Parshas Metzora

NISAN, 5779

 Interpreting Artifacts

As in the gift of Manna, so it is in the memory of artifacts

After the exodus from Egypt, Hashem gifted the Jews with manna, ’heavenly bread’, to consume during their travels in the wilderness.

Hashem furthermore commanded Moshe:

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר משֶׁ֗ה זֶ֤ה הַדָּבָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֣ה הֹ' מְלֹ֤א הָעֹ֨מֶר֙ מִמֶּ֔נּוּ לְמִשְׁמֶ֖רֶת לְדֹרֹֽתֵיכֶ֑ם לְמַ֣עַן יִרְא֣וּ אֶת־הַלֶּ֗חֶם אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֶֽאֱכַ֤לְתִּי אֶתְכֶם֙ בַּמִּדְבָּ֔ר בְּהֽוֹצִיאִ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם

“Moses said, This is the thing that the Lord commanded: Let one omerful of it be preserved for your generations, in order that they see the bread that I fed you in the desert when I took you out of the land of Egypt.”

Like the saved Manna, the Torah is providing us with a template to preserve the meaning of the Holocaust artifact.



Dear Friend,

Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heschel (1595 – 1663) was from Krakow, Poland and the author of the sefer, Chanukas HaTorah. In 1654, he became the chief rabbi of Cracow upon the passing of the Tosfos Yom Tov.


The pasuk in this week’s parsha states:  

זאת תִּֽהְיֶה֙ תּוֹרַ֣ת הַמְּצֹרָ֔ע בְּי֖וֹם טָֽהֳרָת֑וֹ וְהוּבָ֖א אֶל־הַכֹּהֵֽן


 “This shall be the law of the person afflicted with tzara'ath, on the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the kohen”  

The Midrash comments on this pasuk, that בהווייתו תהא (he should be as he is). What is the meaning behind this cryptic midrash?

 The חנוכת התורה offers the following explanation.

 The Gemara in Nedarim states that "ממדבר מתנה" means that to those who humble themselves, the Torah is given as a gift. The message being that Torah is not sustainable in those that are haughty.

 Rashi, in this week’s parsha explains, that one of the reasons a person is afflicted with צרעתis due to haughtiness. This is signified by the different species used to purify him. The עץ ארז (cedar wood), comes from a beautiful tall tree, reminding him of his haughty attitude. The שני תולעת ואזוב  (strip of crimson wool and hyssop) is a message to him that in order to rectify this he must lower his attitude of himself like those two items that don’t grow tall and beautiful.

 This is the explanation of the previously quoted Midrash. זאת תהיה תורת המצורע -this is the law of the מצורע, בהווייתו תהא – he should be as he is, meaning, he should be himself, not someone he projects himself to be, with a haughty attitude. Once he humbles himself, he will successfully recover from this affliction, and he will be able to retain the Torah he has learned as a gift from the Ribbono Shel Olam.



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