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Metzorah: Public Purity

Rabbi Shlomo Yahaloni (Diamant) spent a few years under Stalin in a Siberian prison camp. He studied the weekly parsha from memory and from the perspective of his situation. When he came to Metzorah, and reviewed the verse, “On the day of his purification, he shall be brought to the Kohen (Vayikra 14:2),” and recalled Rashi’s comment, “This teaches us that he cannot go through his process of purification at night,” he was struck by the irony that the Soviet “purifications” only took place at night, hidden from public view.


“Real purification,” he wrote, “is like the sun shining in “Tohar,” full strength, in full view, because it is a reconnection to life. It is impossible to achieve purity when one hides what one is doing for fear of how others will react.

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