Thought of the Week: Tazria-Metzorah - 5775

THE VALUE OF U.S. (Uniting Speech)

For many of us reading Pareshat Tazria and Metzorah is challenging.  How are we to find meaning in a portion that describes in detail a spiritual affliction that is no longer in existence today?

Perhaps what we could do is to understand what the rabbis tell us regarding the ailment and then apply the message to our lives.

The Talmud notes that divisive speech is the main cause of the affliction.  Thus when analyzing the many details of the Metzorah we must try to figure out how the information given relates to the aforementioned sin.

Among the consequences mentioned regarding the affliction, we are told that the Metzora must remain outside of the camp.  The rabbis tell us that “he who separated people is punished by being removed from society.”  Experience is the greatest lesson.  Thus, when a person needs to learn to appreciate the value of relationships and how words should only be used to enhance them, no better place can serve as a lesson than solitude.  After suffering from loneliness a person can return to society with an awareness of the power and purpose of speech.

When walking away from this week's Paresha with an awareness regarding the power of speech, we have transformed an ancient text into a live and significant lesson.

Shabbat Shalom