Tuesday, April 17, 2007

integrity

Parshat Mitzora

14:35 "And the owner of the house will come forth and tell the Kohen saying something like a nega I have seen in my house..."

Why would anyone go to the Kohen? The tzara'as is completely dependant on the declaration of the Kohen, so why go to the Kohen? You see a splotch - just ignore it. What is pushing these people to actually go to the Kohen nad clear it up? It is not like a disease that if youignore and avoid the doctor you could die from it. Here it is a matter of purity and impurity and if you do not go the Kohen you have avoided declaring it impure! Who wants to dismantle the bricks of their house or stay in isolation for a couple of weeks - just ignore it!?

I think this is indicative of the integrity required of us. The Torah puts us on the honor system and expects us to act properly. When you see usch a splotch, no matter how inconvenient the timing is, you are expected to drop everything and go to the Kohen. No police or court orders ordering you to do anything.
It is just between you and God. Nobody else even needs to know about it. Maybe the splotch is on a covered part of your skin. Or inside your house. Or on clothes that you do not even need top wear. And despite all that, the person will go to the Kohen and do what needs to be done.

2 comments:

Futzuman said...

Very correct! Though the Torah throws in a small twist: it is the Cohen that can decide to delay coming until the person empties their house first for example, or until the groom is done with his 7 day sheva brachos, etc...

So, although it's ultimately an integrity issue between a Jew and Hashem, as you indicated, and the Jew has to act promptly, it's up to the Cohen to facilitate things in the most comfortable way to the Jew. We indeed have a תורת חסד!

Also see my comment below to "defer to authority" on Tazria, relating to this as well.

Rafi G said...

shkoyach! That is a nice addition