Parshas Metzorah

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By Rabbi Shimmy Sternfield

(וּבָא אֲשֶׁר לוֹ הַבַּיִת וְהִגִּיד לַכֹּהֵן לֵאמֹר כְּנֶגַע נִרְאָה לִי בַּבָּיִת” (פרק י”ד, פסוק ל”ד”

“The one to whom the house belongs shall come and declare to the Kohein, ‘Something like Tzora’as has appeared to me in the house.’ ” רַשִ”ׁי cites a מִשנְׁהָ that even if the owner of the house is a תַּלְמִיד חָכָם and knows with certainty that it is a נגֶַע , nevertheless he should say כְנּגֶעַ, something like a נגֶַע, has appeared to me. The תּוֹסְפוֹת יוֹם טוֹב explains that a person should avoid stating explicitly that something bad has happened. Reb Moshe Feinstein, זצ”ל , notes that this seems to contradict רַשִ”ׁי earlier. רַשִ”ׁי earlier cites a מדְִרשָׁ that Hashem brought צָרַעַת on the houses because the גויִֹם who had previously lived in those houses had hidden their treasures in the walls. When the Jews would knock down the walls that were afflicted with, צָרַעַת they would discover the treasures. If the purpose of the צָרַעַת was so that the Jews would uncover treasure, it would seem that finding the נגֶַע should not be considered something negative. Reb Moshe explains that in order to get his treasure, this person will have to knock down and then repair his wall, thus suffering a loss. One might argue that this is not really a loss since it will ultimately help him gain much more. The truth, however, is that this is really an unnecessary loss. If Hashem wanted to, He could have made this person rich without his wall being destroyed. For a person who understands that every extra dollar is an opportunity to give צדְָקהָ or do חֶסדֶ, no amount is inconsequential. The fact that this person did not merit to find treasure without any loss is reason enough for him to refrain from saying that he has found a נגֶַע.


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