This week’s parsha, מְּצֹרָע, discusses the laws of purification after being afflicted with the spiritual illness of צרעת. Three of the items needed for the purification process are cedar wood, scarlet, and a hyssop bush. What is the significance of using these three items in the purification process? The חפץ חיים writes in his book ,שמירת הלשון, that arrogance is what causes man to speak לשון הרע. When someone is arrogant, they feel that they are superior to others and that they have the right to speak badly about a particular person. He also explains that if the person speaking לשון הרע realizes his own faults, he won’t focus on those of other people. רש׳׳י states that חז׳׳ל associated cedar wood as being arrogant. The hyssop and scarlet are used to symbolize that the individual needs to lower himself and recognize his own limitations before judging someone else.
By: Noah Dobin