Parshas Acharei-Mos 5778
In this week’s parsha, the Torah describes the process for a person to be purified from the Tzaraas punishment. The person should bring a Korban Asham as well as a Korban Chataas. The Ramban questions the purpose of the Chataas: if it is to atone for the sin that caused the Tzaaras, he has already brought a Korban Olah. The Ramban explains that the reason for bringing the Chataas is that when this person was a Metzorah, he may have uttered improper statements about Hashem. To atone for these statements, a Metzorah must bring a Chataas in addition to all of the other sacrifices that he brings.
The Sam Derech points out that we learn an important idea from this Ramban. A person afflicted with Tzaaras is experiencing tremendous suffering and pain from this disease, and has also been cut off from the rest of the Jewish people because of the command that a Metzorah should sit outside the camp. The Ramban is pointing out even in this extremely difficult situation, the Torah demands that a person not speak negatively about Hashem. Since someone in this situation is prone to speak negatively, the Torah obligates him to bring a sacrifice.
The Medrash in this week’s parsha provides an insight to deter a person from speaking negatively about Hashem. The Medrash tells us that if one merits, he is told that he was the first thing created; if he does not merit, he is told that even a gnat was created before he was. This seems very puzzling since people were known to be the last beings that Hashem created. What does the Medrash mean by saying that they were created first? The Medrash explains that when someone merits then everything in the world was created for that person, and everything was created first in order that this person would find the world ready to inhabit – as if he were the first thing created. The message of this Medrash is that in every situation there are always two perspectives: a negative or a positive. This can be applied to the Metzorah as well: through experiencing this negative situation, the hope is that the Metzorah will consider a positive perspective, and view this as a chance to improve.
We should understand that the Torah requires us to look at the positive of every situation, to try to determine how to grow from every experience so that not only will we not blame Hashem, but we will be able to thank Him.