Shabbat Parashat Metzora | 5768
There is Judgment and a Judge
Parashat HashavuahHarav Yosef Carmel
The haftara speaks about the great salvation to the city of
Why is there such stress on the sha’ar, both as a reference to a key place within a city and in regard to an exchange rate? One should realize from the outset that the court traditionally sat in the sha’ar and that one of its responsibilities was to ensure that the proper business practices would be kept. Let us put the recent history of the time in perspective and see how the gateway played a role in this whole story.
The king at that time was Yehoachaz, son of Yehu, who followed Hashem’s instructions to destroy the idolatrous infrastructure of Achav’s time and breaking ties with the Tzidonim, from where the wicked princess/queen Izevel came. This seemed to have been the cause of a major economic downswing, which was a major and vexing change from the material success at the time of the wicked Achav. The king expressed his great anger to the prophet, who apparently did not live up to his end of the bargain (see threatening language, ibid. 6:31). Yehoachaz, seeing such tragedy as mothers agreeing to give up their children to be used as food, remarked: “This evil is from Hashem. Why should I plea before Him anymore” (ibid.:33). In other words, the king gave up on Hashem with the claim that there is no judgment or judge, considering that he had followed instructions and the situation deteriorated.
The answer to the king was the sha’ar. Throughout Tanach, that place symbolized the place of judgment. Although the Divine judgment seemed to be absent, in fact Hashem was preparing the miraculous salvation, one that would come from the sha’ar. It came with the help of the four lepers who sat outside the sha’ar, and the food ended up going back to normal prices at the sha’ar. Those who doubted Hashem paid the price for their doubts at the sha’ar. It was proven that there was a Judge in the sha’ar and that He would prove His justice to those who would wait.
Hopefully, we can internalize the messages of patience and belief that are epitomized in this story.
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Mazal tov to Chaim Mann on the occasion of his bar-mitzvah. May he continue to grow in Torah, yirat shamayim, and middot tovot. This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld o.b.m Hemdat Yamim is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker of Max and Mary Sutker and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l. May their memory be a blessing.
Mazal tov to Chaim Mann on the occasion of his bar-mitzvah.
May he continue to grow in Torah, yirat shamayim, and middot tovot.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of
R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
Hemdat Yamim is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker of
Max and Mary Sutker
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.
May their memory be a blessing.