Without Cause

Iyar 1, 5783
April 21, 2023
Candlelighting Time 7:26 PM 

We live in a very liberal society where feeling victimized is the vogue of the day. Whether the culprit is a parent, your teacher, or perhaps a friend, we are seldom the cause of our failure. Rather, the reason for our inconvenience or frustration is on account of others. Of course, this is not realistic and certainly not honest. However, logic does not always play a role in our assessment of life and its ups and downs. Furthermore, would we pay attention to the real issues affecting our lives, we would be more apt to resolve them instead of ignoring them. However, this is the mood of today’s society and we more often than not go with the flow. 

The parsha discussing one who contracts Tsora’as is a true eye-opener! After all, how can one explain away those ugly white spots on their skin or on their head? How come nobody else is exhibiting those marks? Therefore, it is readily clear that they appeared as a result of slanderous remarks, loshon hora. Certainly, if one speaks loshon hora it would seem that they should be punished in a severe manner. Yet, the punishment does not seem to fit the crime. We banish this person from our midst and confine him to dwell outside the camp. Our Sages define this treatment as befitting because his comments created friction between people, therefore he is expelled from society, essentially dealt with in the same manner that he did to others. Indeed, the Torah consistently states regarding the Metsorah, that his affliction is ‘in him’ a rather mystifying definition. Ohr HaChaim explains that this is exactly the point, that his iniquitous conduct has impacted him and therefore he finds himself alone and isolated. In addition, he needs to exclaim to passersby that he is defiled so that they will avoid contact with him and thereby remain pure. The embarrassment that he must endure surely is difficult and extorting pain and anguish from him.      

Chinuch drives this point even deeper. He cites the adage that Hashem deals with us as we treat others. Realizing that Hashem only promotes our benefit and not truly intending to harm us, how can we decipher that statement? When we conduct ourselves in a responsible manner, then we deserve Hashem’s benevolence and we merit the superior and high-quality protection that Hashem affords us. However, when we elect to veer away from our duties and obligations as visibly demarcated in the Torah, then we abdicate from that attentive consideration that is instantly available should we choose to rectify our wayward approach and embrace instead fulfillment of Hashem’s will.     

These thoughts percolate in the mind of the metsorah as he views life from a different perspective. As long as the affliction continues to persist, then we are guaranteed that the offender has not repented for his evil ways. However, once the mindset of this person begins to fixate upon his immoral stance and realizes that until he radically alters his understanding of how to conduct business he will remain divorced from his fellow man, then his sign of tsora’as will disappear and so will his previous approach to dealing with his fellow man. Perhaps the most importance lesson that he will imbibe is that each person must appreciate that it is his behavior that determines his path in life. 


One who is capable of enjoying Shabbos properly and doesn’t then his oneg, enjoyment, becomes a negah, an affliction. Subsequently, if one does indeed revel in Shabbos appropriately, then he is protected from misfortune.                                                                                                                 ZOHAR