Tazria-Metzora 5780 “My Tears Will Change Me, Our Tears Will Change The World”

Tazria-Metzora 5780 “My Tears Will Change Me, Our Tears Will Change The World”


Parshat Tazria-Metzora ~ 28th of Nisan, 5780

“In the halakhic sense, just as physical tumah is caused by a lack of physical vitality, by a separation from the source of physical life, spiritual tumah is caused by anything that separates the soul from its source of spiritual life. Thus, sin, anger, etc… are associated with spiritual tumah.” [1]

Chassidic thought sees all of the forms of tumah as dependent on the degree of limitation placed on human free will; since a corpse is the most limited type of free will, tumat met, is the most potent form of tumah.

Rav Shloime Twerski, Zt”l, used to say that “Tumah is the limitation of potential”. For example if a woman is tamei, her potential to get pregnant is not there; if a Kohen is tamei he cannot perform the service; if a home is tamei, it cannot be lived in, etc. And, ultimately, when a person dies the body becomes completely tamei, with no way to become tahor, because it has lost all potential to do what it was created to do. 

With this definition we can say that tumah, being tamei, is when we have a limitation on living out our full potential that HaShem created us to do.

Anybody approaching the Temple had to be in the status of tahor, because by nature this was the place of closeness to HaShem. The place of our potential – our potential to experience closeness in the most manifested way to HaShem.

The Zohar Hakodesh says that on the second day of creation, when HaShem separated the waters and kept the upper waters in the heavens, the lower waters were hurt that they were being put down here on earth, separated from HaShem,  and they cried out “We too want to stand before the King!” [2] 

Midrash Rabbah teaches that HaShem consoled the lower waters and told them that they would have the opportunity to connect to HaShem even down on earth. He told them that they would be a part of every offering that was made in the Temple. Torah says that each and every sacrifice must be offered together with salt. Rashi’s commentary says that the salt came from the evaporation of water from the dead sea, (based on Menachot 21a).

“And you shall salt every one of your meal offering sacrifices with salt, and you shall not omit the salt of your God’s covenant from [being placed] upon your meal offerings. You shall offer salt on all your sacrifices.” [3]

The Rebbe says “The essence of every offering is its salt” [4]

The Ma’or VaShemesh who quotes Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Rymanov based on Raish Lakish’s comments in Berachot 5a. “The Torah uses the word ‘covenant’ in its description of salt [3] It also uses the word ‘covenant’ in its description of suffering [5] 

The Piaseczna Rebbe, the Holy Aish Kodesh, says that this teaches us that as salt purges meat, so does yisurin (suffering) purify a person.” [6] 

So now open your hearts with me. What is unique about our tears? They are both salt & water – our tears are both the mikveh and the salt for the korban necessary to revive our souls to their unique potential and to remove the barriers between us and HaShem.

As we wait and yearn for the Beis Hamikdash and we see that the whole world is suffering, full of yisurin, we must cry- we must cry for the exiled Shechina, we must cry for every person’s suffering, we must cry for ourselves. In these last moments before we can wash in the mikvaot of Yerushalayim and approach the kohanim with our karbanot on Har HaBayit – let’s not wait. Let the water of our tears be our mikveh and remove the tumah from our neshamot, empowering us to realize our potential to be HaShem’s true conduit of light that will shine from Yerushalayim to all nations. And let the salt of our tears be put upon every mitzvah, every prayer, every moment of tefillah as a korban before Him.

Rav Shlomo Carlebach said – We must know that “we are chosen, to show the whole world they are chosen”. 

I bless each one of us to wash our souls in the water of our tears, and to let the salt of our tears cover the karbanot of our mitzvot – We should be blessed to never let our tears be wasted, that each each one should be used to establish the throne of the House of David in Yerushalayim in our days soon.

Blessings Always – B’Ahava Rabba, Shimon Aaron HaMesharet

  • [1] Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Understanding the Tanya page 327
  • [2] Tikkunei Zohar Tikun 5 (19:5)
  • [3] Vikira 2:13
  • [4] Toras Menachem volume 10 page 124
  • [5] Devarim 28:69
  • [6] Aish Kodesh Chayah Sarah – November 1939

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