BS”D Parashat Tazria and Yom Ha’Sho’ah 5772
After relating the laws incumbent upon a Jewish woman who has given birth, with regard to matters of tuma (x-slate) and the sacrifices she must bring to the Bet Hamikdash, the Torah turns its attention to the mysterious malady of negeh tzara’at.
The telltale symptom of this affliction is a white skin blemish within which the hair has turned white. It is the body’s external reaction to a deep rooted spiritual sickness. After the diagnosis has been determined, a kohen declares the individual to be tamei (x-slate), to the extent that he must leave the city and sit in isolation until the blemish disappears.
Within the context of this strange law, there exists a bizarre detail. When the blemish is confined, then the individual is tamei, but if the blemish extends to cover his entire body he is deemed to be tahor(x-slate) and may return to normal life. How odd!
Our rabbis have taught that the major reason for negeh tzara’at is anti-social behavior, such as lashon ha’ra (gossip), miserliness, etc. The perpetrator’s behavior was performed within the context of a social group, and as such he is liable to influence others to act as he did, hence he is expelled from society and excluded from all social interaction.
This man is dangerous. He is morally corrupt, but because he is accepted in society, in view of his moral hypocrisy, he can camouflage his evil intentions and his spheres of influence can be extensive. He can be compared to a generally healthy body but stained with a blemish of negeh tzara’at which can be concealed, just as his negative behavior can be concealed by seemingly ideological rhetoric.
This man is deemed to be “tamei,” because just as tuma can be transferred to others, his depravity can be transferred to those who would be duped into following his ways.
So he must be expelled from contact with other people.
However, a person whose evil is visible and acknowledged, is a lesser danger to society. People around him are aware of his spiritual contamination, and can find protection from him.
This is the person whose negeh tzara’at has covered his entire body. He is no longer tamei, which implies infecting others. He is a rasha (evil person) who may return to society, because he harbors no hypocrisy. His evil is evident and can be protected against.
We shall be”H return to this below.
Several days ago, Lieutenant Colonel Shalom Eisner used his rifle to push a 20 year old Danish self-declared anarchist, who was demonstrating for the worst enemies of the Jewish people. Now, since I don’t know Lt. Colonel Eisner personally, although his late father, Harav Binyamin Eisner and I were close friends, I am sure that the “apple fell close to the tree”, I have nothing to add to all the wonderful things that are now being said about him.
But I do want to relate to the “innocent” peacemaker who fell victim to the officer’s “vicious” attack, but did not even have a band-aid on his face when appearing on TV.
The 27th of Nisan, which falls out on Thursday of this week, is Yom Ha’Shoah in Eretz Yisrael. Thousands of people will throng to the Yad Ve’Shem Memorial Museum in Yerushalayim. Among them will be survivors of the European, Christian, Amalek bloodbath – IDF soldiers, school children of all ages, and Am Yisrael in general.
They will come to see, to study, to remember; and will cry.
Among the visitors, who come throughout the entire year, will also be Christians from many countries, such as, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and others. They too will come to see; but what they see is not what we see. They too will study, but their conclusions are not ours. They too will remember; but their memories are not ours. And some cry; but their tears are for different reasons.
The vast majority of those Christians will walk through the tear drenched halls of Yad Ve’Shem saying to themselves, “This is what the Jews deserve for killing our god”!
If this idea is too complex even for the Jewish Talmudic mind, I will try to explain it. They believe that god killed the Jews because they killed him! Now that should make it perfectly clear.
The young man from Denmark, and his friends, who came to Israel in support of the Arab cause in the name of humanity, have an agenda – the destruction of the State of Israel. They are the tamei people infected with negeh tzara’at, who talk of peace and human rights, but in whose hearts beat the hope that the Arabs will serve as the agents of god to destroy the Jews for killing their god.
The Christians come here, and on their faces one can detect their dissatisfaction with what they see. They arrive at the airport and are inspected by Jews. They are directed by police, who are Jews. Their every step is surrounded by us, the remnant of what they did to us in our 2000 year exile.
They come to Yerushalayim, and see the 12 Israeli flags, representing the 12 tribes of Am Yisrael, unfurling in the wind on the Kotel plaza. And they ask themselves, “We Christians number over one billion in the world. The Moslems number over one billion in the world. The Jews are just one half of one percent of the two major faiths. How did they survive, and why did God give them sovereignty over the Holy Land?”
The blow that Lt. Colonel Shalom Eisner gave to the face of the Neo-Nazi, anarchistic anti-Semite was heard around the world, louder than what was recorded in the opening stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn” (1837), which referred to the beginning of the American Revolutionary War.
It was a call to inform the world that we know who you are and what you think, even when you smile at us.
It was a call, sent out on the week of parashat Tazria, to let the gentile world know that their hypocrisy will not be able to cover the fact of their tuma.
It was, first and foremost, a message to HaShem that we are aware of our responsibility to defend the Land of Israel against all evil doers who would raise a tamei finger against this people or this Land.
Lt. Colonel Eisner acted as a shaliach (agent) of all Am Yisrael in this world, just as his holy father, Harav Binyamin, is in the world of absolute truth.
Copyright © 5772/2012 Nachman Kahana
(The Hebrew terms “tamei” and “tahor” have spiritual meaning, and are not translatable. I have tried to give them meaning in the context of this message.)