top of page

Parshas Metzorah: Behavioral Principles and Fitting Punishments


After spending a large portion of last week’s Parsha, Tazria, discussing how to identify Tzoraas, this week we read about the fate of the Metzorah, the person who was afflicted. The Metzorah is commanded to bring a specific, unique Karban upon his return to the camp, a sacrifice of two birds. Rashi, (Vayikra 14:4), wondering why the Metzorah’s sacrifice is atypical for a sin offering, explains that the Metzorah brings birds for his Karban Chatas because he spoke Lashon Hara, gossip, and birds twitter like gossipers. According to most sources, speaking Lashon Hara is the primary sin for which a person gets Tzoraas. Rashi’s comment underscores the oft-cited concept of Midah K’Neged Midah, G-d’s tendency to respond to our actions in accordance with the deeds we have done. Because the Metzorah spoke Lashon Hara, and twittered (or tweeted) like the birds, the sinner’s repentance process includes a symbol and reminder of his sin. Why is it crucial for the Metzorah to be thus reminded? Furthermore, the Me