The passuk says (Vayikrah 13,45)  vetamei tamei yikrah. The Shelah writes that this passuk alludes to what our Chazal tell us kol haposeil bemumah poseil: that anyone who points a negative finger at someone else is also pointing one at himself. The metzorah is tamei and yet he calls others tamei. It is very interesting to note that when pointing a finger at someone else, at the same time the three remaining fingers are pointing at yourself. Try this remarkable movement of the fingers.
The first word of the Torah בראשית is composed of two words בשר אית the word בשרis to relate news like we find in the word בשורה  The letters אי (aii) hints to something negative, and the letter ת is gematriah עין רע a bad eye. The word בראשיתtherefore conveys that someone who speaks Lashon Harah possesses a bad eye. Instead of looking at the good of a person one focuses on the bad part and relates it to others. The gematriah of the wordאית  of בראשית is the same as טמא טמא יקרא. This teaches us that the person who has an ayin harah and finds and reports to others the fault of an individual, is really achieving the opposite, for he is revealing that he himself is the one who is called tamei.This would explain why we find an unusual amount of times the word הפך in relationship to the parsha of Tzaraas ( 13,3,4,13,55). Also of interest is the word נגעused for tzaraas, the opposite letters of ענג. Here again we have the reoccurring theme that by accusing others of their faults it reflects the opposite effect of admitting that you yourself possess the identical shortcoming.

A story is told of a chalban who would sell to the baker supplies such as butter and cheese. Day after day the baker suspected that the chelbon was cheating him with the weights. One day he decided to weigh all his purchases from the chalban and found them ostensibly short from the kilo weight he was buying. The baker called the chelban to Bais Din. The simple chelban went to the court and was asked by the judge if he has any scales in his possession and of which kind. The chelbaninnocently answered that he built his own scale. He started to explain how it works. On one side he places the kilo loaf of bread from the baker that he purchased and on the other side he places the cheese and butter. When they both are equal then he knows that it is a kilo. The judge repeated the chalbon’s words “You mean to say that you place exactly on the scale the amount of butter and cheese corresponding to the loaf of the baker which weighs a kilo. “Yes, your honor” replied the chelbon. The judge turned to the baker whose face was now beet red and said “Now who are you accusing as the cheat Mr. baker?”

The fact that the first word of the Torah hints to the terrible aveirah of LashonHarah demonstrates how important it is for each person to ensure he doesn’t fall into this trap.

The first Rashi of the Torah talks about Eretz Yisrael how it was first given to the goyim and then it was taken away from them and given to Am Yisrael. Let us not forget that it was taken away from Am Yisrael as well for forty years because they spoke Lashon Harah about it. As we mentioned above the word בראשית also contains this prohibition of Lashon Harah. Now it also sends the message of Eretz Yisrael becoming removed from us.

We can now understand why the metzorah on his day of purifying himself must bring two birds. The Chazal tell us that the bird symbolizes lashon hara for it is always chirping. The question is why two birds? We can answer this in the light of the above. First we must answer another question. Is one allowed to speak lashan harah on himself? There is a story with the Chofetz Chaim, when he was once travelling, the wagon driver who was unaware of the identity of his great passenger, began praising him and his maalos. The Chofetz Chaim began to degrade himself by saying that the Chofetz Chayim is not as big as you make him out to be. The wagon driver became infuriated with the chutzpah of his passenger and gave him a slap across his face. It was from this episode that he said it is forbidden to speak lashon harah on oneself? When someone accuses another person of their shortcomings they are according to Chazal, really speaking lashon harah on oneself. It is therefore a reason to bring another bird to symbolize this reflected lashon harah that he is mirroring.

The letters of צרעת is identical to the letters of עצרת  describing the Yom Tov of Shavuos. At Sinai Am Yisrael were one nation with one heart. The passuk says ויחן ישראל נגד ההר The word ויחן  is from the lashon of חן. The message is that each Yidfound  חן in the eyes of each other. This means that each Yid looked upon the strengths and maalos of his fellow Yid and did not focus on his shortcomings and weaknesses which everyone has to a certain degree. At Har Sinai we restrained the עין הרע. This is hinted in the word עצרת which means עצר to restrain ת the gematriah of עין רע. We want to find favor in Hashem’s eyes when we daven. No one can say he is entitled to Hashem’s gifts. חן when spelled out חת נון is gematriah תפלהויחן means that even though there is וי a negative trait or behavior by someone else, he can nevertheless still find favor in your eyes for his strengths, some of which you don’t even possess at all and have clearly no clue about them. With עצרת we eradicate צרעת.  Shavuos is approaching rapidly.

Guten Chodesh Gut Shabbos
Rav Brazil