Metzora Values

What are they?


How do we take care of other people in our community? How do we take care of ourselves?

Gossip-LaShon HaRah:

This phrase literally means “evil speech”. This means that our tradition teaches us about the value of “proper speech”: not gossiping or making fun of others.

  1. In ancient times illness was not understood. Leprosy was considered a plague. There were specific actions that the Priests did to treat this illness that involved examination and quarantine. How do we deal with illnesses today?
  2. Torah sages connected the Hebrew word for leprosy to the word for gossip or slander. How can gossip be considered a plague? Do we suffer/become ill because of the way we act?


Another view for you:

Metzora is very often combined with Parashat Tazria – this is because there are more torah portions than weeks in a year. These two portions deal with similar themes – purity and illness. The Rabbis teach us that these themes really are about gossip. Here’s a commentary from parasha Tazria that digs deeper about this idea:

  1. When have you hurt someone with your speech? How did you feel?
  2. When have you been hurt by someone else’s speech? How did you feel?
  3. How can your speech be a tool for good?