Dvar Torah Tazria – Metzora 7 2007 – 5767 דבר תורה תזריע – מצורע

These portions speak about one who has a NEGA TZARA’AT on his body. The words NEGA TZARA’AT are translated in the English Bibles as “a plague or affliction of leprosy”. This we know is a wrong meaning of the words because of the description of the malady in the Torah and the fact that the Torah speaks of its healing, which at this time we know cannot happen.

Chazal see in NEGA TZARA’AT a punishment for one who speaks evil gossip against another. The duty to determine whether a person is really afflicted by this disease is relegated to the Kohen. If he suspects a person is inflicted with it but is not certain he quarantines him in his house for a week and then examines him again.

A Chassidic Rabbi once pointed out that a week was prescribed for the quarantine because every week has, of course, a Shabbat and the intention was for the person to spend a Shabbat contemplating on his condition. It is obvious that one who suffers from this malady is very depressed. The Oneg Shabbat has the power to transform a person’s depression to happiness.

To enforce this thought he points out that the Hebrew word NEGA is spelled NUN GIMMEL AYIN and the Hebrew word for Oneg is spelled AYIN NUN GIMMEL, the same letters only juxtaposed.


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