April 4, 2019 / 28 Adar II, 5779 • Parshat Tazria
Issue 555
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

What is Tzara'at?

The Talmud states that someone afflicted with Tzara'at is similar in certain ways to a dead person.

Allegorically, we can understand "death" to mean any lack of vitality. Someone afflicted with tzara'at is typically guilty of slander, indicating that his Divine consciousness had not affected his faculty of speech as it should have. There is an unhealthy disconnect between the inspired knowledge of

G-d that he has worked hard to attain, on the one hand, and the way he relates to others and treats them, on the other. Instead of looking at others from G-d's perspective, seeing his fellows' positive and infinite worth and potential, he perceives them from the perspective of human shortsightedness. Cut off from the positive, life-affirming vitality of Divine consciousness, his power of speech is a "deadened" force of negativity.

Keeping this insight of our Sages in mind enables us to ensure that the way we speak to others and about others (and this includes other means of communication as well) is always infused with the positive, optimistic attitude that characterizes true Divine consciousness.

--From Kehot's

Daily Wisdom #2