GrowTorah Core Value: Incubating Emunah
The skin affliction, tzaraat, is a punishment for lashon harah and slander. But tzaraat can also infect people's clothing and houses. How do the Rabbis explain this phenomenon? In what ways are our clothing, property, house and surroundings a reflection of our personal values?
Lesson Title: A Plague on Both Your Houses
What is tzaraat?
- A scaly skin affliction, a discoloration
What explanations do the Rabbis provide for tzaraat's origins?
- Personal sins, sins of speech – lashon harah
Where can tzaraat occur?
- On the skin obviously, but also clothes and houses
How does Sforno explanation of tzaraat on clothing and houses add to our understanding of tzaraat?
- These forms are not naturally occurring, so they are all the more so evidence of Hashem's miraculous care. Devotion to Hashem is reflected in a spotless appearance, and the appearance of tzaraat shows a turn from virtue.
Living the Lesson
Even though tzaraat no longer serves as a symbol of our transgressions, how can our clothes and houses still connect to our virtue or sin? How can we still look for Hashem's signs to guide us?