88. נֶגַע צָרַעַת כִּי תִהְיֶה בְּאָדָם וְהוּבָא אֶל הַכֹּהֵן. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי, הַנֶּגַע הַזֶּה בְּכָל הַגְּוָנִים שֶׁלּוֹ הִתְעוֹרְרוּ הַחֲבֵרִים, וְהַכֹּהֵן הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ בָּהֶם לְטַהֵר וּלְטַמֵּא, הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ אוֹתָם שֶׁהָיוּ יִסּוּרִים שֶׁל אַהֲבָה, אוֹ אוֹתָם שֶׁנִּמְצְאוּ בְּמִי שֶׁמָּאַס בּוֹ רִבּוֹנוֹ וְהִרְחִיק אוֹתוֹ, שֶׁהֲרֵי לְפִי דַּרְכֵי הָאִישׁ גּוֹרֵם נֶגַע בָּעוֹלָם.
Those who have the opportunity to speak positively for the benefit of others but didn’t act upon it are also punished like those who speak badly. Both of them hurt the ability of their soul to speak.
The root of the force of speaking is above and holy. Negative use of the words set flaws in the spiritual roots.
“נֶאֱלַמְתִּי דוּמִיָּה הֶחֱשֵׁיתִי מִטּוֹב וּכְאֵבִי נֶעְכָּר.”
“I was mute and silent, I refrained even from good, And my sorrow grew worse.”
King David said, ‘I refrained even from good’ to tell us that he had an opportunity to speak to the people and scold them to make positive changes in the nation but he was silent. Because of that, God turned away from him and he became a leper. King David asked God to turn his face back to him so he can be healed.
“פְּנֵה אֵלַי וְחָנֵּנִי כִּי יָחִיד וְעָנִי אָנִי.”
“Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted.”
The secrets are revealed from the use of ‘וַיִּפֶן’ and ‘פְּנֵה’ that means ‘Turn’ in the case of Miriam.
“וְהֶעָנָן סָר מֵעַל הָאֹהֶל וְהִנֵּה מִרְיָם מְצֹרַעַת כַּשָּׁלֶג וַיִּפֶן אַהֲרֹן אֶל מִרְיָם וְהִנֵּה מְצֹרָעַת.”
“And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper.”
Miriam spoke bad about Moses and YHVH became ‘angry’ (Numbers 12:9). The cloud that represents his presence in the Holy Tabernacle departed and Miriam became a leper. Aaron turned to her and saw her infected with leprosy.
“נֶגַע צָרַעַת כִּי תִהְיֶה בְּאָדָם וְהוּבָא אֶל הַכֹּהֵן.”
“When the leprous sore is on a person, then he shall be brought to the priest.”
Rabbi Yossi says that the priest knew all the signs and colors of leprosy and could tell the cause and the cure for it. Some cases of leprosy caused by sufferings of love and some came on people because of the bad ways that made God leave them.
All the afflictions and sufferings come to people according to the ways they conduct themselves in this world.
The tongue is the aspect of Yessod of Malchut and is a channel of creation in this world.
“בִּדְבַר יְהוָה, שָׁמַיִם נַעֲשׂוּ; וּבְרוּחַ פִּיו, כָּל-צְבָאָם”
“By the word of YHVH were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.”
Our words create openings for our prayers to ascend higher. We start the silent prayer with the words from Psalms 51:17 “אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ.”
“Lord (ADNY), open my lips. My mouth shall declare your praise.”
Words have great power and used as tools of creation. Words can be used as tools of destruction.
“מָוֶת וְחַיִּים, בְּיַד-לָשׁוֹן; וְאֹהֲבֶיהָ, יֹאכַל פִּרְיָהּ”
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
Speaking evil is the aspect of causing death that pushes the light away from us. Speaking positively brings the aspect of life and if we miss the opportunity to support and help others, it is as if we refuse to do the work that God expects us to do.
The Zohar mentions a type of leprosy that is caused by the suffering of love. Love creates a huge vessel and if it is not fulfilled it causes lack of Light that affects our Malchut existence and registered on the ‘skin’. The priest can see the energy on the person’s body and can tell the type of leprosy.
If one suffers the pain of leprosy, he should turn to the Light. YHVH יהוה has the numerical value of 26 that is twice ‘אהבה’ ‘Love’ (13). When we love (13) God below, he loves (13) us back and creates a flow of light that heals our sins and remove the pain.