12 Kislev 5781 / Saturday, November 28, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayeitzei
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Metzora: Messages from Hashem    

Metzora: Messages from Hashem

Antisemitism can be a message that we have become overly attached to our host nations and have forgotten where our true allegiance lies...


Parshat Metzora
G-d said to Moshe saying, "This will be the law of the Metzora (leper) on the day of his purification and he is brought before the kohen."(Vayikra 14:1-2)
Having said all of this, this section becomes even more vital because it represents the way out of the spiritual mentality that led to the physical sickness in the first place. We too, the Jewish people, are looking for a way out of our present dilemma, which has war raging in Israel, anti-Semitism rearing its ugly and dangerous head in Europe and Scandinavia, and threats to Jews living in America.
The first and most important point to make here is that the doctor is a kohen, and not an M.D. It is a doctor's job to deal with the external aspect of an affliction and thus he rarely addresses the person's personal Divine Providence that may have led to his current physical situation. Even if he is a doctor of 'internal medicine,' it is still called 'external' from a spiritual point of view.
However, the kohen is only interested in the physical manifestation of the illness insofar as it allows him to determine the spiritual nature of the illness. This allows the kohen to gain the insight he needs to spiritually direct the person on his way to a spiritual recovery, which will automatically result in a physical recovery.
How does he do this? He does this by applying the well-known principle that G-d 'punishes' measure-for-measure, specifically so that a person can trace the effects of his physical or spiritual infliction back to a spiritual cause. Then, if he rectifies the spiritual cause, the rest can take care of itself, meaning that the effects will disappear also as a result of Divine Providence.
Is it any different for the ENTIRE Jewish people for the troubles they undergo?
No. Sometimes what we experience is simply 'tikun' - rectification - and all we can do is bear with it with as much as grace as we can muster. Our acceptance of G-d's Providence and our willingness to work with G-d at such times only magnifies the Kiddush Hashem, bringing light to the world and reward to the person.
However, if the enemy is prepared to blow themselves to pieces for their cause and we are hurt in the process, and measure-for-measure is the operating principle of history, then it can be a message from Heaven about our own lack of self-sacrifice for Torah, mitzvos, and Jewish causes.
If anti-Semitism is on the rise and our lives have become far less secure while living amongst our gentile hosts, then it can be a message that we have become overly attached to our host nations and have forgotten where our true allegiance lies. If symbols of our wealth and success are either damaged or destroyed, it can mean that they have become too powerful as icons of Jewish life in light of the goals of Torah.
Our situation today is extremely troubling. It has happened all so fast. It promises to get worse if something dramatic doesn't happen to change it all around soon. The people upon whose shoulders the turnaround rests either do not have the intelligence and will to bring it about, or the authority to do it, or both.
In other words, there is NO physical cure for the illness.
However, there is a spiritual cure for the illness, and if we take the illness apart piece-by-piece and understand its nature, applying the principles of Torah that we have inherited from our fathers of old, then perhaps we can wrestle the reigns of history back from G-d. It is something that He wants us to do and waits for, but if we don't approach this seriously now and the right way, there will come a time, G-d forbid, when such an opportunity to do so will no longer exist.

Pinchas Winston is the author of over 95 books on various topics that deal with current issues from a traditional Jewish perspective. He has also written on the weekly Torah reading since 1993, called Perceptions”, as well as on current topics and trends affecting Jewish history, past and present. One of his missions is to make the depth and beauty of the more mystical teachings of Torah understandable and accessible to those who can really benefit from them. Visit his website at thirtysix.org.


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