Classics and Beyond Metzora – Like an Affliction

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  • #2076337
    abukspan
    Participant

    Metzora – Like an Affliction: (surprisingly, this may be a great sheva berachos vort)
    כי תבאו אל ארץ כנען אשר אני נתן לכם לאחזה ונתתי נגע צרעת בבית ארץ אחזתכם: ובא אשר לו הבית והגיד לכהן לאמר כנגע נראה לי בבית
    When you arrive in the Land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, and I will place a tzaraas affliction upon a house in the land of your possession; the one to whom the house belongs shall come and declare to the Kohen, saying: “Something like an affliction has appeared to me in the house” (Vayikra 14:34–35).
    Perhaps we can explain why the homeowner only says “like a nega,” (See Tosafos Yom Tov Negaim 12:5) with a reason that will teach us a lesson regarding our relationship with Hashem, as well as our relationship with others. The Mishnah (Shabbos 2:5) discusses a situation where a person extinguishes a lamp on Shabbos for various reasons, for example if he is afraid of bandits, or to enable a sick person to sleep. Such a person would not be violating a Torah prohibition. However, “ke’chas al haner ke’chas al hashemen ke’chas al hapesilah chayav – if he puts it out to conserve the candle or the oil or the wick, he is culpable.”
    The prefix כ, as found in כחס, translates as “like conserving the candle.” The Imrei Daas, written by Rav Nassan Lieberman (Shabbos 2:5), brings down a question and answer on the mishnah from the Vilna Gaon.
    Why is the כ’ הדמיון used? The Gaon then brings the Gemara in Beitzah (16a), which says that all of a person’s income for the year is predetermined from Rosh Hashanah until Yom Kippur, except for expenses for Shabbos, holidays, and for children’s Torah education. If he spent less for any of these he is given less, and if he spent more he is given more.
    In reality, a person who skimps on the oil he uses in honor of Shabbos would not be saving himself any oil, for the Shabbos lights do not go into the calculation of his yearly earnings. That is why the mishnah uses the prefixכ’ in כחס, because with this in mind – and with the proper emunah – there is nothing to be concerned about; it only appears as if he is saving money.
    This idea can be used idea here, regarding the tzaraas on the home. The mark on the wall is not really a nega; it is a כנגע. It appears to be a negative thing, a punishment from Hashem. But in reality the nega is in his best interest! Tzaraas on the wall is the result of some trespass he has committed (Arachin 16a). It is a message from Hashem to do teshuvah, to change his ways.
    As mentioned, the Seforno points out that the Kohen does not even begin his trek to the person’s house until after it is cleared out. This not only allows the person to empty his house of its contents and furnishings in the event that the Kohen pronounces it tamei, it also gives him time to do teshuvah and perhaps cause the mark to disappear. Thus, the nega is not a negative thing; it is giving him a chance to reform.
    In truth, all of Hashem’s punishments can be catalysts for spiritual growth. The nega and other seeming troubles are just that: “seeming” troubles, only ke’nega, not actual afflictions. They are reminders from Hashem, sometimes subtle and other times stark, to take inventory of ourselves and see the good in everything.
    It is worth noting that the Seforno in Tazria (13:47) describes the manifestation of tzaraas as a kindness from Hashem. Only when the greater Klal Yisrael is worthy will tzaraas be found among them. In fact, there are seventy-two types of tzaraas enumerated in the Mishnayos in Negaim, and the word חסד, kindness, has the numerical value of seventy-two. At an intrinsic level, these negaim are only seemingly negative; in reality, they are a kindness from Hashem.
    Perhaps we can also use this concept of the כ’ הדמיון when explaining the pesukim in Bereishis that describe Hashem’s decision to create a wife for Adam. “Lo tov heyos ha’adam levado, e’eseh lo eizer ke’negdo – It is not good for man to be alone; I will make for him a helper and an opposition” (2:18).
    Rashi writes that if he is worthy, she will be a helper. If he is not worthy, she will be an opposition.
    The second descriptive, that of an opposition, a כנגדו, also has the extra כ’, whose translation would be “like an opposition.”
    In a healthy relationship, even when there is opposition, it is only “like opposition.” Having to hear another side, one spouse’s opinion, may cause a person to rethink his own notions.
    This kind of opposition allows for the couple to grow within themselves – and therefore grow together – into something greater than they were before.

    #2076478
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    So zacha, if he is worthy, than she will be an ezer, she will help by being kenegda, pointing out his faults in order not to have tunnel vision. Rashi says that a nega in the house was really good for him as valuables were hidden by the kenanim which he found when the house was taken apart, so it just looked like a nega, an affliction but really it was a find, a benefit to him.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Reb Eliezer.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Reb Eliezer.
    #2076491
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    When it comes to a metzorah, the live bird is dunk in the blood of the dead bird and sent away over the field. Maybe, the chirping of a bird reflects speech. There is good, allowed speech and bad, forbidden speech. The Kohen, being responsible for teaching proper behavior, is limiting the good speech not to come to bad speech by the dunking to show that we are killing some of it off and then the bird can fly freely over the field, one is free to speak.

    #2076544
    abukspan
    Participant

    Yes, very good

    #2076550
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    There is the peddler who sells by taking out a Tehilim from his sack and showing the words and covering up the words written before, who is the person who wants life loves his life and sees good? \Guard your tongue from uttering bad and your lips from speaking fakeness. So Rebbe Yanai said that his long life he has been working on to understand the pasuk. The Ben Ish Chai asks, how can we learn otherwise? He explains that the above maybe refers to what was said before and long life can be gained by being satisfied with one’s possessions, so the peddler told him that the above refers to what is coming of not speaking about others badly.

    #2076614
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Should be above, that my whole life, I have been perplexed with this pasuk what it refers to.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Reb Eliezer.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Reb Eliezer.
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