Who Comes to Whom? - מצורע

Friday, 19 April, 2024 - 1:54 pm

Who Comes to Whom? 

Our Parsha begins with the laws of the purification of the Metzora, who was sent outside the camp due to the severity of his ritual impurity. The Parsha begins to describe the process of purification:  

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, This shall be the law of the person afflicted with Tzara'ath, on the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the Kohen .

The verse states, "He shall be brought to the kohen", which implies that the person seeking purification will come to the Kohen, yet the following verse states the opposite: 

The Kohen shall go outside the camp, and the Kohen shall look, and behold, the lesion of tzara'ath has healed in the afflicted person.

Which one is it? Does the person seeking purification go to the Kohen or does the Kohen "go outside the camp" to meet the person? 

The technical interpretation is that both are correct. The person would come to the entrance of the city, and the Kohen would exit the city to greet the person. The mystics, however, explain that there is a deep message that can be gleaned from these verses. The Kabbalah explains that in the relationship between the creator and creation, there is "an awakening from above" and an "awakening from below". At times, a person experiences inspiration, creativity, and enthusiasm as a gift from above without any effort on his part. Other times, the person "awakens from below"; he invests continuous effort to elevate and inspire himself. 

The Zohar explains that a person is not merely a passive recipient of the spiritual energy that descends from above; but rather, he is an active participant in the process. "An awakening from below creates an awakening from above". When a person awakens himself to the best of his ability, that awakens the Divine energy to bestow additional "awakening from above", far more than the person could have achieved on their own. 

Back to our Parsha. "He shall be brought to the Kohen" represents the person inspiring himself to improve and grow. Doing so, generating the "awakening form below" will elicit the "awakening from above", "the kohen" representing the gift from above, "shall go outside the camp" to reach the person. 

To create healing, purity, and inspiration in our lives, we should take the first step by creating the desire and plan for growth; G-d will then bless our efforts and infuse us with even greater energy and blessing. 

Adapted from the Shem Mishmuel 


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