Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Tazria

Kohen Kohen GONE!

Volume 3 Issue 29

by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

Parshas Tazria deals primarily with the physio-spirtual plague that affects gossips and rumor mongers with the plague of tzora'as. Tzora'as appears as a white lesion on various parts of the body, and the status of the afflicted depends on its shade of white, its size, and its development. The afflicted does not go to a medical clinic nor does he enter a hospital. If afflicted he is quarantined and then reevaluated; if condemned he is sent out of the Jewish camp until he heals, a sign that he has repented his slanderous ways. A physician or medical expert does not evaluate him. In fact, the entire ordeal is evaluated, reevaluated, determined, and executed by non-other than the Kohen. Moreover, the Torah does not keep that detail a secret. In the 47 verses that discuss bodily affliction of tzora'as, the Kohen is mentioned no less than 45 times! "He shall be brought to the Kohen," "The Kohen shall look", "The Kohen shall declare him contaminated," "The Kohen shall quarantine him," "The Kohen shall declare him pure" (Leviticus 13:1-47).

Why must the Torah include the Kohen's involvement in every aspect of the process? More so, why does the Torah mention the Kohen's involvement in almost every verse? Would it not been well enough to have one encompassing edict: "The entire process is supervised and executed according to the advice of the Kohen."

The parents of a retarded child entered the study of Rabbi Shlomo Auerbach. They decided to place their child in a special school in which he would live; the question was which one.

"Have you asked the boy where he would like to go?" asked the sage. The parents were dumbfounded.

"Our child cannot be involved in the process! He hasn't the capacity to understand," explained the father.

Reb Shlomo Zalman was not moved. "You are sinning against your child. You are removing him from his home, placing him in a foreign environment, and you don't even consult with the child? He will feel helpless and betrayed - I'd like to talk to him."

The couple quickly went home and brought the boy to the Torah sage.

"My name is Shlomo Zalman," smiled the venerable scholar. "What's yours?"

"Akiva."

"Akiva," exclaimed Rabbi Auerbach, "I am one of the leading Torah sages in the world and many people discuss their problems with me. Now, I need your help.

"You are about to enter a special school, and I need a representative to look after all the religious matters in the school. I would like to give you semicha, making you my official Rabbinical representative. You can freely discuss any issue with me whenever you want."

Reb Shlomo Zalman gave the boy a warm handshake and hug. The boy entered the school and flourished. In fact, with the great feeling of responsibility, he rarely wanted to leave the school, even for a weekend; after all, who would take care of any questions that would arise?

Part of the metzorah's (leper's) healing process is dismissal from the Jewish camp. However, it is a delicate ordeal, one wrought with trauma, pain, and emotional distress. The Kohen, a man of peace, love, and compassion must be there for every part of the process. He must be there to guide him through the tense incubation period as well as his dismissal. Moreover, he is there again to ease him back into society.

The Torah teaches us, perhaps more than 50 times, that every traumatic decision needs spiritual guidance. It can turn a cold-hearted punishment into a process of spiritual redemption. It can turn a tough, seemingly dispassionate decision into a beautiful experience.

For when the Kohen holds your hand, even if it is a stricken one, even if you may be leaving for somewhere outside the camp, you are definitely not gone.

Adapted from: and from Jerusalem His Word, by Hanoch Teller ©1995 NYC Publishing

Good Shabbos

Text Copyright © 1997 by Rabbi M. Kamenetzky and Project Genesis, Inc.

In memory of Joseph Fertig by Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Fertig

The author is the Associate Dean of the Yeshiva of South Shore.

Drasha is the e-mail edition of FaxHomily, a weekly torah facsimile on the weekly portion
which is sponsored by The Henry and Myrtle Hirsch Foundation

HOMENewInfo & FAQGuest BookLearningSpecialOther Programs

Copyright © 1997 Project Genesis, Inc.

learn@torah.org
3600 Crondall Lane, Suite 106
Owings Mills, MD 21117
(410) 654-1799

 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Naturally! (Not)
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

From the Profanity of Profanities
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Growth Period
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755

> Why Is this Portion Different From All Other Portions?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5768

Too Familiar
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Fun vs. Pleasure
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Holiness - Served Fresh
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Accountable for Our Priorities
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Holy Reality Check
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

ArtScroll

Aaron's Unlimited Access
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Now Become Holy!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

"Peripheral Events" May be the Focus of Divine Providence
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Make Your Parents and Teachers Proud
Shlomo Katz - 5763

The Third Rail
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Do it Because I am Holy
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

The Kedusha Infomercial
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information