Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Parshas Tazria (5776)

Why Aaron was Chosen?

The Torah writes (Leviticus 13:1-2):
And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, or a scab, or a bright spot, and it become in the skin of his flesh the plague of leprosy, then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests.
Ibn Ezra (ibid) explains that this includes the High Priest, regular priests that are not outside the Temple, and not priests that are disqualified from service

Rashi (ibid) explains:
It is an enactment of Scripture (גזרת הכתוב) that the uncleanness and purification of leprous plagues are pronounced only by the mouth of a priest (Sifra).

Meshech Chochma (ibid) explains further:
The subject of afflictions being given over to Aaron, the Priest, is one of the mysteries of the Torah that holy and profane is dependent on the priest ... However, it is possibly to answer differently that these afflictions are a sickness that attaches itself ... and it is necessary to have extreme providence for the one who busies himself with it in order to be saved from it and to be separated from it so the afflication does not attach itself to him, and therefore the Torah choose the descendents of Aaron who are separate from the rest of the Jewish nation and have more direct providence ...
Kli Yakar (ibid) also explains that Aaron had three good traits which counteracted the three sins causing tzaaras: he loved peace which counteracted evil speech, he was humble which counteract haughtiness, and he did not have any land in Israel which counteracted the sin of desire for money

Who Inspected Tzaraas on Miriam?

The Talmud (Zevachim 102b-103a) states as follows:
Rab said: Our teacher Moses was a High Priest, and received a share of the holy sacrifices ... An objection is raised: Who shut Miriam [outside the camp]? If you say, Moses shut her up, surely Moses was a non-priest, and a non-priest cannot inspect plagues [of leprosy]. If you say that Aaron shut her away, Aaron was a relation, and a relation cannot inspect [leprous] plagues. Rather, the Holy One, blessed be He, bestowed great honour upon Miriam in that moment, and declared, I am a priest: I will shut her away, I will declare her a definite [leper], and I will free her. He teaches at all events, ‘Moses was a non-priest and a non-priest cannot inspect plagues’? — Said R. Nahman b. Isaac: The inspection of leprosy is different, because Aaron and his sons are specified in that section.

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