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Metzora |  8 Nisan 5776  |  April 16th, 2016  |  Issue 648

Yashar Koach to our future bachurim who finished their first training seminar!

   Batya Americus

Torah MiTzion Bat Sherut (2015-2016)

To Each His Own

The mouth is by far the most dangerous weapon a person can wield. It can fire with the greatest precision and its destructive capabilities are incalculable. As with any great weapon, one must guard carefully against its misuse. However, in this week’s parsha we discuss one who has not, one whose carelessness with his words has caused harm to others.

Such a person contracts a disease called tzaraat, which comes in stages. It starts almost benignly on a person’s house, if left to fester it will work its way to more and more intimate places until its final stage when it manifests on the body itself.

At this point, if tzaraat is confirmed by the Kohen, the person in question is called a metzora and is sent out of all the camps to be in isolation. Rashi explains that the metzora is punished middah keneged middah: just as he created division between his fellow Jews through slander, so to he is separated from Bnei Yisrael to experience the reality he has created between others.

What happens, however, when there are multiple metzorim? Although they are in isolation from the rest of the nation, they are all together outside of the camp. Does that mean they would no longer be isolated, but rather speak with each others freely in “exile” outside of the camp? How would this be an effective punishment? How will this teach them to appreciate the rift they have created between others?

The answer can be found in Parshat Metzora’s haftarah. The haftarah covers a story in Melachim Bet, chapter 7, which discusses a group of metzorim that interact with one another. The story takes place while Bnei Yisrael are under siege by Aram. The metzorim, starving and dejected, decide they have nothing to lose by entering the Armenian camp and begging for help. When they enter the camp, they discover that it has been deserted. Elated at their discovery, the metzorim eat and drink and take of the spoils in the empty camp. At this point, although they are outcasts from society, their communal conscience still bothers them: "We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace" (II Melakhim 7:9). Spurred by their good tidings, they return to the gate and relay the news to the city. Fearing a surprise ambush, the king is cautious and sends scouts ahead to confirm that the troops of Aram have indeed run away. The siege is lifted, and the starving city finally has food to eat.

The goal of the punishment of a metzora is not isolation in it of itself, but rather the message it conveys to the metzora: My words have created a divide in my community, have caused strife between my friends. The metzorim in this week’s haftarah indeed internalized this message, despite not being in isolation. They proved this by exercising their communal conscience and aiding in its restoration.

Each person has their own way of learning. Every one of us internalizes things differently than the person who is sitting next to us. A disciplining technique that works perfectly for one, may be ineffectual on another.

The punishments meted out by the Torah are not one-size-fits-all. Although each person learns their lesson differently, the Torah provides a very specific punishment for each sin - a metzora is exiled. When the punishment will not be sufficient to teach its lesson to the sinner on its surface level, HaShem will trigger events and create situations where they can. In our case, the metzorim would not have learned their lesson through exile on their own, nor would they have learned it had they not decided to enter the Armenian camp, therefore giving them the chance to save their brethren who were starving inside the city.

Shabbat Shalom

Special thanks to Shira Sohn for helping me to write down and understand all my ideas

TMT Spotlight:
Hachsharat Nisan 2016
This week we held the first stage of training for next year's Shlichim at the Field and Forest Education Center in Nes Harim. Over the course of the week, our future bachurim deepened their understanding of Torah MiTzion and learnt about our different Kollelim around the world. Looking forward to the task of assigning the shlichim to the various communities, they participated in ODT activities, met past and present Shlichim and learned important practical tools for Shlichut. The session topics ranged from running icebreakers to teaching Hebrew to technological tools.

The new Shlichim also had the opportunity to hear from returning Shlichim from a wide range of Kollelim through a panel discussion with Akiva Davidson (Montreal 2014-2015), Shabi Buznach (Cape Town 2014-2015), Uri HaKohen (Munich 2014-2015), Alon Saperia (Washington 2014-2015) and Mordechai Perl (Montevideo 2014-2015).

Former Shlichim Aviad Kelner (Montevideo 2013-2014), Rav Avi Goldberg (Memphis 2008-2011), Amichai Mizrachi (Montevideo 2014-2015), Rav Yoni Rosenswieg (Melbourne 2006-2009) and Erez Duani (Munich 2013-2014) all came to Nes Harim to teach the Shlichim various topics from their own experiences on Shlichut and beyond. Rav Danny Mirvis, current Rosh Kollel in Melborune, Menachem Porat, current Rosh Mishlachat in Washington, and Rav Amnon Herman, current Rosh Kollel in Montreal also ran sessions and spent time with the new Shlichim.

On Monday, the Shlichim traveled to Naot Kedumim for outdoor activities, including shepherding and sand castle building. On Tuesday night, they had a barbecue where they had the chance to speak with additional past Shlichim who came by to share their insights and experiences. The Hachshara culminated on Wednesday with a scavenger hunt around the area of the Old City of Jerusalem, ending off at the Torah MiTzion offices. 
Around The World
Hebrew Camp led by the
Perth Shlichim
Hebrew Ulpan 'Restaurant' 
in Memphis
Father-daughter learning with a shiur by Dr. Michelle Kaufman
in Melbourne 
Special Melava Malka for Rosh Chodesh Nissan in
Torah MiTzion Montreal

     Arik Speaker                                   In cooperation with:

'Lilmod' Coordinator and Head of  European Desk in Torah MiTzion

The Tomb of Yossef Hatzadik is located in a very difficult place in terms of security - just southeast of the city of Nablus and the near the Balata refugee camp.

Joseph's burial story, as told in the books of Genesis, Exodus and Joshua is unique. Joseph asked that when the People of Israel will be redeemed, hundreds of years later, his bones would be buried in Israel. According to the Midrash it was Moshe himself who carried the coffin during the wandering in the desert. Ultimately Joseph was buried in Shchem which his father, Yaakov Avinu, bequeathed to him, in addition to the inheritance of his sons Ephraim and Manasseh.

The identification of the tomb is very ancient. Early visitors in the Holy Land as far back as the 4th century identified the tomb near Shchem as the grave of Joseph and this tradition continues to this day.

As a result, the tomb was perceived as sacred for Christians and Muslims as well as Jews. After the area was captured during the Six Day War the government decided to leave the management of the place to the Muslim family who ruled there before. In 1982 the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva was established in the compound. Already during the first intifada and many times since the compound was violently attacked. In 1996 six soldiers who tried to protect the compound were murdered. Often the place has been completely desecrated, including arson, trash thrown into the compouns and painting the dome in green.

According to the Oslo Agreements the compound and the road leading to it are considered an Israeli enclave deep inside Palestinian-controlled territory.

Together with the Maarat Hamachpela and Mount Moriah, this plot is the only place in Israel about which it is told in the Bible that they were purchased with money.


Yasher Koach to 

Jerrold Lichtig

for providing the
correct answer


 Where was this photo taken?

Please send answers to -

The answer, further information about this location, as well as the first person to recognize this site will be 
published in next week's edition.


Torah MiTzion was established in 1995 with the goal of strengthening Jewish communities around the globe and infusing them with love for Torah, the Jewish People and the State of Israel.

Over the past twenty years, Torah MiTzion's shlichim have inspired and enriched their host communities through high impactful formal and informal educational programs.

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Our friend Benjy Singer has a very useful website,, which contains accurate and fresh information of what's going on in the Religious Anglo Community in Israel.