Parshas Taazria-Metzorah


“…two pure live birds…” (14:4)

   The holy Zohar says that the world stands on seven utterances (“havelim”). Shlomo HaMelech merited these seven utterances, as it is written, “Havel havelim!—said Koheleshavel havelim! All is havel (here, “futile”)!” (Koheles 1:2). And in the merit of these seven utterances, he built the Beis HaMikdash.
   All the work of a person is to merit to these seven utterances in holiness, so that each word that comes out of a person’s mouth will be the aspect of the holy of holies, every sound will be the holy of holies. You need to sanctify your “hevel peh” (speech) so that no false word should leave your lips, no lashon hara (gossip), no tale mongering, no criticism, no words of anger, no selfish words, or haughty words, chas v’shalom. If a person only allows holy words to come out of his mouth, then the Kingship of Hashem is revealed in the world, and he can bring the geulah and build the Beis HaMikdash.
   All of a person’s vitality comes from his inner self. These are the seven holy utterances. The Sfas Emes says: how can a person take the words which come from his inner self and speak about someone else? How do you dare speak disparagingly about another Jew? You were given the power of speech! You were given words! You were given these things so that you could pray, say Tehillim, and learn Gemara. How can you take your vitality, your inner voice, and turn it into senseless hatred, into searching for another’s faults? Don’t you have anything better to do? You dare speak about another Jew? You have the chutzpah, the audacity, to speak about another Jew—even if he is the biggest rasha. Is he bothering you? Is he going to steal your store away from you? What do you care about him? How can you speak against another Jew, chas v’shalom. Is it hard for you not to gossip about others? Go eat a piece of cake, take a drink of something—just don’t speak lashon hara about someone else. A person’s speech comes from his breath which is the life force of a person. He takes his holy breathing, whatever he inhales in each moment and in each place, and he turns it into prayers and words of Torah and love of his fellow. A person speaks lashon hara for hours on end yet doesn’t feel that he is wasting his inner essence, all of his vitality on depravity dedicated to the Sitra Achra? The animalistic behavior of the animals involves biting, kicking and goring, but a person's animalistic behavior takes the form of speaking lashon hara against others. A person cannot become holy unless he subdues his animal side.
   The Rebbe brings in Torah 54 from Mishle 10, “The slanderer is a fool.” If a person speaks slander or lashon hara he is a fool—he loses his intelligence in addition to committing the sin of lashon hara. As the Chafetz Chaim says, whoever speaks lashon hara transgresses 14 positive commandments and 17 negative commandments, which comes to 31 in all. And with all the details involved there are an infinite number of transgressions. But this person also loses his intelligence the minute he speaks lashon hara about someone, even if what he says is true, if it serves no constructive purpose. Just he thinks that maybe there is a need, but Hashem knows the truth and Hashem knows if this is for a constructive purpose or not. At that very instant he completely loses all his intelligence until he does teshuva. When a person speaks lashon hara, this is a sign that the power of his animalistic side has taken control of him, which means the power of jealousy, of hatred, and all the other vulgar traits. He falls from the level of a human being to that of an animal and not only does he commit all the positive and negative transgressions, but he literally becomes an animal, he cannot learn, he cannot pray because he is so busy speaking about this one, speaking about that one—he speaks about Jews.
  The Rebbe from Slonim says about [the wording of the description of a leper] “in whom there is an affliction,” that the affliction is within you—it is not outside of you. The affliction is within your soul: “in whom there is an affliction.” The affliction is in your inner self. The lashon hara comes from within. Jealousy comes from within. When a person speaks lashon hara about someone else, the damage he himself suffers is very deep. The damage one does to oneself is even deeper than the lashon hara. This comes from something distorted and crooked within the soul. These are disfigurements of the soul. The soul is completely leprous, completely rotting. When a person speaks lashon hara in anger, it is not only terrible that he is angry and that he speaks lashon hara, but it also exposes a deep flaw in his soul. He simply doesn’t realize what a Jew is. He does not have the correct perspective on life. He doesn’t see things correctly. Therefore, he needs to purify his soul, to heal his soul and to heal his voice that it should be a voice of niggun which will return him to the right kind of speech.
   The leper needs to bring two birds as an offering. The Rebbe explains, why does he have to bring two? It is because he had defective speech—he spoke lashon hara and his voice was damaged. He lost his voice and he now gets his vitality from the two birds of the klippa and he needs a tikkun which will give him back his voice. They bring him two birds to connect him with the birds of holiness who give him a good voice, a soft voice, a pleasant voice of love of people, a voice of peace between men. Thus, Rav Nasan explains, he needs to bring the two birds because the birds are the aspect of making music. They make music and sing all day long. They indicate to the leper, “See these two birds making music all day long. You should also start making music and singing.” Through the two birds, his ability to sing is returned to him along with the power of the niggun also the pleasantness and the serenity that he should have a pleasant voice like a bird, that all of his speech will only be songs and praises to Hashem Yisborach, songs and praises for everyone, for his family, for his friends—only to praise and glorify them.
You all are so wonderful. You all are so good. The whole work of the tzaddikim is to return the voice of the niggun to all of Am Yisrael, to every Jewish home, and through this we should merit to the final redemption speedily and in our days. Amen.

   Master of the Universe, please help me to merit to not say anything negative about any Jew in the world. Moreover, from now on, I should never look at my friends in a negative light or search for their flaws. Please influence my heart to search for every merit and good that that is found in each and every Jew, even the worst of the worst. Please, Merciful and compassionate G-d, save me from the obtuseness with which I incline my heart to find faults in those kosher Jews who fear you, who go the way of simplicity. Purify our hearts not to dare to think badly about talmidei chachamim, saying “this one is kosher and this one isn’t,” because all who disqualify, with their own defect they disqualify. Please help me that I should only merit trying with all my strength and power to always find merit and good in each and every Jew and in every person in the world. Please give me the wisdom and understanding to know how to always find the merits and good points in everyone.

B’Ohr Pnei HaMelech

   The apex of the soul, the highest level that the soul of a person can achieve, is joy. Happiness is a state that we are required to maintain each and every moment of the day. When a person is unhappy it means that he is disconnected from HaKodosh Baruch Hu. Why are you not happy? If you are connected to Hashem and Hashem is with you, inside you, then what is your problem? Rather, because we are flesh and blood, all of our work in this world is in the aspect of “running and returning.” Running and returning. Ups and downs. When we suddenly feel like we want to have an awareness of Hashem’s presence, this is called “running.” When we come back to earth this is called “returning.” Certainly there are some unpleasant situations that we often find ourselves in the “returning” stage. But also in the state of “returning,” itself, there is an aspect of “running and returning.” It is impossible to be in the same place all the time. A person who stands in the same place all the time will fall. A person’s body is made from earth, and the soul is made from fire. The nature of earth is to go down. The nature of fire is to rise up. What comes out of this is that when a person connects to his soul he is in a state of going up. When he is in a state of going up, he reaches very good places and this brings him to joy. He tells jokes or he puts on a disc and starts to dance a little, to sing a little. This is because he understands that this is a continuous commandment—not to be sad even for a moment. Sadness is defined as believing that we are alone, that we don't have anyone to help us, chas v’shalom, then life is not good. Why isn’t it good? Because we are emphasizing the body. We have to remind ourselves that there is also the soul, and search for ways to connect to the soul with all our strength.   


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