Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Notes from the Underground

Before getting to this week's parsha, I want to say one more point on last week's.  The navi in the hafarah for Tazria writes that Elisha told Naaman that his tzaraas could be cured if he went to mikveh in the Yarden.  Naaman responded that if he wanted to bathe in rivers, the rivers back home in Damascus were as good as those of Eretz Yisrael and he needn't have made the trip.  

Chasam Sofer discusses m'ikara mai ka savar and l'b'sof mai ka savar -- why did Naaman originally believe the navi Elisha could help him, but then reject the navi's advice.  What changed? 

I think that there's no mystery here.  Naaman would fit in perfectly with us today.  Naaman expected hocus pocus -- maybe a red string, an amulet, an incantation, etc.  Nobody wants religion if it means dressing like a normal person, acting like a mentch, and spending your spare time in the study of serious books.  Feh!  You can do that back in Damscus, along with swimming in nice rivers.  Tell someone that the segulah for parsnasa is to get a job and daven for success (exactly what the gemara at the end of Mes Nidah says) and they will ignore you.  Tell them to bake a key in their challah, or recite parshas ha'mon on one specific day of the year -- now you're talking.  The stranger it sounds, the better, even more so if you can throw the word "kabbalah" in there.  

1 comment:

  1. didn't Madonna have a fling with Naaman some years back?