28 Apr When Bad Things Happen; Mechanism of Consequence (Tazria-Metzora)
When Bad Things Happen; Mechanism of Consequence
We certainly can’t address every situation, but let’s look at the lessons we can take from a couple of examples of the Torah.
The first example deals with the deficient spiritual condition of an individual or community. of ‘one who runs to a miklat’, a refugee city as a result of an ‘accidental murder’.
In this brief example, a man swings his axe and the axe head flies off and accidentally kills someone. He flees to a miklat, a city of refuge. As any Jew should know, his tshuvah is not only for himself but also in the merit of the community (klol).
We need to understand the mechanism at work here. The ‘blemish’ of the ‘accidental’ act is a reflection of the spiritual disconnect of the individual and the collective (Klol Yisroel). In a rectified (perfected society) accidents don’t happen. The lack of spiritual connection caused a ‘blemish’ that manifested in an ‘accidental’ murder. Accordingly the individual and the community are awakened to do tshuvah to heal the blemish . Their goal needs to do tshuvah to repair the spiritual deficiency that caused the ‘blemish’ . We ought not simply dismiss the occurrence of a ‘blemish’ as the fault of the fault of the individual.
The Second example is where the blemish of tzaraas ( aka the leprosy of the metzora) is spoken about (Tazria-Metzora), only the most righteous (tzadik) will incur the blemish.
Where the National (collective) ‘mission of rectifying the world to bring Mashiach’ may have reached a spiritually deficient state , a tzadik in his frustration (of the spiritual condition of his community) may come to transgress by speaking loshen hora. The tzadik would incur tzaaras and accordingly be removed from the community. It is thus incumbent on the tzadik to do his tshuvah, and the awareness of the loss of the merit of the communities tzadik will prompt awareness of the ‘cause of the blemish’ on the tzadik and the community to inspire the Tshuva that restores spiritual purity.
As these two examples will show, there is a mechanism of cause and effect at work and a need to maintain, repair and elevate spiritual purity. The blemish occurs as a sign to help us learn to do better.
On a daily and ongoing basis we encounter many different kinds of blemishes. They are numerous for example; cancer, depression, addiction, Alzheimer, hate, poverty… the blemishes (imperfections) of our world et al. This is G-ds system of entropy; ‘all that lacks perfection will break down’.
The blemishes of this world are not solely the blemishes of the individual but also of the community. As Jews we are individuals AS part of the unified collective….Klol Yisroel…One. The greater our knowledge is to reveal the secrets of the worlds blemishes in our mind and heart, the greater our ability will be to do the appropriate tshuvah to tikun.
The world is filled with gifts as the signs of blemishes that need to be rectified to perfect the world and bring Mashiach. It is a profound understanding to realize that the blemishes are not only an individual responsibility, but a call to action at a Community and National level. What effects one, affects all.
Leib Getzel (Lawrence) Lax
Addictions and Counseling