Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Tazria

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

R' Frand began the vort by mentioning that the concept of Metzorah/Tzaraas is not modern day leprosy and that it was miraculous in nature since even inanimate objects like a house were afflicted with it. R' Frand quoted Rashi who explains that when Tzaraas was found on the house it was a good thing as the wall which was taken down had been hiding treasure which the prior occupant had hidden there when he heard that the Jews were coming.

The Sfas Emes asks - why did Hashem do this in order to give the Jews money? If Hashem wanted to give the Jews money, He could have given it to them in any number of more conventional ways.

R' Frand quoted the sefer Milchemes Yehuda which quoted the Chidushei HaRim who had a similar thought about an event from earlier in the Torah. The Torah states in Shemos (11:2)  reveals the instruction from Hashem to the Jews that they should ask for items from their neighbors. This was an odd form of borrowing, which R' Frand equated to the concept of someone borrowing a pen from you and it being the last time that you will ever see the pen.

The Chidushei HaRim asked on this pasuk - why didn't Hashem just make the Egyptians feel a sense of gratitude to the Jews, rather than have the Jews borrow the objects? He answered that when the Jews left Egypt it was a significant milestone, not only because they were leaving Egypt, but because it was the first time that they as a people had money. For a slave nation, having money for the first time can be a tremendous blessing or a tremendous curse. R' Frand remarked that the attitude a person should have is that this is not my money - its money that Hashem is "lending" to me to pay for my children's education or give tzedakkah or use for needs, but the money does not belong to me. So it was important for the Jews to understand that this money which they were receiving from the Egyptians was "on loan."

The Milchemes Yehuda then drew a parallel from the Chidushei HaRim's vort to the question asked by his grandson, the Sfas Emes. The treasure which came to the Jews came through the tearing down of a wall. Hashem's message was that people need to understand that the money was coming through destruction and that money can easily destroy - friendships, relationship and even cv's families.

R' Frand tied this to the Medrash that Moshe showed the Jews a fiery coin when he demonstrated the Machatzis HaShekel. The coin was being given to the Mishkan, but the Jews needed to understand that money is like fire. A person can't live without fire - but fire when used carelessly can burn. Similarly, people need money to buy things, but when used inappropriately, it can burn.

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