Vol 17.18 - Tazria 3 Spanish French Audio Video
לעילוי נשמת אבי מיכא־ל בײר אברהם יהודה זײל
Law of a Metzora that went into the house of his friend "the vessels are immediately impure, R. Yehudah ruled: only if the leper stayed there as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp" The connection between lighting the lamp according to the explanation of Torat Levi Yitzchak (pg. 358)
Explanation of the words of the commentators that it refers to " the lighting of the candle of the evening (bei shimshi) according to Pnimiyut.
Encouragement for the Mivtza of Shabbat candle lighting (Neirot Shabbat Kodesh)
Lesson: From going down one can reach to a greater height
Mishnah 11. if a leper entered a house all vessels in it, even to the height of the roof beams, become unclean. R. simeon ruled: only to a height of four cubits. vessels become unclean forthwith. R. Yehudah ruled: only if the leper stayed there as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp.
1. On the verse (Lev. 13:46):
“All the days the lesion is upon him, he shall remain unclean. . he shall dwell isolated; his dwelling shall be outside the camp”.
One derives that even the “dwelling” that the Metzora is found in, is Tamei (unclean).
When a Metzora enters the house of his friend, the Mishnah states:
“Vessels become unclean immediately. R’ Yehuda says: only if the Metzora stayed there as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp”.
The commentators explain R’ Yehuda’s view, that it is speaks in a situation where the Metzora enters his friend’s house without permission.
For when he enters it with permission (from the owner of the house), even R’ Yehuda concedes that the other person’s house becomes his “dwelling” immediately (and therefore, it “becomes unclean immediately”).
Therefore, a time period is given (“as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp”) in order that the owner of the house should be able, in the interim, to evict the Metzora from the house.
However, if he tarrys (פארזאמט) there until after the time period and “he does not leave”, then it becomes the “dwelling” of the Metzora.
(For this means that he is there with the permission of the owner of the house),
and the vessels in the house become Tamei.
The reason why we give him the time-limit of “as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp” is because it could be, that the owner of the house is occupied with lighting the candles and therefore he is not chasing the Metzora out of the house (and the Metzora is there without his permission). Therefore, one waits until the time-limit of “as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp”.
2. Everything in Torah is of the utmost precision. Therefore, since, among the various things that the owner of the house can be occupied with, the Mishnah chooses the bother of “lighting a lamp”,
and especially since it does not mean actually lighting a lamp, as the Rosh explains,
‘’sometimes a person is occupied with lighting a lamp, or with some other task”,
moreover, the time of lighting a lamp is relevant only when it is dark, and the time-limit “as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp” is also when a Metzora enters the friend’s house in the daytime.
(as the commentators state due to the reason of “we make no distinction” (לא פלוג))
Therefore, it is understood, that there is a relation between the aspect of lighting a lamp with that which the Mishnah states here, that until this time-limit, the vessels in the house are not Tamei.
My father explains the aforementioned Mishnah in his notes:
“’House’ is Sefirat HaMalchut, and the reason for the impurity of a Metzora is “due to the withdrawal of the light of Chochmah”.
(which is why the Metzora is considered like a corpse, for “Wisdom enlivens” (החכמה תחי׳))
Therefore, as long as the owner of the house is occupied with lighting a lamp – where “the lighting of a lamp is the drawing down of the light of Chochmah” - it does not allow the impurity of the Metzora to spread in the house. This is similar to the purification of a Metzora specifically through a Kohen, as it states,
“he shall be brought to the kohen. . and the Kohen shall go out etc.”
For a Kohen is the one who draws down the light of Chochmah, as is explained in Likkutei Torah.
3. A question arises on that which a Metzora defiles, specifically after the time-limit of “as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp”:
Even if the owner of the house is occupied with lighting a lamp, this burden is not so great that, in the interim, he cannot order the Metzora to leave his house?
The answer to this is that the time-limit, “as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp” is speaking regarding “lighting the candle in the evening” (הדלקת הנר דבי שמשי) – meaning the kindling of the Shabbat candles. Therefore, he cannot interrupt this by ordering the Metzora to leave the house.
And since this time-limit is required for the “Shabbat evening”, the time-limit for the other days of the week were established with the same time-limit of “as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp”, so as “not to differentiate” (לא פלוג).
According to what my father explains - that the reason for the time-limit of “as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp” is because “the lighting of a lamp” does not allow the defilement of the Metzora, it must come out that the power to not allow the defilement of the Metzora, is mainly due to the lighting of a candle of “Shabbat evening”, since the primary time-limit is taken from this lighting.
The explanation of this is:
The Mishnah is not speaking of the impurity of the Metzora, in and of itself. Rather, it speaks regarding the impurity, of the Metzora, which spreads in the house. Therefore, this is mainly connected with the lighting of the “Shabbat evening” candles, since the Neirot Shabbat Kodesh (holy Shabbat candles) are different from other candles, since their aspect is “Shalom Bayit” (peace in the home).
They illuminate the house, “so that one should not stumble on wood or on stone”.
They protect that no unwanted incidences occur in the house. Therefore, the candles also effect that this impurity should not spread in the house.
4. One could, however, question:
The Shalom Bayit that is effected through the Shabbat candles is accomplished through the physical light. Seemingly, any other lit candle, even one that is not a candle which is the object of a Mitzvah – Ner Mitzvah (נר מצוה) - illuminates the house, “so that one should not stumble on wood or on stone” and brings with it Shalom Bayit.
Therefore, in what states the advantage of “lighting Shabbat evening candles”, that specifically this lighting becomes the main (time-limit) and does not allow the (the opposite of Shalom, and therefore, also the) spreading of impurity in the house?
However, the truth is not so:
A plain light, since it is not connected with Ner Mitzvah is not (always) guaranteed to be a reason for Shalom. It could sometimes be the opposite:
Sometimes, in light, one sees a person (or a character or feature (שטריך) of a person) that he cannot tolerate (פארליידן). Thus, it is possible for light to evoke the opposite of Shalom.
Specifically, the true light, the light of “a Mitzvah is a candle, and Torah is light”, where “the entire Torah was given in order to make peace in the world” - this is the true and certain cause that brings (unity and) peace - Shalom Bayit.
5. This is all an explanation regarding the relation of Neirot Shabbat Kodesh with the aspect of not allowing the spreading of any (יעדער) impurity in the house.
However, since the time-limit of “as much time as is required for the lighting of a lamp” is brought specifically regarding the impurity of a Metzora, it is understood that safeguarding from this stringent impurity has a special connection with Neirot Shabbat Kodesh.
Plainly, one could say:
One of the reasons for leprosy is Lashon Hara, an aspect of discord (פירוד הלבבות). Therefore, its rectification is specifically through Neirot Shabbat Kodesh, whose aspect is Shalom Bayit, as aforementioned.
The explanation of this, in Pnimiyut, can be explained by prefacing that which the Sages state:
“Rav Huna said: One who is accustomed to kindle lights will be rewarded with children who are Torah scholars”.
As Rashi explains,
“As it states (Mishlei 6:23), ‘For the Mitzvah is a candle, and Torah is light’. For through the Mitzvah of lighting the Shabbat and Hanukkah candles, comes the light of Torah”.
From this it is understood that although “a Mitzvah is a candle” -“Ner Mitzvah - means every Mitzvah - for through each Mitzvah that a Yid does, himself as well as the world around him becomes illuminated. Nevertheless, in this detail, there is an advantage to the Mitzvot, which also - physically - have a connection with a candle. For they manifest more, the aspect of “Ner Mitzvah”.
With other Mitzvot, since the “Ner Mitzvah” is just a spiritual illumination, it does not have a visible effect on the physicality of the world. Whereas, with these Mitzvot, since their “Ner Mitzvah” is connected with a light of a physical candle, therefore the effect of the spiritual light (“Ner Mitzvah”) is in a manner that it visibly comes into the physicality of the world.
6. With this, the Talmud’s statement regarding the westernmost lamp in the Beit HaMikdash,
“it is testimony to all who came into the world that the Divine Presence rests among Yisroel”,
can be understood:
(Due to the miracle which occurred with the westernmost lamp – “he would light the others from it each day and with it he would conclude” (Note: the westernmost lamp would continue burning throughout the day after all the others were extinguished).
Seemingly, this is not understood:
There were many miracles in the Beit HaMikdash, as the Mishnah states,
“Ten miracles were performed for our forefathers in the Beit HaMikdash”
Therefore, why is the miracle of the westernmost lamp distinguished from the other miracles, that specifically it was a testimony, “that the Divine Presence rests among Yisroel”?
Moreover, the place of the Menorah is in the Heichal, and specifically there – not in the Ulam (hall) but – in the place that is called “Holy”, where not every person could enter.
Contrary to this, among the “Ten miracles”, a part of them were constantly in the courtyard/Azarah,
(and among them also some that occurred in Yerushalayim, outside of the Azarah).
and regarding them, they were more “known to all”.
Therefore, how can one say that specifically this miracle of the westernmost lamp, which was “within the Holy” gave testimony “to all who came into the world that the Divine Presence rests among Yisroel”?
The explanation of this is, as aforementioned:
Since the G-dly light of the westernmost lamp also came down into the physical light, it therefore, had a stronger effect in illuminating the physical world than the other aspects (and miracles) in the Beit HaMikdash had.
Therefore, this miracle affected (באאיינפלוסט) (“gave testimony“) to “all who came into the world” that they should recognize that the Shechinah rests among Yisroel.
According to this, it is also understood that there is a special advantage in Neirot Shabbat Kodesh:
Regarding the entire Torah it states,
“the entire Torah was given in order to make peace in the world”.
In other words, through the “entire Torah”, “peace in the world” is accomplished. However, this is (mainly) a spiritual peace. Whereas, regarding Neirot Shabbat Kodesh, where the peace that is effected through them, (also) evokes literal Shalom Bayit – it, alone, is an indication that with this Mitzvah, the “peace in the world” is with more force.
(To note that the statement, “the entire Torah was given in order to make peace in the world”, is cited in Rambam in conjunction to the aspect of Shalom Bayit which is accomplished through Neirot Shabbat).
7. The explanation of this is:
One of the explanations of “the entire Torah was given in order to make peace in the world” is:
The true existence of the world is - G-dliness. As the Alter Rebbe explains, at length, in Tanya - that the reason that the world has an existence is through that which G-d constantly creates it, each and every moment, from nothingness to something (ex nihilo/ מאין ליש).
However, since the G-dly power works in the world in a hidden (פארבארגענעם) manner, therefore, it appears as if the world is an independent entity. So much so, that one could think that, “this castle has no governor (manhig)”, G-d forbid .
This is the innovation and purpose of,
“a Mitzvah is a candle, and Torah is light”.
Namely, that through Torah study and fulfilling Mitzvot, the entity of the world is illuminated, in the example of, “The Owner of the castle looked at him” (and said to him, 'I am the master of the castle').
And one sees the truth -that there is a Leader of this castle, so much so, that one sees that there is “No other besides Him”.
This is the precise wording of, “the Torah was given in order to make peace in the world”:
The reason that the Torah was given (ניתנה), it was “given” (געגעבן) (here below in this world), is in order to “make peace in the world”. Through making peace between the world with G-d. One should see how the world does not oppose G-dliness, and moreover – that its purpose is to be an abode for G-d through the Torah and Avodah of Yidden.
8. With this, it is understood that in this, the special quality of Neirot Shabbat Kodesh is also manifest. For regarding them, the aspect of “peace in the world” is with more force (as aforementioned Par. 6).
For the aspect of “peace in the world” - depicting that the true existence of the world is G-dliness, is accomplished through Neirot Shabbat Kodesh more than other Mitzvot.
(as it states in the Zohar,
“’For a Mitzvah is a candle, and Torah is light’. What is meant by ‘Ner Mitzvah’ here . . the Shabbat candles”.
In Neirot Shabbat Kodesh, the aspect of “Ner Mitzvah” – illuminating the world – is with more force than with other Mitzvot, even those that are connected with a physical light).
One could say that this is the inner reason why regarding the aspect of “Shalom Bayit”, that the Shabbat candles accomplish – it states,
“so that one should not stumble on wood or on stone”.
What is implied by the precise words, “wood” and “stone” (״עץ״ או ״אבן״)?
However, with this, one is alluding to the verse,
“They say to the wood, "You are my father," and to the stone, "You bore us,”
That from the wood and stone one makes idols, G-d forbid.
This is the innovation of Neirot Shabbat Kodesh – “so that one should not stumble on wood or on stone”.
The existence of wood and stone, in and of themselves (before they are illuminated through Neirot Shabbat Kodesh) can sometimes cause one to stumble G-d forbid, in meaning that they (the wood and stone) have, G-d forbid, an independent existence – an independent power. So much so, that the wood is called “my father” and the stone “You bore us” (an entity of idol worship, G-d forbid).
Through the illumination of Neirot Shabbat Kodesh, whose “Ner Mitzvah” and (effect of) “peace in the world” is manifested in a revealed manner on the physicality of the world, it forewarns,
“one should not stumble on wood or on stone”
For through them, one sees that the wood and stone (as with every entity in the world) are conducted through the Master of the palace and they themselves must be utilized for aspects of holiness.
9. According to all the aforementioned, the unique connection between the purification of the impurity of the Metzora, and Neirot Shabbat Kodesh, can also be understood:
The impurity of the Metzora is among the most severe defilements. This is why regarding a Metzora, the law is that,
“he shall dwell isolated; his dwelling shall be outside the camp”.
He is sent outside of the three encampments and in this itself – “he shall dwell isolated” – “no other impure persons may dwell with him”.
The place of a Metzora is even outside of the camp of other impure persons. In other words, outside of the camp of holiness.
The reason for the matter is, because also the thing that brings leprosy – Lashon Hara- is very severe since it leads to (in Rambam’s words),
“they come to speak against G-d and to deny the very principle of G-d's existence”.
Through this one becomes, G-d forbid, completely torn from G-d.
Therefore, in order to not allow the spreading of such a defilement, it is specifically through Neirot Shabbat Kodesh. For they have a stronger effect on the physicality of the world. So much so, that specifically they, forewarn, “that one should not stumble on wood or on stone”- an aspect of idol worship, G-d forbid (as aforementioned, at length).
Therefore, they do not allow the impurity of a Metzora, which is connected with,
“speaking against G-d and to denying the very principle of G-d's existence”.
10. According to what my father explains in his notes, that the aspect of the lighting the candle is similar to the purification of the Metzora through the Kohen (as aforementioned Par. 2), it is also understood regarding our case:
The power of Neirot Shabbat Kodesh is not just that they prevent the spreading of the impurity of the Metzora. However, more than this, they have the power to make that that vessels remain pure (of the impurity of the Metzora):
In their example –
Purification through a Kohen - is similar to “transforming darkness to light”/Ishapcha (אתהפכא חשוכא לנהורא), where “willful transgressions are turned into merits” (זדונות נעשות לו כזכיות).
In other words, from the “he shall dwell isolated”, which represents the epitome of descent (as aforementioned Par. 9) there comes “he shall dwell isolated”, in a positive sense.
As it states,
“A people which shall dwell alone”, and
“And Yisroel dwelled safely and alone as Yaakov (blessed them)”,
which is the epitome of blessing.
The same applies to the darkness of Galut, and especially the redoubled darkness of the generation of the heels of Moshiach. That through the ”light” of Neirot Shabbat Kodesh, one illuminates the darkness of the Galut and nullifies it. Moreover, one achieves the Geulah and the building of the Beit HaMikdash and the tidings, “I will show you the lights of Zion”.
And it will be,
“The L-rd shall be to you for an everlasting light, and your G-d for your glory”.
So much so, that the darkness of the Galut itself is transformed to light as it states,
“and the night will light up like day”.
* * *
11. From all the aforementioned, it is understood, that at the present time, when the darkness of the world is so great and thick, it is especially important that each Jewish daughter.
(even from the communities where the daughters, until now, have only lit Shabbat candles after marriage, and until then have relied on their mothers’ candle lighting)
immediately, upon attaining the age of education (לחינוך)
(where one can explain to them the meaning (באדייטונג) of Neirot Shabbat Kodesh and Yom Tov)
light Shabbat candles.
(To Note, and this is primary: in a home where, for whatever reason, the mother does not light candles, according to all opinions, the daughter must light (at least when she becomes Bat Mitzvah). Therefore, one must endeavor in this, as much as possible. If the daughters in the homes of the religious, in her surroundings do not light Shabbat candles – it is understood that the success of this endeavor, will be very difficult, as is actually seen. vD”L)
The light of the Shabbat candles, with the blessing that they recite over them, will illuminate her life. She will know and remember (as it states in the blessing) that G-d is the “King of the world”. It will result in the certainty that when she is of marriageable age, that it will be for her,
“the L-rd shall be to you for an everlasting light”.
She will, as the mainstay of the home (עקרת הבית) – build and establish her home according to G-d’s Will, upon the foundations of Torah and Mitzvot.
12. Another reason for the necessity for all Jewish daughters to light Shabbat candles is:
As mentioned previously (Par. 5) through lighting Shabbat candles, one merits children (and son-in-laws) who are Torah scholars.
In prior years, when the rule was that the parents would settle (באשלאסן) an engagement for their daughters – therefore, also the main aspect - the merit of the mother’s candle lighting would ensure that her daughter would marry a Torah scholar.
In today’s times, when for various reasons, the actuality, whether desired or not, is that an engagement is settled mainly by the daughter, there is even more of a necessity that she herself should light candles. And the “Ner Mitzvah” which she will light will give her the merit that she should marry a Torah scholar.
In today’s times - where even in religious homes, one is not always certain that the parents will have a decisive opinion regarding their daughter when she becomes older – one must make an extreme effort (באמיען) and endeavoring that, as early as possible – meaning as soon as she attains the age of education for lighting Neirot Shabbat Kodesh, that she begins to bless the Shabbat candles each Erev Shabbat and Erev Yom Tov.
This also strengthens the promise (זיכערונג) of the Torah that one will grow to “Torah, Chuppah and good deeds” and that she will marry a Torah scholar.
M’Sichas Shabbat Parshat Metzora 5736, Shabbat Parshat Ha’azinu 5735
|Date Modified:||Date Reviewed:|