PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
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.
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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NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 7
5 MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
2MITZVOT LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION)
NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 67
HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
NUMBER OF WORDS: 1010
NUMBER OF LETTERS: 3667
AFTER PARSHAT METZORA
Melachim II / II Kings 7:3-20
This Shabbat we study Chapter 2 of Pirkei Avot - "Ethics of the Fathers."
opens with the Mitzvah of Brit Milah (circumcision).
On the 8th day after
a Jewish boy is born he is circumcised. This Mitzvah
is a sign of the covenant between Hashem and Avrohom
mentioned in Breishit, Parshat Lech Lecha. Every Jewish
male was circumcised from the time of Avrohom. Now this Mitzvah
is reinforced and repeated to emphasize that the Brit
(circumcision) must be performed even if the eighth day is a Shabbat
when it is normally not permitted to make a wound.
A woman is commanded to bring Korbanot to the Mishkan
after she gives birth, whether it is a boy or a girl, to show gratitude
to Hashem for helping her through childbirth. She brings
a lamb for a Korban Olah and a bird for a Korban Chatat.
If she cannot afford a lamb, she may bring a bird instead.
Next, the Parsha talks about Tumah - impurities. The star of the show is Tzara'at.
Tzara'at is a condition where the skin develops white spots.
Tzara'at is commonly called leprosy, but that's a mistake. This is a disease
brought upon by Hashem and usually for the sin of Lashon Hora (Speaking negatively about others). But it doesn't stop with the skin. It could even be found on clothing, houses and household items. This is to awaken a person so that they should examine their deeds and do Teshuva (repent). This is a spiritual disease and it takes a Kohain, not a doctor, to get a diagnosis and have it cured.
There are four degrees of Tzara'at, each one is a spot of a different
Anything darker is not Tzara'at.
- Bright white as snow is the most severe it is called Baheret.
Sapachat Baheret, is a milder case of the first. It is compared
to the color of the plaster on the walls of the Kodesh.
Next is a darker white version, S'ait, which looks like
a clear white wool.
- A milder version of S'ait, is Sapachat S'ait, which is
an eggshell color.
When a Kohain checks for Tzara'at he is looking for either two
hairs that have turned white inside a white spot, or a patch of
healthy skin within a white spot. Either of these two signs indicates
that a person has Tzara'at and is declared a Metzorah.
If the Kohain does not see two white hairs in the patch, or a patch of
healthy skin within the white spot, all bets are suspended for a week. Meanwhile,
the person is quarantined.
The Kohain's advice: "Tzara'at doesn't just show up out of the blue. Hashem is trying to tell you you've got a spiritual
problem. Do Teshuvah."
One week later the Kohain examines the person again. If the spot
is still there and there are two white hairs in the patch, or a patch of
healthy skin within the white spot, that person is declared a Metzorah.
If not, they wait another week while the person is quarantined again.
After the second week, if the spot is gone or the Kohain does not see two white hairs in the patch, or a patch of healthy skin within the white spot, they declare it a closed case.
A Metzorah is someone who has Tzora'at. While the Jews were wandering in the desert the Metzorah had to leave all three camps. In the days of the Bait Hamikdosh the Metzorah had to leave any walled city.
Tzora'at is a spiritual disease and it spreads impurity like
wildfire! If a Metzorah touches any Jew, even a child, that person
becomes Tamay (impure). If a Metzorah walks into a house all the dishes in that house become Tamay.
Once a Kohain determines that a person's got Tzora'at they've got to rip their clothes like a mourner rips k'riah, and then leave the (camps or the) city. Nobody can come within four Amot (approx. 8 feet) of the Metzorah. If someone approaches, the Metzorah has to yell out "Don't come any closer! Don't become Tamay because of me."
A Metzorah has to sit alone and cover their mouth
(that spoke Lashon Hara) with a veil or scarf.
A Metzorah has lots of time to sit and think about their bad deeds and do Teshuva and, after all, that is the cure to Tzora'at.
Sometimes Hashem brings Tzora'at upon a person's clothes to warn that person that he is next. Only white wool, linen cloth or leather can contact Tzora'at.
If even one green or red spot appears on a white cloth the owner
has to bring it to the Kohain. The Kohain locks up the piece of cloth for a week. If the spot has grown by then, the entire
cloth is burned.
Tzora'at of the cloth teaches an important lesson. Hashem wants people to do Teshuva. There are lots of examples in the Torah and in our lives of how Hashem warns us to do Teshuva before
he punishes us. This is a sign of Hashem's love for us.
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.
After reading the Midrash Mavin,
go on to the next Parsha where
Tzora'at runs rampant and Loshon Hora is the key
in the next exciting episode of:
the Midrash Mavin on Tazria
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