Parshas Tazriah

The Gift of Shabbos - An Upgrade in One's Speech

by Rav Brazil

Last Shabbos we wrote about the "light year" difference of doing an aveirah which blemishes the nefesh of the sinner in contrast to eating non kosher food which compromises one's body as well. The parsha of Tazriah continues with the theme and opens with the mitzvah of Milah which also leaves its impression both on the body and nefesh. By undergoing a Bris not only is the body elevated to a higher level of kedusha but the nefesh which is a kelipah is also elevated. On the passuk דבר צוה לאלף דור our Chazal state that this is referring to Bris Milah. However, this requires explanation since the Bris Milah was first commanded to Avraham Avinu who lived in the 20th generation of creation and not as the passuk states after one thousand generations?

Rav Mordechai from Ishbitz in his sefer מי שילוח explains that in reality this passuk is talking about the bris of Avraham but it is telling us also that it would take 1000 generations of non stop avodah to achieve the madraigah that Avraham and every new born baby receives immediately after his Bris. Wow what an instant upgrade!

With this we can understand the juxtaposition of the prohibition of eating non kosher animals and the Bris Milah. Eating non kosher compromises the body and nefesh. In contrast is Bris Milah which does the exact opposite it elevates and sanctifies both the body and nefesh. The parsha continues with the prohibition of לשון הרע which causes צרעת the negative forces in both body and nefesh like the results of eating non kosher food and the opposite of Milah. It is very interesting to note that the מילה means both circumcision and word, (speech). The sefarim tell us that מילה is the gematriah .פהSo we see an obvious connection to Bris Milah and Lashon Harah and צרעת which is the result of Lashon Harah. How are we to understand the parallel between them?

Man possesses a mouth for two purposes, one to eat and ingest food and the other to communicate by speech. By eating food Man brings life to himself. By using his same mouth to speak evil and gossip he brings death to himself. As the passuk says מי האיש החפץ חיים .נצור לשונך מרע ושפתיך מדבר מרמה Shlomo Hamelech writes about this concept in Mishlei in the passuk .מות וחיים ביד לשון If the food that enters your mouth is not kosher then the speech that comes out of one's mouth is prone to be non kosher as well. What comes in comes out.

Both the Bris Milah and the mouth (tongue) are called Bris as the gemarah in Moed Katan 18 points out ברית כרותה לשפתיים which is learned out from Avraham Avinu at the Akaidah. Words spoken alone possess an incredible powerful force to make their contents actualize. Avraham told Yishmael and Eliezer no to ascend Har Hamoriya with them and promised that he and Yitzchak will both return back. It was Avraham's statement of returning back that made it come true and Yitzchak was therefore saved from death. It is no wonder why the powerful effect of speech is learned out from Avraham Avinu since he was the first individual commanded in the mitzvah of מילה as speech and circumcision are essentially connected. For deeper understanding of their relationship see Rashi and meforshim on the passuk כי פי המדבר אליכם when Yosef reveals himself to his brothers and shows them his Bris Milah (Bereishis 42,12).

This "speech power" of Avraham Avinu is hinted in the passuk .וה' בירך את אברהם בכל Rashi comments that the word בכל is gematriah בן, a son. Now was the time to seek a shidduch for Yitzchak. Avraham already realized this necessity right after the Akaidah where the Torah relates that Besuail just gave birth to Rivka (see Rashi (ויהי אחר הדברים האלה). However, the Torah firsts relates the story of Avraham with Bnei Cheis and his striving to purchase a burial plot for Sarah and then afterwards the Torah relates his sending of Eliezer to fetch a shidduch for Yitzchak.

As we explained above Yitzchak was alive because of Avraham who demonstrated that he had a ברית כרותה לשפתים and the words that came out from his mouth bore fruit. This could be proof to the Chazal we brought above in Moed Katan that Yitzchak was saved because of Avraham's promise to Eliezer and Yishmael. For we must ask why the Torah introduces the shidduch with וה' בירך את אברהם בכל a son. Yitzchak was already 37 at the Akaidah. Furthermore why does the Torah hint to Yitzchak in a gematriah when it could have simply said ?בן

The Torah is alluding to the fact that Avraham merited to have presently a son who would continue on with his father's mission of Hashem, only through the koach of possessing בכל which is the acronym of .ברית כרותה לשפתים This power of speech was awarded to him because of his Bris Milah which corresponds to the power of the bris of the mouth and tongue. That is why Avraham made Eliezer swear by his Bris Milah that he will not take a wife for Yitzchak other than from his relatives. Avraham was conveying to Eliezer that he must understand very clearly by these words that Avraham was excluding the possibility of Eliezer's daughter who was also eligible, to be Yitzchak's life partner. Avraham was striving to bring home to Eliezer that only Avraham and his descendants possess this power of ברית כרותה לשפתים which stems from the mitzvah of Bris Milah and what he says must be fulfilled one hundred percent leaving no room for Eliezer to push his own shidduch if for any reason the mission with his relatives is unsuccessful. From here we see the power of one's words which can bring about a reality.

The Sefer Hachinuch on the prohibition to curse another Yid writes ואפשר לנו לומר לפי עניות דעתנו, כי בהיות הנפש המדברת שבאדם חלק עליוני, וכמו שכתוב [בראשית ב', ז'] ויפח באפיו נשמת חיים, ותרגם אונקלוס לרוח ממללא, נתן בה כח רב לפעול אפילו במה שהוא חוץ ממנה, ועל כן ידענו ונראה תמיד כי לפי חשיבות נפש האדם ודבקותה בעליונים כנפש הצדיקים והחסידים, ימהרו דבריהם לפעול בכל מה שידברו עליו, וזה דבר ידוע ומפורסם בין יודעי דעת ומביני מדע.

A gematriah that should now get everyone excited about is צרעת which adds up t .ביום שבת Shabbos is the antithesis of צרעת. Shabbos is called ענג in contrast toנגע of tzaraas. Shabbos brings to achdus as we say in Shabbos davening ומי כעמך ישראל גוי אחד בארץ .The individual who speaks Lashon Harah and receives tzaraas as a punishment is isolated and separated from the rest of the Yisrael Camp because his gossip causes friction and division between Yidden. Shabbos brings to kedusha in contrast to tzaraas which defiles the one who spoke evil. On Shabbos we are commanded to change our speech to a greater level of purity שלא יהא דבורך של שבת כימי החול (Shabbos 113b). Shabbos language and communication must be upgraded from profane to sacred. The Haflaah writes not only business matters should not be discussed but this includes also the same Birkas Hamazon and the first three berachos we say in every Shemoneh Esrai must be said on Shabbos with more patience, feeling and kavanna than the manner we say them during the week. It is Shabbos which trains us that our speech is gifted to us by Hashem separating us from every other creation which does not merit such a divine present with which the world was created בעשרה מאמרות נברא העולם.

Just as we end every Shemoneh Esrai with יהיו לרצון אמרי פי so too this request to Hashem is our tefillah the entire Shabbos. This is alluded to in the gematriah of יהיו לרצון אמרי פי with its 15 letters which equal together יום השבת . The introduction to the Shabbos of מעשה בראשית is the Erev Shabbos passuk וירא אלקים את כל אשר עשה והנה טוב מאד Hashem views His world which he created as טוב מאד. He sees only very good. Even Adam who sinned erev Shabbos is also described as good as Chazal tell us that man is alluded to in the word of מאד which is אדם for he did teshuvah right away as Chazal tell us. He met Kayin and did teshuvah and recited מזמור שיר ליום השבת praising the Shabbos. It is Shabbos which aids us to have a good look at another Yid just like Hashem had to Adam Harishon even after the chait.

Adam and Chavah accepted the Lashon Harah of the Nachash towards Hashem which is tantamount to speaking Lashon Harah. The Nachash claimed that Hashem forbade the eating from the Aitz Hadaas because He feared competition from man with the creation of worlds. Because of Adam's belief in the truthfulness of the Nachash's claim, he was therefore likened to the status of the metzorah who is expelled from the holy camp of Gan Eden. Only because of Shabbos which did not allow on its day for Adam to receive the punishment of לשון הרע and be ousted from Gan Eden, was Adam allowed to remain in Gan Edem for the first Shabbos of creation.

We too must honor Shabbos likewise and refrain from our dibbur that casts negativity towards another Yid especially on Shabbos. Because by being negative towards another Yid on Shabbos she will feel betrayed. Shabbos achievemed in defending all Yidden whose neshamos were contained in the body of Adam Harishon at the time of the Chait of Aitz Hadaas and were not exiled for speaking Lashon Harah on Hashem. Yet here we are on her very day repeating the same aveirah!

שיהיו לרצון אמרי פי is gematriah of יום השבת and likewise שלא יהא דבורך כימי החול is gematriah .השבת עה"כ Because of Shabbos we reenter Gan Eden every Shabbos. Please don't dishonor her.