Friday, April 15, 2016

The Holy Ohr Hachaim on Mezora's opening verses

Credit to the great Ohr Hachaim for his clever reading of the first several verses in Mezora.
Ingeniously he reads it as an allegory for the redemption of the Jewish people. This seems like a prime example of how new interpretations can refresh and revitalize verses making them meaningful after circumstances have rendered their plain sense irrelevant.

זֹאת תִּהְיֶה תּוֹרַת הַמְּצֹרָע, בְּיוֹם טָהֳרָתוֹ
This shall be what happens on the day that the leper, that is the Jewish people, become pure, by renouncing the sins that caused them to be exiled. 
וְהוּבָא, אֶל-הַכֹּהֵן.
Our case or situation will go in front of the priest, that is God.
וְיָצָא, הַכֹּהֵן, אֶל-מִחוּץ, לַמַּחֲנֶה
And God will go into exile to find us, as it were,
רָאָה, הַכֹּהֵן, וְהִנֵּה נִרְפָּא נֶגַע-הַצָּרַעַת, מִן-הַצָּרוּעַ
And God will see that we, the Jewish people, have, indeed, been cured of the sins that caused the exile
וְצִוָּה, הַכֹּהֵן, וְלָקַח לַמִּטַּהֵר שְׁתֵּי-צִפֳּרִים חַיּוֹת, טְהֹרוֹת
And God will command the two Messiahs, the Messiah Ben Yosef and the Messiah Ben Dovid
וְעֵץ אֶרֶז, וּשְׁנִי תוֹלַעַת וְאֵזֹב.
And He will fortify them with the merits of the forefathers, Abraham, who is compared to the mighty cedar, Jacob, who is called a Tolaas, and Issac who is likened to the Ezov
צִוָּה, הַכֹּהֵן, וְשָׁחַט, אֶת-הַצִּפּוֹר הָאֶחָת--אֶל-כְּלִי-חֶרֶשׂ, עַל-מַיִם חַיִּים
And one of the Messiahs, the Messiah Ben Yosef, will be go out into the world (represented by the earthen bowl (symbolizing humanity created from earth) and the water (symbolizing the Torah which infuses the world) and that Messiah will be killed
אֶת-הַצִּפֹּר הַחַיָּה יִקַּח אֹתָהּ, וְאֶת-עֵץ הָאֶרֶז וְאֶת-שְׁנִי הַתּוֹלַעַת וְאֶת-הָאֵזֹב; וְטָבַל אוֹתָם וְאֵת הַצִּפֹּר הַחַיָּה, בְּדַם הַצִּפֹּר הַשְּׁחֻטָה, עַל, הַמַּיִם הַחַיִּים.
And the living Messiah, the Messiah ben Dovid, will take the merits of the forefathers and go out into the word, and using the death of the first Messiah as a legal justification, the wicked gentiles will be slaughtered
וְהִזָּה, עַל הַמִּטַּהֵר מִן-הַצָּרַעַת--שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים; וְטִהֲרוֹ, וְשִׁלַּח אֶת-הַצִּפֹּר הַחַיָּה עַל-פְּנֵי הַשָּׂדֶה
Afterwards the Messiah will treat the Jewish people and remove from them the seven level of impurity
וְכִבֶּס הַמִּטַּהֵר אֶת-בְּגָדָיו
And he will cleanse of us of our sins
וְגִלַּח אֶת-כָּל-שְׂעָרוֹ
And he will correct our false ideas (symbolized by hair which comes out of the head)
וְרָחַץ בַּמַּיִם וְטָהֵר
And immerse us in the Torah,
And we will be made pure
וְאַחַר, יָבוֹא אֶל-הַמַּחֲנֶה
After which we will be brought back to rebuilt Jerusalem


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