Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Tazria-Metzorah

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

In Vayikra -- the Torah states "Zos Toras HaMetzorah" --this is the Torah of the Metzorah. The Medrash on this pasuk links it to a pasuk in Tehillim which (loosely translated) states -- who is a man who wants life...keep your tongue from evil...

The Medrash links the pesukim through a story of a peddler which in the language of the gemara is a Rochel. The Medrash on the pesukim is about a story of a peddler who calls out, asking "who wants the elixir of life"? R' Yannai approached the peddler, but the peddler said - you don't need this. R' Yannai persisted and the peddler said --who wants life, keep your tongue from speaking evil. R' Yannai remarked that he had said this pasuk all of his life, but never understood its importance until he heard it from the peddler.

R' Frand observed that R' Yannai's remark was odd. Since he was R' Yannai why would he not have understood the pasuk's importance until he heard it from the peddler?

R' Frand answered by quoting R' Tzadok HaCohen M'Lublin who explained it was not what the peddler said, it was that HE said it. The word Rochel (peddler) is intentionally similar to the Hebrew word for a gossip - Rechilus, because the peddler would go around from house to house and repeat the gossip he had heard. What was important to R' Yannai was recognizing that this peddler was a reformed tale bearer and that he (the peddler) recognized that the secret to life was to not tell tales about others (like he used to do). 

R' Frand took an aside to talk about how people who used to have a particular problem can be effective in helping others overcome the same problem --much like Alcoholics Anonymous coaches are former alcoholics. 

R' Yannai now understood the importance of the pasuk in that he recognized that people who used to be tale bearers could leave that behind and do teshuva in order to earn "life".

R' Frand also said another longer vort which I hope to reproduce in a separate posting on Motzei Shabbos.

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