Dvar Torah Parshat Metzora 5771 2011

It is a well known fact that our Sages of the Talmud recognized that the affliction of METZORA is due to a spiritual deficiency, mainly evil gossip. The person suffering from this malady is to be sent out of the camp of the Israelites until he recovers. The opening verses of this week’s Portion deals with the time that the symptoms’ disappear and the person is ready to return to the community.

The Torah says: VEHUVA EL HAKOHEN, “…he shall be brought to the Kohen.” (Lev. 14,2) This, of course, is for the Kohen to examine him since the Kohen was given the responsibility of determining whether the person is still afflicted or cured.

The very next verse creates a problem. It states: VEYATZA HAKOHEN EL MICHUTZ LAMACHANEH, “The Kohen shall go forth out of the camp…”. One verse tells us that the afflicted one is to be brought to the Kohen and the next few words tell us the Kohen goes to him.

Implied here is a serious teaching for every Rabbi, teacher or leader. If the person who suffers from the spiritual deficiency comes on his own to the Kohen for help, then good and well. If he has not reached that stage through his own initiative, then the Kohen must go to him. Every leader who deals with people must reach out to help those people who need help. The good leader is one who can help the needy individual to find his way. One must not always wait for someone to come and seek your help but often we must volunteer and extend a helping hand where we see it is warranted.

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