לא תשנא את אחיך בלבבך הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך ולא תשא עליו חטא. The Maggid of Mezritch says that prior to offering rebuke it is always important to self check first. Rebuke must be borne out of a sense of אהבה for another – discipline must come from love. The pasuk is admonishing us that first we must remove any traces of hatred and only then can we offer guidance and perspective that will have true impact and value.
Much of the purification process of the מצורע involves his reliance on the כהן to help him achieve טהרה. The Dubno Maggid explains that often people trespass the laws of proper speech and לשון הרע not recognizing the full impact of mere words. It’s easy to realize your err when you have done an improper action that is tangible. The מצורע is brought to the כהן to show him the true import of one’s words and the ability to alter reality through speech.
The torah describes various forms of tzaraas on a person’s skin (s’es, sapachas, baheres). Throughout the parsha of tzaraas the torah introduces the person as Adam. The Ishbitzer says that the highest descriptive form of man is the term Adam. The torah is teaches us that more often than not, Lashon Harah is found at the highest levels of righteouness, by men of high stature. Perhaps we can also say that the torah is teaching us that, although we have sinned, although we have fallen, although we have erred greatly by transgressing the laws of proper speech, we have not divested ourselves of our internal greatness. The torah is letting us know that we can still be called Adam.
אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן לַה’מִן-הַבְּהֵמָה מִן-הַבָּקָר וּמִן-הַצֹּאן תַּקְרִיבוּ אֶת-קָרְבַּנְכֶם. The Tiferes Shlomo writes that we have the ability to elevate the identity of an animal and transform it into the rhealm of holiness. An otherwise mundane beast can attain kedusha when we assign it verbally with a higher purpose. So too, says the Rebbe, if we declare our own intent about ourselves we can transform our lives and ultimately direct it on a new trajectory of holiness and success.
The pasuk tells us: “The materials were sufficient for all the work to be done, and too much” (Shemos 36:7). The commentaries are bothered by the redundancy stated her. We are told that there was enough, but immediately following that there was “too much”. The Lubliner Rav (R’ Meir Shapiro) explains that although the funds were sufficient to meet the demands of the structure and its associated instruments, the driving spirit of the people to give did not cease or relax. V’hoser (and there was too much) refers to the mantra of the Jew to always look for more opportunities to give and accomplish even after the current demands have been met, and to never be satisfied to rest on our accomplishments in the moment.
V’shamru bnei Yisroel es ha’Shabbos, la’asos es ha’Shabbos l’dorosam bris olam… The Modzitzer Rebbe quotes the gemarah that tells us that if only we were to keep 2 consecutive Shabbasos as a collective group we would be redeemed immediately. The Rebbe explains that there are two unique aspects to Shabbos; there is the v’shamru aspect which involves abstaining from violating the Shabbos (39 melachos), and there is the la’asos aspect which includes an active participation in the holiness of Shabbos by learning and engaging in a spiritual environment that you create for the Shabbos. These are the two Shabbosos, says the Rebbe, that the gemarah is referring to. If we can keep both aspects of the Shabbos then it will be l’dorosam bris olam – an eternal covenant with Klal Yisroel for years and generations to come through the redemptive process.