The taste of Shabbat – Parshat Metzora 5776
Rav Mordechai Elon
In our parsha we learn the law of the leper. What makes the leper special with such a different and complex purification process? Our Rabbis give a short but harsh answer:
A leper is like a dead person
He has to leave the camp not as a punishment, but because he has produced an almost irreversible reality, almost like death. Why almost? Because like in death there is the chance for resurrection- there is a purification process for his leprosy.
Last week we saw the laws of the newborn, the challenge "to see the birth" and give life to reality. This week's challenge is greater – all our sources of impurity are linked to a connection with death, a life force ended – the leper is death itself, which makes purification harder. How can we clean the air that has been polluted with viral lashon hara?
The purification process is as strong and deep as the sin that caused it is severe. Let us see how to clean the air of this pollution.