Completely Covered!

The majority of our Parsha speaks of a spiritually impure blotch called Tzoraas. This blotch is similar to a physical malady and the only ones authorized to determine the nature of these blemishes are the Kohanim ―priests.

At times, even after a Kohain examined the blemish it remained unclear if it was the spiritual malady, so the person was required to wait a week until the Kohain could re-inspect the blemish to see if it changed.

If it was indeed Tzoraas, the person was excommunicated and could only re-enter society after the blemish went away and the necessary purification process was performed.

The primary reason Tzoraas was visited upon a person was because he spoke Lashon Hara – ill of another Jew. This is G-d’s personal wake up call to the person telling him that his speech was out of line. Just as one became ostracized due to the effects of negative speech against him, so too, when the gossiper received Tzoraas, he personally experienced the feelings of being excommunicated. During this time out he is able to rethink his attitude towards others. This Torah mandated rehab leads the person to remorse and to a commitment to refrain from speaking ill of others.

If the Kohain inspects a person’s blemish and determines that it a non-Tzoraas affliction, the person can see a medical doctor to treat the physical blemish.

The Torah tells us the following very interesting situation and law. If a person’s body became completely covered by Tzoraas from head to toe, the law is that he is pure and only becomes impure if a part of his skin turns to flesh. Such a law is called a Chok, a statute, a law that G-d gives to us without a logical reason for it. When we follow such laws we show our complete trust in G-d’s laws of the Torah, whether we understand them or not.

Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin o.b.m. offers a meaningful lesson from this law. As we mentioned previously, a blemish can either be a physical blotch, which is pure, or a spiritual laced Tzoraas, that is impure and propels the person to look into their wrongful ways and correct them.

We know that we have 613 Mitzvos in the Torah. The Mitzvos are divided into two categories. 1. Positive commands; which means commands that require an action. 2. Negative commands; which means commands of things we are to refrain from. There are 365 Positive commands and 248 negative commands.

On a deeper level, each command corresponds to either a limb or a sinew of one’s body. There are 365 limbs, and 248 sinews in one’s body. Thus, each of the 613 Mitzvos correspond to one of our limbs or sinews.

Our Sages teach us that when one fulfils a Mitzvah, it spiritually strengthens the limb or sinew that the Mitzvah corresponds to.

Says Reb Zalman, the Talmud relates that even a sinner is filled with many Mitzvos, similar to the seeds of a pomegranate. This means that it is impossible to find a Jew who has not fulfilled at least one Mitzvah. The one Mitzvah he fulfilled spiritually elevated the part of his body that corresponds to the Mitzvah.

The body part that was spiritually charged with energy of the Mitzvah cannot be affected or infected by the impurity of Tzoraas. Thus, when a person’s body is completely covered by what looks like Tzoraas, it is a sign that it is just a physical malady – since it is impossible for a Jew not to have a piece of purity within them!

We are in the two week stretch anticipating the arrival of our beloved Holiday of Pesach! It is worthy to reflect that we are fulfilling Mitzvos with each action we take cleaning out Chometz and preparing for the Holiday. These spiritual exercises raise us and enable us to absorb the profound spiritual clarity of the Seders, and allow the holiday to impact and influence us and our families!