Thursday, April 19, 2007

Parshas Tazria / Metzora 5767 II

וְצִוָּה, הַכּהֵן, וְלָקַח לַמִּטַּהֵר שְׁתֵּי-צִפֳּרִים חַיּוֹת, טְהרוֹת; וְעֵץ אֶרֶז, וּשְׁנִי תוֹלַעַת וְאֵזב.

"The kohein shall command to take for the person undergoing purification two live, pure [kosher] birds, cedar wood, crimson thread and hyssop." (Sefer Vayirka, 14:4)

The Torah tells us here that the first stage in the purification process of the Metzora is for him to bring 2 birds. As the verses continue, we learn that one of the birds to be ritually slaughtered, while the other one is kept alive and dipped into the blood of the slaughtered bird. Rashi tells us that the reason that the Metzora specifically brings birds is because his affliction came in punishment for slander and/or gossip, his purification is brought through chirping animals. Basically, just as the person "chirped"; so too, the birds do so.

R' Shlomo Ganzfried (also the Ba'al Kitzur Shulchan Aruch) in his Sefer Eparyon questons why we need two birds to learn Rashi's lesson. Seeing the slaughter of the chirping bird sends a message to the person that he needs to stop chirping, lest the same happen to him. Why, however, do we need the 2nd bird - the one that stays alive? Rabbi Ganzfried explains that if he were only required to bring 1 bird, we may infer from this that one needs to limit all types of speech. Just as a dead bird totally loses the ability to chirp or make noise, it could be inferred that the remedy for one who speaks Lashon Hara is a limitation of speech. This, however, is why we bring 2 - to teach us that Hashem doesn't want us to limit our speech; our speech needs to be just as "alive" as the second bird. Rather, he just wants us to use our speech for the appropriate things. Without speech, one cannot influence another positively, comfort mourners and do a plethora of other commandments.

Speaking Lashon Hara is bad, but the remedy isn't to lead a live of silence. With anything that is bad in excess, the key isn't to totally avoid that thing. As is a famous theme in the Nesivos Shalom, the preferred path is to be able to take that we we do use and elevate it to a higher level. For example, being an alcoholic is bad. One possible path is to never drink alcohol; the preferred path, however, is to consume in moderation and use it as a vehicle to something higher. L'Chaim!


Blogger Alex said...


Please consider writing news pieces or an op-ed for Jewrusalem: Israeli Uncensored News. We strive to present different views and opinions while rejecting political correctness. Ideally, we try to make the news "smart and funny." Thus, your input is very welcome.


6:49 AM, April 20, 2007


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