Dovid Weinberg – A Direct Descendant Of The Rama – Parsha Metzora And Shabbos HaGadol – The Metzora And Arrogance

It says in Vayikra 14:2; “This shall be the law regarding the one struck by Tzaraas on the day of his purification: He shall be brought to the Kohen.” Vayikra Rabbah brings from the pesukim, Iyov 20:6-7 “אם יעלה לשמים שיאו וראשו לעב יגיע כגללו לנצח יאבד ראיו יאמרו איו”- “Though the eminence ascends to Heaven, and his head touches the clouds, he will perish forever like his own dung; those who had seen him will ask, ‘Where is he?’”

The Midrash explains how the pesukim relate to the trait of arrogance. It says that the word שיאו in the passuk stands for arrogance just like the word לעב. It also says in the passuk כגללו לנצח יאבד”” which implies that just as dung is Tamei, so too is the arrogant individual. In Iyov 2:12; it says, “They looked up from a distance and they did not recognize him.” The reason Iyov’s friends didn’t recognize him, was because Iyov was stricken with Tzaraas. It states in the Gemara Arachin 16a that this passuk is teaching that a person who acts in an arrogant manner becomes Tamei. In short, Tzaraas comes to a person because of his arrogance.

Zera Shimshon asks; who does the passuk identify arrogance by using the terms שיאו and לעב? Another question is; why is the middah of arrogance compared to clouds?

Zera Shimshon brings down the Gemara Pesachim 66B which states: “Rav Yehuda says in the name of Rav: Anyone who is acting in an arrogant manner, if he is a wise person, then his wisdom leaves him, and if he is a Navi, then his ability to prophesize leaves him.” The Midrash is telling us, if one is going to act in an arrogant manner he can end up losing both his wisdom and prophecy.

The word שיאו, is a term that implies superiority, which is hinting to leadership and an uplifted spirit that come from wisdom. The word לעב, literally refers to clouds, which is a reference to prophecy, which comes through the clouds as it says in Shamus 19:9; “Behold, I will come to you in the thickness of the cloud.”

From this we learn that if a person is a wise and a prophet, and acts with arrogance, in the end he will lose everything and he will become Tamei and stricken with Tzaraas. We see at the end of Iyov that arrogance is harmful and leads to a lack of Fear of Hashem.

So, what is the connection between Parshas Metzora and Shabbos HaGadol?

We know that there is a Minhag to read the Pesach Haggadah where we are portrayed as slaves. We must continually remind ourselves of our humble beginning and how low spiritually we were at Yatzies Mitzraim. It is important to remember that even though we became a great nation, we must remain humble and look at others though a prism of Chesed. Perhaps then we will be one step closer to becoming a Unified nation of Klal Yisroel and with that, we can bring about a sense of Achdus for we are equally fallible. Only then will we merit the Final Geulah and once again a chance to offer our Korban Pesach in the Third and Final Beis HaMikdash.


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