Home / Jewish Life / Shabbat Nugget – The Tzaraas Affliction

Shabbat Nugget – The Tzaraas Affliction

In this week’s Torah portion we learn about a person who part of his skin turns into a bright white color.  The Torah calls this a “Tzaraas Affliction” and provides us with many details how to determine that it is indeed a Tzaraas affliction and what a person who receives this affliction must do to cleanse himself from this affliction.

The Kabbalistic commentaries explain that this type of affliction was heavenly sent to a person who was righteous but was not careful about not speaking badly about others.  This is why he deserves this skin affliction which is only the exterior part of the person since he is a person who is inwardly righteous and is just not perfectly careful in his outward interactions with others.

However, this seems contradictory how can a person be righteous and yet malign other people?

The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that there are two ways that a person can engage in speaking badly about others.  There can be an individual whose heart contains hatred or jealousy and therefore he maligns the person whom he dislikes.  Then there is a person whose heart is pure of malicious intent, yet, he is not careful to guard his speech and allows his tongue to run loose and speak negatively about other people.  It is the second type of evil talk that brings about the Tzaraas affliction.

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

Check Also

November First Friday at Bonai Shalom: Geneology and Holocaust Survivors

Join Congregation Bonai Shalom on November 2, 2018 for First Friday, A Holocaust Journey: The Search for Family

Teens: Come Roll with Us — Join BJTI for the Annual Sushi in the Sukkah

Boulder Jewish Teen Initiative invites you to celebrate Sukkot with us on Friday, September 28th at the Boulder JCC.