ADV Parashat Tazria-Metzora

Parshas תזריע begins with a woman who gave birth. This is read in the appropriate time, since כלל ישראל was born as a nation on Pesach. If the woman gave birth to a son, there is a seven day טומאה period, similar to a Nida. Then the son has a Mila, her טומאה ends, and then there is a thirty three days of טהרה, after which she goes to the mikva, and then she could bring her קרבנות. If she gave birth to a girl, there is a two week טומאה period, followed by sixty six days of טהרה. After this, the יולדת has to bring a sheep as a burnt offering –עולה, and a dove or a pigeon for a sin offering -חטאת. These are sacrificed by the Kohen, and then pasuk ז says זאת תורת הילדת. Then the next pasuk continues and says if she can’t afford the sheep, she should bring two doves or pigeons. There are many questions brought here. This is the only time that even a rich woman brings a pigeon or dove. Normally they would have to bring animals, not birds. Another question is that normally birds are brought in pairs and not just one. Also later in speaking of the מצורה, the Torah ends off withזאת תורת נגע צרעת after we’re finished with the entire topic. But here after זאת תורת הילדת the Torah continues with the scenario of her not able to afford a sheep. Why does a woman that gave birth have to bring a sin offering, after doing such a tremendous and holy act?

The Gemorra says the reason the woman brings a sin offering, is because some women swear, after the painful experience of childbirth, that they are not going to be together with their husbands again- that is, no more children. Of course they don’t mean it, as the Gemorra says אין אדם נתפס בצערו, meaning a person is not responsible for what he says under stress. The dove is not the only kosher bird, but in the בהמ”ק, only the dove or pigeon would be sacrificed, not a chicken. The reason is that the dove is the most faithful of all birds, and as soon as the יונה recognizes who its mate is, it will never mate with another, even after the mate dies. Hashem wants the yidden to be His dove, to be loyal and faithful to Him. This woman, who swears she won’t be with her husband, has to bring a dove as a כפרה, since she’s saying something of disloyalty. This is why even the rich have to bring a dove, and only one. The Oznaim LaTorah says that the Torah is hinting that after sacrificing the one dove, we should watch the loyalty of the mate who will stay single

for the rest of its life. This is to teach this woman to be loyal to her husband and to Hashem. This is said before the scenario of her not affording the sheep. Therefore she could bring two doves, and this makes this important lesson clear.

The ספר יצירה says that the month of אייר was created with the mode of הרהור and the letter ו, the connecting letter, which connects Pesach to Shavuos, and Nisan to Sivan. In the whole month of Iyar, we mourn the death of the twenty four thousand students of Rebbi Akiva, which resulted in a lack of connecting of one talmid to the next. Rebbi Akiva was the Tanna that darshened all the vavim in the Torah, and the one that stressed the love of one Jew toward his neighbor. As I suggested in שמיני, maybe this was the reason that the students of Rebbi Akiva were judged so severely, as they should have learned the message of the vav, from their Rebbi. איירis the acrynom of אברהם יצחק יעקב רחל, the four legs of the מרכבה, the fourth later becoming דוד. Also אייר is ר”ת of רוצה יה-וה את יראיו, where יראיו is the letters אייר ו. Another ר”ת of אייר is איבי ישבו יבשו רגע said at the end of תחנון, meaning that my enemies, also referring to the יצה”ר, will turn away in embarrassment, in a moment. The war with עמלק was in אייר.

According to one opinion, the month of Iyar is שמעון, the brother most responsible for מכירת יוסף, (even more than Levi), which is opposite to the unity of the ו, the vav. Our tikun in this month is to connect and unite with our fellow yidden, and to the Almighty. We must rectify that which divides us, and the baseless hatred we harbour, which is rooted in arrogance, gaiva. Iyar is the month that has the most double פרשיות in it. Every letter of the Torah represents a holy yid, and a Parsha being a community or city. Therefore a double Parsha represents two different communities, coming together as one, and accepting each other’s differences. The name אייר also stands for אני י-י רופאך, giving a physical and especially a spiritual healing to all those that utilize this important month properly. The ארי הקדוש says that אייר is יששכר, the second to travel in the desert. Yisacher is compared to a חמור, who toils hard. He could have had it easy וירא מנחה כי טוב, however he chose to toil in Torah ויט שכמו לסבל.

The יערת דבש, Rav Yonatan Eibshitz says אייר is בנימין, who had the

בהמ”ק built in his portion. Shlomo HaMelech began the building of the first בהמ”ק in the month of Iyar. To reconcile the opinions of the יערת דבש and the Ari HaKadosh, the toil of יששכר in Torah and Mitvas, leads to השרת השכינה of Binyamin. Another connection is that the stone on the Choshen for יששכר was the ספיר, a clear hint to the sefira- וספרתם. The בהמ”ק in Binyamin’s portion, lead to ושכנתי בתוכם ושכנתי=786=וספרתם.

In Parshas תזריע, the Torah compares the טומאה of a woman that gave birth, to that of a נדה as it says נדת דותה תטמא, and Parshas מצורע ends with הדוה בנדתה. The question is why should there be טומאה after birth? Since birth is in the hands of the Almighty solely, there is tremendous קדושה, and where there is such holiness, and so there is also impurity. Pesach is the birth of כלל ישראל, the time we became a nation. However at the moment after birth there is טומאה, and the yidden have to separate for many weeks (seven) like the שבעת נקיים.

This seperation brings themselves closer and further enhance their relationship with the Almighty. Galus is compared to a נדה, as it says in Navi- כל היום דוה, which Rashi says is a נדה. The word דוה means either a flow or a language of sickness חולי-, and Galus is sort of a sickness. A person that is arrogant, that is, has gaiva is compared to ע”ז, as it says כל המתגאה כאילו עובד ע”ז, which is מטמא like a נדה. The source and reason for דם נדה in the world is the חטא עץ הדעת, where sin distances a yid from Hashem. The yidden go through a seven week period of ספירה, in order to purify themselves from their spiritual blemishes –טומאת נדה, which stem from gaiva, ישות and bad character flaws. We learn פרקי אבות during these weeks, as an aid to rectify these bad מדות, and to teach us humility. Humility leads to fear of slandering another yid, which leads to unity. ויחן שם ישראל נגד ההר was the אחדות and the prerequisite to receiving the Torah- ויחן שם ישראל=955=רוצה יה-וה את יראיו .

Iyar has the מזל of שור, the ox, that has to work hard, as opposed to Nisan being טלה, the baby lamb that has everything given to it, w/o hard work. כלל ישראל are compared to the אשה כי תזריע who requires טהרה in order to come back to Hashem. טומאה affects seven, whereas שמיני is טהרה. On the eighth day, the מצורע is back in כלל ישראל, and gets oil poured on his head, and is now called a מטהר. Just like on the eighth day of a baby boy’s birth the ערלה is

removed, and then the עטרה is revealed, in the eighth week after being born as a nation, which is שבועות, we are totally purified. By the men, the טומאה is the ערלה, by the women it’s Nida -השטן=364=ערלה נדה .

These are the two obstacles that prevent the קדושה. The טומאה of דם לידה which is like דם נדה, is transformed into דם טהרה, on the eighth day. This is the whole idea of תקון המדות, to transform ourselves from our animal behavior originating in the blood, into human behavior. On the sixteenth of Nisan, the day after י”ט פסח, a barley offering (animal food) is brought, whereas on Shavuos, after working on ourselves for forty nine days, a wheat offering (human food) is brought. The blood of טומאה turns into the blood of purity הדם=49 (days). The נפש הבהמיות is in the דם. By a woman that just gave birth it says הדם נעכר ונעשה חלב, that is the red blood of impurity is transformed into white and pure milk. On Shavuos, we have transformed into whiteness, and so we eat dairy products. ושלשים יום ושלשת ימים תשב בדמי טהרה- hinting to לג בעומר, the 33rd day after the birth of the Jewish nation. Some say that לג בעומר is even higher than שבועות, since milk is a different color and composition, a new entity, as opposed to the transformation of דם טמא into דם טהור, which remains the same red blood. The goal is to turn דוה into הוד, which means to admit or thank- הודאה. By Shavuos, the time of the harvest of the wheat, it says in Parshas ראה טז:ט — בקמה חרמש מהחל. We need to remove the קומה, the erect posture or arrogance, and turn the קומה into מקוה, where a yid is reborn by totally submerging himself in the mikve. טבילה is a לשון of ביטל- or nullification.

A מצורע became so, due to his or her arrogance or ישות, which lead to his speaking לשון הרע, and so his purification process is accomplished through him totally humbling himself. The מצורע must take an עץ ארז, where Rashi says לפי שהנגעים באין על גסות הרוח and this tall tree symbolizes him considering himself taller, better than others- gaiva. Together with the עץ ארז, he also takes שני התולעת ואת האזב, which Rashi says is his tikun to ישפיל עצמו מגאותו, to humble himself, like the lowly אזב bush and the worm. The מצורע must turn דוה, gaiva into הוד, submission, and so the צרעת is shown to אהרן הכהן who represents the מדת הוד, in order to begin his purification. A נדה and a מצורע are closely related in that they are rooted in the חטא עץ דעת and the חטא העגל – דם נדה=103=עגל. There is a נפש of

הוד- אהרן הכהן, a place of הוד- the בהמ”ק (Brachos נח), and a time of הוד, which is the month of אייר, especially לג בעומר.

The name Iyar does not appear in תנ”ך, but in מלאכים it’s referred to as חודש זיו. This word only appears once in all of תנ”ך, when Moshe was commanded to take of his splendour and pass it on to Yehoshua, as is stated in פינחס כז:כ– ונתתה מהודך עליו, where Unkelos translates as מזיוך. The two Yomim Tovim that occur in Iyar, פסח שני and לג בעומר both take place in the week of הוד. The מקובלים consider the week of הוד to be the completion of the ספירה, the last seventeen days being כלליות (בעל התניא). The Zohar says that in the week of Hod, the gates of heaven are open, טהרין פתיחין, the peak taking place on הוד שבהוד, which is לג בעומר, the day that פסקה המיתה. A מצורע is considered a מת, as his sin stems from arrogance and ישות, which distances him from Hashem, which is synonymous to death. ואתם הדבקים בה” אלקיכם חיים כלכם היום –a yid who is connected to Hashem is considered alive. The טהרת המצורע is a concept of תחיית המתים. A yid is למעלה מן הטבע, connected to שמיני, and can nullify his יש, unlike a goy who is connected to the realm of seven (given seven Noahide laws).

וביום השמיני ימול בשר ערלתו –a yid could remove his ערלה and מהפך the blood into דם חיים, the blood of life בדמייך חיי. A goy, even if he physically removed his ערלה, it’s merely an operation and nothing more. ימול בשר ערלתו=1294=ושני התולעת ואזב. The removal of the ערלה, the gaiva and arrogance, on the eighth day, is similar to what the מצורע does with the שני התולעת ואזב, that is- by humbling himself. This could explain why the topic of ברית מילה is mentioned at the beginning of תזריע, seemingly out of place. After going through the טהרה process, the מצורע can now enter י”ם, the city of Hod, reconnect with Hashem, and use his speech to praise and thank the Almighty –

ותאמר הפעם אודה את הויה=1285=ירושלים עיר הקדש=1285=והנה נרפא נגע הצרעת

In Galus, we all have a status of a מצורה, and during the ימי הספירה we are striving to turn the דוה into הוד, the נגע into ענג (as it says – אין למטה מנגע ולמעלה מענג), and צרעת into עצרת. Aharon, being the מדה of Hod, had the power to stop the plague, and transform תעצר to עצרת. Similarly his grandson Pinchas, who is Eliyahu, had this

power and he will be the one to usher the yidden into יום השמיני, the future world. Eliyahu and משיח will purify the world from צרעת, and they will enter י”ם בשלמותו. The Gemorra says that in Galus, the משיח is called a מצורע-חברא דבי רבי . In every generation there’s an individual who is fit to be משיח, and רבינו הקדוש –רבי was the one in his time. When משיח will redeem the yidden, he will be referred to as the מצורע ביום טהרתו, and no longer be under the effect of הדוה בנדתו. In the future the מצורע will do teshuva and praise Hashem –

דויד מלך ישראל חי וקים=829=השיבנו הויה אליך ונשובה=828=זאת תהיה Parshas תזריע is a Parsha of galus, while מצורע, that deals with the healing of צרעת is connected to geula. In the future, when the חטא עץ הדעת will be rectified, there will be no טומאת נדה. Why does a יולדת need a כפרה? The answer, besides the fact that she swears in her pain that she won’t be together with her husband, is that every birth is a כפרה for the חטא עץ הדעת. Every נשמה that’s born, brings the Geula closer as it says in the ארי הקדוש – ובא לציון גואל ולשבי פשע ביעקב נאם יה-וה ואני which are the ר”ת גוף בניו. The גאולה is dependent on a number of physical bodies being born. The משיח is called מצרע, probably because he experiences the many pains of the עם הקדוש. The מילאוי of the מצרע is synonymous with the פנימיאות is ממ צדיק ריש עין or מדיקישין=524= המלך המשיח בן דוד.

Parshas מצורה has 90 pesukim- צ. All the closing letters מנצפך, represent different גאולות. For example the נ –יעקב, the פ –the geula from Egypt פרעה פקדתי פדיון פסח etc., and the צ represents the final גאולה of משיח. If we take away the מרע from מצרע, we’re left with the צ. At the beginning of Parshas מצורע- pasuk ד, the Torah speaks of the purification of the מצורע by taking שתי צפרים חיות טהרות The אור החיים says that these represent the two משיחים, the live one, representing משיח בן דוד, and the shechted one, משיח בן יוסף of whom משיח בן דוד will bring back to life – ובא לציון גואל ולשבי פשע ביעקב נאם ה” =1334=את הצפר החיה יקח אותה and את הצפר החיה יקח =922= מלכות בית דוד

In פרקי אבות, chapter six, it says that one who learns Torah לשמה, will merit to be humble, which is a prerequisite to אחדות. A humble person does not speak evil of his fellow yid. The מצורה did not learn the lesson of the vav, and spoke לשון הרע. The name מצורע is מוצא רע, and since he caused separation between friends and between

husbands and wives, his tikun is to separate himself from all כלל ישראל. Rachel Imanu saw the pain, suffering and the tragedies in אייר, the month of Binyamin (יערת דבש), and so named her son בן אוני, whereas Yaacov saw the tikun, and thus called him בנ ימין. In Parshas תזריע יג:מד it says איש צרוע הוא …בראשו נגעו that is the צרעת was in his head. First Hashem afflicts his house, and if he doesn’t get the message, his clothes were afflicted, and finally himself. The pasuk says – איש צרוע הוא טמא הוא -that is, where his whole essence is leprosy. טמא יטמאנו הכהן is a double expression of טומא, meaning that the מצורה didn’t take the lesson, neither from his house or from his clothes being inflicted. This happens when בראשו נגעו, when he feels he’s better than others and therefore could slander them. He is a באל גאוה.

The Gemorra in Sota says that the word נרפא comes when the word בשר is used- ובשר כי יהיה בו בעורו שחין ונרפא, and when it says אדם, it doesn’t say נרפא–אדם כי יהיה בעור בשרו … A yid who is soft and humble like בשר, could be healed, but if he is hard like אדמה (Rashi), then no. Our עבודה during the seven weeks of ספירה, is a metaphor to our seventy years of life, in that we must humble ourselves, and rid ourselves from the animal characteristics that we were all born with. The Torah uses the phrase נפש חיה both by humans and by animals. The difference is by אדם, the Targum says רוח ממללא, that is the power of speech. This speech was given mainly to the Jewish nation, who is the אתם קרואים אדם, as opposed to the Goyim, whose strength is in their hands, as it says- הקול קל יעקב והידים ידי עשו and so- הקול קל יעקב=453=נפש חיה. We must rid ourselves from the haughtiness of רם=240=עמלק and מצרים. It all depends on our level of removing the טומאה- עמלק+מצרים=620- either =כתר620 or 620=כרת. Amelek is the opposite of the vav, or unity as it says ולא ירא that is- no fear, no humility, and so it’s fitting that מלחמת עמלק took place in Iyar, the month of the vav. מלקmeans to sever, as עמלק attempts to draw the yidden into strife and disunity. As long as עמלק is not eradicated, theשם ה” is not complete, or is disconnected- כס יה.

As we said, the month of Iyar is a month of healing, mainly from our spiritual sickness. It’s written by Rav Pinchas Karelitz that the rain in Iyar has healing qualities. The Gemorra says that a בעל גאוה is the biggest בעל מום, and so a humble person is complete, a תם. Our goal,

during Sefira, is to come to Shavuos with no gaiva תמימות תהיינה. The word וספרתם also means to shine, implying that we have to shine our character traits, during the sefira. Perfecting our מדות, will ultimately lead to a yid becoming a מרכבה to the שכינה, like our forefathers אברהם יצחק יעקב רחל=876=וספרתם לכם, the ר”ת spelling אייר.

The מצורה – מוצא רע is arrogant, and the holy שכינה will not rest on him, and therefore he has to leave י”ם, the city that unites all the yidden, the vav-עיר שחוברו לו יחדו . When we put this ו, in front of מצרים, we have ומצרים מקברים, intimating that when the yidden have אחדות, the טומאה of מצריםis dead, setting the stage for the redemption דוד בן ישי=386=ומצרים. When we rectify the מצורע, and remove the רע from מצרע, we’re left with מצ, which stands for משיח צדקינו. When the גאולה is imminent, we will be free from נגע צרעת –Tehillim:132 – נגע צרעת=883=שם אצמיח קרן לדוד

The Ari HaKodesh says that the combination of Hashem’s name for the month of אייר is derived from the pasuk יתהלל המתהלל הסכל וידעי. The whole purpose of life is to ‘know’ Hashem. As we said, Iyar is called חודש זיו which is the Targum of הוד, the ר”ת of ומלא הארץ דעה. The way to purify ourselves in our times from our “צרעת” is through the study of Torah, which the Zohar says is connected to the letter ו. Even though we physically left מצרים, it took forty nine days for מצרים to leave the us, that is to eradicate the טומאה of מצרים. This is our עבודה spiritually, and so we speak so much of יציאת מצרים in our tefillos. When a yid humbles himself like בשר, thus doing תשובה, this leads to healing – לב טהור ברא לי אל-הים ורוח נכון חדש בקרבי=1553=בשר כי יהיה בו בערו שחין ונרפא

In taking us out of מצרים, Hashem took us from the מיצר to the מרחב, from מצרים to ירושלים. Egypt, where the מצערים were, is the conglomeration of the seventy nations- מצר ע. Generally the four empires, the four גלויות, are all under the umbrella of מצרים. The reason of the גלות was the פגם הלשון, as it says אכן נודע הדבר, and the redemption came because the yidden stopped speaking לשון הרע. When the yidden left Egypt, they headed toward י”ם, the capital of מלכות בית דוד, the capital of יהודה, whose name was given due to speech הפעם אודה את ה”.

The four types of leprosy represent the ארבע גלויות, where שאת

(which means rises like חמץ, coming as a result of haughtiness) is בבל, ספחת is פרס, בהרת is יון, and צרעת is אדום and probably also ישמעאל. Each of these types of צרעת have one of four shades of white, known as the ארבעה מראות נגעים, which are שלג צמר סיד וביצה. The tikun of these נגעים is learning Gemorra – ארבעה מראות נגעים=1098=תורה שבעל פה.

In Parshas פינחס כח:כו the Torah in describing theי”ט of שבועות, says מנחה חדשה לה” בשבעתיכם. The word בשבעותכם is not a common word, maybe translated as ‘in its weeks’. It’s interesting that בשבעתיכם=844=שלג צמר סיד ביצה .

Both Parshios תזריע מצורע begin with the conception of human life, and primarily speak of the severity of guarding one’s speech, which ברוך ה”, there is a big awareness in our times. Goyim don’t have צרעת, as only a yid is called an אדם. It’s precisely because we are Hashem’s first produce ראשית תבואתו- , that we are treated on a higher standard, and so any little fault that we have, is dealt with. The goyim have seven mitzvos, and they are allowed to speak לשון הרע. The goy’s strength is not in his speech- ראשית תבואתו=1726=והיה בעור בשרו לנגע צרעת . What we say, means so much, and any negativity that comes out of our mouths is very serious. This is why at the end of שמונה עשרה we ask Hashem to guard our speech אלקי נצר לשוני מרע ושפתי מדבר מרמה –

There is a pasuk in שה”ש ב:יב speaking of the springtime that has arrived. The pasuk says עת הזמיר הגיע which Rashi says refers to the singing of the birds (once spring comes). Rashi’s second peshat is that this is the first time כלל ישראל sang as a nation- referring to the yidden singing אז ישיר at the ים סוף.

The Parsha speaks of a yid that has צרעת all over his body. The דין is that he is טהור which begs many explanations why. The main point here is that the Torah is teaching us that there is no such thing as a yid that is completely bad. Rebbi Meir is the Tanna that had one hundred and fifty ways to purify a שרץ. Why was Rebbi Meir ‘wasting his time’ if the Torah says clearly that a שרץ is טמא? Minds like this was what made up the Sanhedrin, so that if there was a yid that was on trial for his life, they would find ways to exonerate him. All yidden have good in them, it just has to be brought out. It says that משיח will come to either a generation that is כולו זכאיor כולו חייב. It seems we are approaching the time of כולו חייב. However

every yid has tremendous good under his layers of sin. In the end of time, the טומאה of כפירה will be so widespread that theמשיח will be imminent דור אחרון=475=כלו הפך לבן טהור הוא.

If we want to get rid of מראות נגעים, we have to intensify אהבת ישראל, especially in the month of Nisan, the month that the yidden sing. ניסן=820=ואהבת לרעך כמוך=820=מראות נגעים=820=עת הזמיר הגיע – (700=ן)