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When the Jewish people camped at Sinai, the Torah tells us that they were united. Rather than saying that they camped at Mount Sinai, the Torah says, he camped at Mount Sinai.[1] This draws the attention of Rashi, the eleventh century biblical commentator, who observes, “As one people with one …

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Home » Metzora, Tazria

Tazria Mitzora: Isolationist Joys

Submitted by on April 23, 2006 – 9:45 amOne Comment | 1,739 views

Not A Simple Pain

In discussing the subject of “Tzoraas: Biblical leprosy,” our sages explained that it was not a physical ailment but a manifestation of a spiritual malaise. The Jewish body is intimately linked with the soul and when the soul is ailing the body responds accordingly.
The spiritual ailment of leprosy comes as a result of engaging in gossip or slanderous talk. Gossip and slander damage the soul and the body manifests such damage in the form of leprosy.
Consequently, leprosy is not cured by medical intervention; the leper is rather isolated for seven days after which it is hoped that the leprosy will have faded. What is the secret behind this cure?

Effect of Slander

Slanderer do not usually realize the affects of slandering e.g. it strains relationships, damages friendships and destroys communities. The slanderer is too consumed with the task at hand, enjoying the gossip or publicizing the faults of a particular individual to the entire community.
A week of self-imposed isolation gives us pause; time to think and reflect. The Torah believes that most people, given the opportunity, realize the error of their ways and take pains to correct them.
Though we do not practice the laws of leprosy today we do experience Lashon Hara – Slander – in our communities. Let us make a special effort to eradicate this negative trait from amongst us.

One Comment »

  • Anonymous says:

    How very true ! When it is physically possible to bring about I believe that a voluntary period of reflection and self correction is desirable for all of us every now and then, especially in this hurried mayhem called modern life !! In this way we come closer to G-d and because of this are more in tune with Him in our daily lives.

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