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Friday, April 16

The Weekly Shtikle - Tazria / Metzora

A special Weekly Shtikle Mazal Tov to my first cousins, Yona & Libby Seliger on the recent birth of a baby girl. They named the baby Naomi for my mother, a"h. Mazal Tov to the "ganse mishpachah."
The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Opa, Tovia Yehudah ben Yoel, a'h.

I am not familiar with the exact process used to choose which parshios double up together but if there's any tandem that makes 100% sense, it's Tazria and Metzora. Parshas Tazria covers most of the laws pertaining to the declaration of a case of Tzora'as. The specifics of a Kohein determines when there is Tzora'as on a body or garment are discussed there. Parshas Metzora begins with the post Tzora'as procedures necessary for the affected individual to become tahor once again. However, immediately following that we are told of the procedures involved in identifying Tzora'as on a house. One would have expected this section to be connected to the other group in Parshas Tazria.

We have dealt in the past with other examples where some of the things belong together - but they aren't. The key is usually an intrinsic uniqueness in the case of the section that doesn't belong. This instance is no different. The gemara (Sanhedrin 71a) informs us of an interesting fact concerning Tzora'as of the house. According, to one opinion, Tzora'as of the house never happened and never will. Why then is it even discussed in the Torah? The gemara answers, "Derosh vekabel sachar," learn it and you will be rewarded. Perhaps it is the "impracticality" of Tzora'as of the house that warrants its separation from the other more applicable cases of Tzora'as.

The gemara in Sanhedrin lists two other examples of laws in the Torah that never have and never will be implemented. The "ir hanidachas," the wayward city, is a city which has worshiped idols as a whole and is therefore destroyed as a whole. However, this is not carried out in a city that has even one mezuzah. The "ben sorer umoreh," the wayward son is put to death. However, the requirements for this scenario are so exact and specific that it is virtually impossible.

R' Yaakov Moshe Kulefsky, zt"l, would caution, however, that we one might learn this gemara and be led to believe that the purpose of these sections in the Torah is only so that we may sit and toil learning the specific laws and be rewarded for the toil. But this is not the case. What the gemara is telling us is that although these cases might never happen, there are valuable lessons to be learned from each halachah. For example, the discussion surrounding "ben sorer umoreh" teaches us very valuable lessons in chinuch. The Torah discusses these laws so that we may learn the valuable lessons that are attached to them and through those lessons we will earn reward.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Al Pi Cheshbon: Counting the Omer in Different Bases
Dikdukian: Meaining of "kibus" by Eliyahu Levin
Dikdukian: White Hair
Dikdukian: Various Dikduk Observations by Eliyahu Levin
AstroTorah: Ancient Influences of Outside Cultures by R' Ari Storch

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