The Theory Of Tzoraas ( Leprosy )

3179 Words Jun 19th, 2015 13 Pages
There is a strong obligation from the Torah to have a spiritual mentor. The Mishna in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) wrote “עשה לך רב (asey lecha rav) (make for yourself a teacher) (1:6). This is the first place in TaNaCH that one is commanded to have some form of mentor, a leader who can provide wisdom and direction.
The Mishna also stated “כל הנגעים אדם רואה חוץ מנגעי עצמו (kol ha’negaim adam ro’eh chutz m’nagai atzmo) (A man can examine all defects except for his own)” (Negoim 2:5). This statement was originally used to discuss the topic of Tzoraas (leprosy) regarding the fact that one cannot self-diagnose Tzoraas, but it can also be a metaphorical reference to a person’s character flaws and spiritual defects (Silberberg, n.d.). One may be able to see the faults and failings in others but somehow when it comes to himself – there is nothing lacking. This is because a person is too biased to be able to point out his own flaws or defects. A mentor provides an objective view and will know how to sensitively highlight possible areas for development and how to guide one in self-improvement.
The same idea is conveyed in the parsha (weekly portion) of Shoftim (Judges) in the prohibition of a judge accepting a bribe. There it is written “וְלֹא תִקַּח שֹׁחַד כִּי הַשֹּׁחַד יְעַוֵּר עֵינֵי חֲכָמִים (v’lo tikach shochad ki hashochad ya’aver eini chachmim) (and you shall not take a bribe, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise). The Torah is asserting the…

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