Vertluch: Parshas Tazria

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There’s a well known medrash that states the following story: There was once a peddler who arrived into a busy marketplace. He incited a commotion by yelling out, ‘who wants to purchase the ‘sam hachaim’, the medicine of life?” Everyone came running over to see what this peddler had to offer.  As the crowd gathered around the peddler, he opened up his tehilim and read out loud the pasuk: ‘Mi ha’ish haChofetz Chaim ohev yamim liros tov; nitzor l’shoncha m’rah….. Loosely translated to mean which man wishes life and wants to see good old days? Watch your tongue from speaking evil……., Rav Yanai who was in the marketplace when this all occurred said that his whole life he didn’t understand the meaning of this pasuk until this peddler came along and enlightened him!
 
The obvious question is what did this peddler teach Rav Yanai that he didn’t already know?
 
Rav Issur Zalman Meltzer, Zt”l, answers beautifully.
 
Imagine yourself walking down the street and you see something that doesn’t belong to you. You are compelled to steal it but you don’t. True, you didn’t commit an aveira for not stealing it, but at the same time you didn’t collect a zechus. For a person to receive a zechus, to acquire nutrients for ones olam haba, you have to do a mitzvah properly. Rav Yanai understood from this peddler that if one is careful and watches what comes out of his mouth he is actually attaining zechusim for one’s self for not doing something. Zechusim that will give a person sustenance to live off in olam haba.
 
The pasuk says that someone who is inflicted with tzora’as has to sit outside of the camps and call out to anyone that passes by ‘I am tamei, I am tamei’. The Chofetz Chaim bring a gemarah that states not only does this person call out and let the people passing know that he is tamei but he also asks them to daven on his behalf. He asks why this person needs to ask others to daven for him. What do his teffilohs lack that others have? Answers the Chofetz Chaim because a mouth that was used to speak devarim rah is now affected. The mouth is the conduit used to daven to Hashem, his lines of communications are now full of static.
 
The Pshat here is that it’s not just that we don’t get an aveira, but in actuality we are accomplishing something great. What are we accomplishing? The fact that the Torah and tefillah that comes out of our mouths is being connected on a crisp pure line.
 
We should all merit to watch our mouths and to keep them clean as to we can continue davening in a beautiful fashion for Hashem to bring Moshiach speedily in our days!
 
HAVE A GREAT SHABBOS.
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