web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Insights From The Plague Of Leprosy

Miller-Rabbi-Avigdor

Although the tzoraas affliction is no more in contemporary times, it teaches lessons that are eternal. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that foremost among these lessons is the greatness of Torah leaders and their wisdom. Another lesson: The opportunity the affliction presented to the afflicted for repentance and self-improvement.

“To Aharon the kohen or to one of his sons the kohanim. And the kohen should see the nega and the kohen shall shut up the [man of the] plague seven days” (13:2-4).

For the sake of brevity the verse could have stated, ”He should be brought to one of Aharon’s sons, the kohanim,” but we see that it is preferable that Aharon himself should be consulted if possible. We are hereby taught that we should always seek the most authoritative Torah opinion if it is available.

The leper is entirely dependent on the verdict of the kohen. He is brought to the kohen (13:2), and the kohen must see him (here, and 13:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 20, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32, 34, 36, 39, and 43); and similarly in the case of leprosy of garments and leprosy of a house, the kohen is constantly mentioned. Now the kohen becomes the central figure in this man’s life. No other lsraelite is as dependent on the kohen. (Even if a non-kohen is a great Torah scholar, he does not have the authority to declare the man unclean or to pronounce him clean [Negaim 3:1 and Arachin 3a]. Even an Elder of the Sanhedrin can do no more than to instruct the kohen, but the actual pronouncement must be made by the kohen.)

The benefit Hashem intended was to bring us into contact with the Torah teacher; and the most beneficial contact is with the greatest Torah teacher. Thus, when a question of kashrus arises, we should perceive that Hashem caused this question to arise in order that we meet the Torah sage who may have for us instruction and counsel even more important for us than the kashrus question.

When the sage is greater, the encounter with him is so much more valuable. “Righteousness, righteousness you should pursue” (Devarim 16:20); ”Go after the best beis din… after the sages in the Marble Chamber” (Sanhedrin 32b). Not only will the greatest sages give you the truest opinion, but their influence upon you will also be the most effective: “to Aharon the kohen.”

Each time the man came to the kohen with a heart hovering between hope and despair, we can be certain the kohen did not coldly render his decision but spoke words of encouragement and consolation and urged the man to exert himself in prayer and in repentance. After his contact with the holy son of Aharon, he certainly became a different person; and that indeed was Hashem’s intention in sending the plague upon him.

During his seven-day period of separation he is given the opportunity to repent. and thus he may be spared. “When a man sees that suffering comes upon him, let him search into his deeds” (Berachos 5a). The purpose of the plague, and of misfortunes in general, is to make men more aware of Hashem; and especially to remind them how great was Hashem’s kindliness hitherto that He had spared this man from such misfortune. “He that chastises nations, is He not showing something [or: is He not rebuking?], He that teaches Knowledge to man” (Tehillim 94:10).

This Knowledge has chiefly of two aspects: that Hashem conducts all the affairs of the world, and that He bestows happiness on mankind. Even now, in his misery, the leper is more blessed than chastised: if he is able to see, to talk, to think rationally, to walk, to eat and to sleep, he must learn to be grateful and to understand that the blessings are more than the suffering.

He now should repent and learn to thank Hashem for all the good days he had enjoyed hitherto but had failed in the function of singing in joy to Hashem; and he should even now be grateful for all that Hashem gives him in abundance. The leper should also find solace in the very great benefit that his plight causes others to fear Hashem.

Compiled for The Jewish Press by the Rabbi Avigdor Miller Simchas Hachaim Foundation, a project of Yeshiva Gedolah Bais Yisroel, which Rabbi Miller, zt”l, founded and authorized to disseminate his work. Subscribe to the Foundation’s free e-mail newsletters on marriage, personal growth, and more at www.SimchasHachaim.com.

For more information, or to sponsor a Simchas Hachaim Foundation program, call 718-258-7400 or e-mail info@SimchasHachaim.com.

About the Author: The Rabbi Avigdor Miller Simchas Hachaim Foundation, a project of Yeshiva Gedolah Bais Yisroel, was founded and authorized by Rabbi Miller to disseminate his work. Subscribe to the Foundation’s free e-mail newsletters on marriage, personal growth, and more at www.SimchasHachaim.com. For more information, or to sponsor a Simchas Hachaim Foundation program, call 718-258-7400 or e-mail info@SimchasHachaim.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Insights From The Plague Of Leprosy”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Steve Emerson, author, journalist and terrorism expert.
Haaretz Smears American Terrorism Expert with Political Hit Job
Latest Judaism Stories
God-and the world

The creation of the world is described twice. Each description serves a unique purpose.

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Lessons-in-Emunah-new

To the surprise of our protectzia-invested acquaintances, my family has thrived in our daled amos without that amenity, b’ezras Hashem.

Business-Halacha-logo

Shimon started adjusting the branches on the roof. In doing so, a branch fell off the other side of the car and hit the side-view mirror, cracking it.

I, the one who is housed inside this body, am completely and utterly spiritual.

Should we sit in the sukkah on a day that may be the eighth day when we are not commanded to sit in the sukkah at all?

For Appearance’s Sake
‘Shammai Did Not Follow Their Own Ruling’
(Yevamos 13b 14a)

If one hurts another human being, God is hurt; if one brings joy to another, God is more joyous.

I’m grateful to Hashem for everything; Just the same, I’d love a joyous Yom Tov without aggravation.

Bereshit: Life includes hard choices that challenge our decisions, leaving lingering complications.

Rabbi Fohrman:” Great evils are often wrought by those who are blithely unaware of the power they wield.”

The emphasis on choice, freedom and responsibility is a most distinctive features of Jewish thought.

The Torah emphasizes the joy of Sukkot, for after a season of labor, we celebrate our prosperity.

The encounter with the timeless stability of the divine occurs within the Sukkot.

Hashem created all human beings and it should sadden us when Hashem, their Father, does not see nachas from them.

More Articles from Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Miller-Rabbi-Avigdor

“When I proclaim the name of Hashem, give greatness to our G-d (32:3). When we hear a berachah, it is proper to exclaim “Baruch Hu u’Baruch Shemo” (“He is blessed and His name is blessed”) when Hashem’s name is pronounced. But much more is intended. The mention of that most important word (in any language) should evoke the greatest reverence and love and devotion. How much should we exert ourselves in this function?

Miller-Rabbi-Avigdor

We live in an age of conveniences – and dangers. Our affluence presents dangers to our quest for spiritual perfection, which the Torah cautions against and which Rabbi Avigdor Miller elaborates on in Parshas Vayelech.

“The life and the death I have given before you…in order that you should live, you and your seed.… And you shall choose life” (30:19). “Choosing life” is one of the highest accomplishments (Shaare Teshuvah III:17). This means that not only does Hashem allow us the free will to choose (a principle that materialist psychologists deny), He also gives us the information that we possess free will.

Many passages in the Torah appear at first glance to be repetitious. Often, each iteration has a unique and deep message. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, finds such a case (in the passage of the Blessings and Curses) in the Torah’s instruction to keep Hashem’s commandments and walk in His ways.
Also in the passage of the Blessings and Curses, Rabbi Miller highlights the great blessing of a long life.

The Talmud asserts that the rebellious son of the verse below never existed and never will. Nonetheless, the Torah relates this law to advise parents in the most difficult of issues – raising children. To Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, the law and its lessons help reveal Israel’s greatness.

Moshe’s blessing to the nation of Israel is interesting in that a similar blessing, which Hashem had given Avraham and Yizchak, had already been fulfilled. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, observes that among the greastest blessings is abundant offspring, and therefore this blessing was particularly auspicious – even the third time around.

In the confrontation between Israel and Midian, the Torah reveals the great void of virtue that separated the two nations. While Israel had fallen to great depths in the challenge of the Peor, Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, points out that it had risen again to great heights in the ensuing battle against a nation steeped in immorality.

“Pinchas Ben Elazar Ben Aharon the kohen turned away my wrath from upon the sons of Israel by his zeal for my sake in their midst; and I did not bring destruction upon the sons of Israel because of my jealousy. Therefore, say, behold, I give to him my covenant of peace” (25:11-2). This is a special proclamation of acclaim. Though Moshe certainly approved of Pinchas, Hashem here teaches the necessity to render public recognition to the righteous.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/insights-from-the-plague-of-leprosy/2012/04/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: