Thursday, April 07, 2011
I've been too busy to write much lately, but I hate to put up nothing before Shabbos, so this is going to be brief for now. The Torah promises that nega'ai batim is bound to occur once Bnei Yisrael enter Eretz Yisrael -- "V'nasati nega tza'ara'as b'beis eretz achizaschem." This does not sound like very uplifting news, but Rashi things in a differnet light. Rashi explains that the Emorites hid their treasures in the walls of their homes. Therefore, Hashem promised that he would bring nega'im on these homes, causing the owner to rip down the walls and discover the buried treasure. If Hashem wanted to deliver the treasure of the Emori to the Jewish people, couldn't he have done so in a way that would not necessitate people's homes being ripped apart? Remember, Hashem caused the Egyptians to turn over all their wealth to the Jewish people without much fuss. Why not the same here? The Berdichiver and the Sefas Emes both suggest a homiletical reading of Rashi. It's not enough for a person to remain a tzadik in an environment of impurity -- a person has to transform that surrounding environment into something positive. A person's spiritual influence can impact even the physical walls of his home. This was the "buried treasure" in the Canaanite homes -- each of those homes had the potential to become transformed into a Jewish home. A lot of digging might be required, a lot of remodeling might be required, but the result would be the discovery of spiritual riches.