By Rabbi Raymond Beyda
In the times of the Bet HaMikdash there was a spiritual affliction
Tzara'at (not leprosy). It manifests itself on a person's home, clothing
and body. A person, who suspected that he or his property might be
affected, called the kohen to inspect the suspect areas and to make a
The Midrash tells of a very poor Kohen who decided to leave the land
of Israel to go elsewhere in order to earn a decent living. He began
teaching his wife the laws of Tzara'at so that she could substitute for
him in his
"The appearance of the hairs is crucial to proper determination". Said
the Kohen to his wife. " Each hair has its own follicle which nurtures its
growth. If the hair has dried up know its source underneath the skin has
"If every single hair is nurtured individually by G-D certainly he
would provide for every human being" commented his wife. The Kohen changed
his plans and did not move.
The question is what persuaded him to change his mind? He certainly
already knew and believed what she told him!
Our Mussar masters say that we can truly understand a concept even
teach it to others and yet fail to apply the principal to our own lives.
The Kohen knew that Hashem provides for all but did not properly focus on
the idea, nor did he relate the concept to the reality of his own life.
Once his wife had crystallized the idea into a practical application
regarding his life he decided not to move or travel to earn a livelihood.
In order to improve and grow we must develop a daily routine that
includes study of ethics and personality development! The constant
repetition will create an incredible impression on us and help us achieve
our life goals of character development and spiritual perfection.
QUESTION FOR YOUR SHABBAT TABLE
Why does the metzora bring two birds as part of his offerings at the time
of purification? Also, why is it that one is slaughtered and one is set
In Tehillim David Hamelekh said: "Can your silence be justified at a time
when righteousness you should speak--when with equity you should judge the
sons of man?
Rebbi Yitzhak explained: "What is man's trade in the world? He should
act as a mute. Should you think that you should also not speak words of
Torah -- the verse commands "Righteousness you should speak" [Hulin 89a]
The Sages have taught that at the time a person brings an offering to
the Temple and sees the Kohen slaughter it and offer it on the alter the
person should contemplate that the animal or bird is being offered in his
or her place and contemplate thoughts of repentance [teshubah]. The
affliction of biblical tsara-at came upon a person because of the sin of
lashon hara. When the bird was slaughtered the person would think about
the bad use to which he or she put his or her mouth and resolve to be
silent. Since there are positive, constructive ways to speak, the Torah
commanded that the metzora also bring a second bird, whose chirping would
remind him or her that there is a good speech which could console,
encourage, praise and advise others, as well as, speak words of Torah.
This bird was set free to encourage the proper use of the gift of speech.
Speech can bring death and speech can give life -- choose life. [Based on
Aperion, Rav Shelomo Ganzfried zt'l]
DID YOU KNOW THAT
One who launders a garment on Shabbat violates a Torah prohibition.
Therefore, if there is a stain on a garment it is forbidden to clean it
with water even though one does not thereby clean the entire garment.
Cleaning with talc or other substance other than water is also forbidden.
Should someone wish to clean off a garment one may rub LIGHTLY with one's
hand or with a dry cloth --but one should be careful not to rub the dirt
vigorously. One is also forbidden to wring out liquid from a garment.
[Source Yalkut Yosef, Volume4, Shabbat 2, Siman 302:1]
PLEASE INTENSIFY YOUR PRAYERS AND GOOD DEEDS
FOR THE REFUAH SHELEMAH OF
HAKHAM BARUCH BEN HAIM SHLIT'A
BARUCH REFAEL BEN MIRIAM
Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.