Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Metzora
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

yaakov ben behora

Parshat Metzora


Rabbi R. Yehoshua Fass

Parshat Metzora teaches how to cure tzoraat that has afflicted one’s home. If one would finds tzoraat on one’s home in Israel, one would be instructed to dismantle the walls of the edifice and remove the bricks and cinderblocks outside of the camp. Rashi comments that this unique rehabilitative process of "cleansing" the home was actually advantageous for Bnei Yisrael. For during the forty years that Bnei Yisrael were wandering in the wilderness, a punishment due to the sin of the spies, the Amorites who at the time resided in the Land, were busy hiding their gems and jewels in the walls of their homes. When the walls of an afflicted home were demolished, the new Jewish owner would discover these gems and jewels!

Rashi’s commentary requires elucidation. Not only for his deviation from the normative approach that tzoraat is a punishment, but also for the connection he makes between the generation of the wilderness and tzoraat-afflicted homes.

To explain Rashi, we must remember that the Gemara explains the cause of Tzaraat to be tzarut ha-ayin, literally, a narrowness of the eye. I.e., a supercritical, pessimistic, toxic, negative look at all that is around you.

Perhaps Rashi’s explanation is a lesson tailored for our generation: " Ki tavo’u el haaretz " - After finally having the ability of living in Israel, instead of running and embracing that miracle and opportunity, some Jews respond with tzarut ha-ayin - a narrowness of one’s sight. If we adopt a critical negative, pessimistic, outlook on our actual ability to live in the land, or a lack of desire to do so, then Hashem sadly will begin to jeopardize our security, our hold on the land. The generation that perished in the wilderness because of tzarut ayin, did not reach the Holy Land, and did not earn the gems and jewels of the Amorites!

May we see more obviously the gems and jewels of the treasure of Eretz Yisrael that is sparkling before us without having to be subjected to the painful anguish of additional trauma and dismantling of our foundation, and be zocheh to build our homes, our lives, and future in Eretz Hakdosha.

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