A git choidesh, a gitten erev Shabbos everyone! This week is a double parsha, Parshas Tazria-Metzorah. Both of these parshiyos speak about the matters of isolation of someone who has negoim, the marks of tzora’as and other states of tumah. The vast majority of meforshim state that these afflictions of the skin are not a physical illness, rather they are a physical manifestation of a spiritual fault, particularly loshon horo and other terrible aveiros.
So in our current times, when we do not have tzora’as, we have to try to learn out something that is applicable in our day to day avodah. If you read the word צרעת with the Ayin being pronounced as it is in Yiddish, you end up with “tzures,” or צרות, problems. Hashem doesn’t just send us problems for fun, He sends them to us for a specific purpose. The purpose for tzor’as was that a person should make tshuva for the aveiros he did. Using this form of d’rash which Chazal use in many places between Loshon HaKodesh and Aramaic, and many Admorim use for Loshon HaKodesh and Yiddish, we can see that all the embarassments and various problems that come into our lives are to inspire us to make tshuva. The person who was to be purified from tzora’as brought a Korban Chatos, Oshom, and Mincha. One sheep of two that were brought was given as Oshom (Guilt offering) and the rest of the flour and oil were divided out for the rest of the avodah. The Zohar in Parshas Breishis says the purpose of korbanos was that we should visualize ourselves as being offered on the altar to Hashem in exchange for our errors, or as expressions of thanks and the other various things we gave sacrifices for. When we make tshuva, especially after having various problems nudging us towards repentance, we must have in mind that we must offer ourselves, our lives, and all we have to Hashem in order to unify with Him completely. This is the secret of Tshuva Shel Ahavah, Return that comes from Love, specifically love of Hashem. This means rather than returning to Hashem and working to be good Yidden because we’re afraid of punishment, we work on being good Yidden in order to cleave to Hashem completely with love, as a husband and wife who love each other always yearn to be together.
Hashem should bentsh us with shefa brocho, simcha v’nachas, purity, kedusha, and freedom from all forces that seek to oppress us; we should be zoche to the Geulah Shleimah swiftly and the joy that will accompany this!