSHA

TZORA'AT
AGAIN
In our last episode the Torah introduces us to Tzora'at.

In English it's called Leprosy. But it's not the kind of Leprosy you know about these days. In the times of the Mishkan and Bait Hamikdosh, Tzora'at was a spiritual disease that was cured by doing Teshuva.

The number one cause of Tzora'at was Loshon Hora. A sign of Tzora'at was a white spot on the skin and, so far, we know Tzora'at could also show up on white wool, linen cloth or leather.


DR.
KOHAIN'S
'HOUSE
CALL'

As our Parsha opens, we ask the question "how does a Metzorah, a person with Tzora'at become cured."

Firstly, after being separated from other people for seven days, you can imagine how relieved a Metzorah is when they notice the spot's gone. The Metzorah calls for a Kohain to examine him. The Kohain makes a 'house call' and goes out of town to examine the Metzorah. If the Kohain agrees that the spot is gone he declares this to be the first of an eight day purification process.


PURIFICATION

Next , the Kohain performs this ritual:

Two BirdsHe has an earthenware bowl filled with fresh spring water. He also asks for two birds of the same species. He slaughters one of the birds over the spring water and squeezes the blood into the bowl. The slaughtered bird is then buried.

Next, the Kohain ties together a stick of cedar wood and a branch from a Aizov (hyssop) tree with a red wool string. Then he takes the tied set of sticks and the live bird and dips then into bloody water. He sprinkles some the water on the Metzorah's hand seven times and then sends the bird away. If the bird comes back he sends it away again until the bird is gone.

The Kohain shaves off ALL the Metzorah's hair. Then the Metzorah goes into a Mikvah to purify himself and his clothes. Then the Metzorah counts seven days. On that seventh day the Metzorah shaves off ALL their hair again. The Metzorah and his clothes then take another dip in the Mikvah.


KORBAN
TIME

Now it's Korban time: Chatat, Asham, Olah and a Mincha, every kind of Korban that cleanses the Metzorah from sin. The Kohain places blood from the Korban Asham, followed by oil on the Metzorah's right earlobe, middle joint of his right thumb, and the middle joint of the right big toe. The rest of the oil is placed on the Metzorah's head.

Finally, the Metzorah is a pure person. They may return to their family after what has been a grueling experience of at least two weeks.

You better believe that this person isn't gonna take Lashon Hora lightly no more!


HOUSE
OF
SPOTS

If you think a leper has a hard time changing his spots, how about a house of leprosy! Oy gevalt! First of all, why would Tzora'at hit a house?

Well, there are a few reasons.

Tzora'at on a house is a tell tale sign that something miserably is going on.

If a house in Eretz Yisroel has a red or green spot that looks like Tzora'at, the owner has to call the Kohain. The kohain orders the owner to clean out the entire house before he makes a 'house call' to check, otherwise all the belongings could become Tamay.

This is part of the punishment for the miserable owner: Now everyone will know exactly what they have hidden in their house. Nothing remains behind closed doors.

If the owner is smart, they realizes that this is their chance to do Teshuva, Since Tzora'at comes from spiritual problems, Hashem could cure or make the spots lighter before the Kohain gets to the house.

House If the spots are still there when the Kohain makes his 'house call', the Kohain locks up the house for seven days. Seven days later if the spots are gone or lighter the Kohain declares the house pure. If the spots are larger, the Kohain orders the owner to chop out the bricks that have Tzora'at and replace them with new bricks. Then the house becomes off limits for another week.

If the Tzora'at returns again, the Kohain declares that the house must be demolished.

If the Tzora'at is gone, the house goes through the same purifying ritual as a Metzorah, two birds, spring water and the tied sticks. The water is sprinkled on the doorpost seven times.

The whole experience is bound to be a humbling one and you can bet that a great lesson is learned by the family!

As we said in our last episode, Tzora'at only occured in the time of the Mishkan and the Bait Hamikdash and only in Eretz Yisroel. In our time we have no Tzora'at . But that doesn't mean we may speak Lashon Hora. No way.


Tune in next week when we answer the question that lingers in everyone's mind, "What did happen after the death of Aharon's two sons?" in the next exciting episode of :
Parsha on Parade

Midrash Maven
See the Midrash Maven on Metzora


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