Friday Candle Lighting: 7:11pm
Shabbat Ends: 8:00 pm
“…and he shall be brought to the kohen.” (14:3)
When a person speaks lashon hara it indicates that he has no concept of the power of speech, that he considers words to be insignificant in comparison to actions. As the nursery rhyme says, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. When a person speaks evil he awakes a “prosecutor” in Heaven, not only against the target of his speech, but also against himself. An angel stands by the side of each of us, recording our every word. In order to teach those who speak slander the power of just one word, the Torah instructs that the offender be brought to the kohen. But, even as he is on his way to the kohen, his body covered with tzara’at for all to see, until the kohen actually pronounces the word “Impure!” he is still considered pure. Similarly, he cannot regain his former status, although his disease has healed completely, until the kohenagain pronounces him to be spiritually pure. From this we learn that the speaker of lashon hara is taught to reflect on the power of each and every word. For with one word he can be made an outcast, and with one word he can be redeemed.
- Source: based on Ohel Yaakov