Parshas Tazria
Leviticus 12:1 - 13:59

W H I C H ? ?
Speaking Blessings or Loshon Hora

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This dvar Torah is respectfully dedicated by the families of Horav Efrayim ben Dovid Gershon Z"L {Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro of Baltimore}, whose yahrzeit falls on 3 Nisan, T.N.Tz.B.H.

If you would like to dedicate a Gematria lesson for our cyberspace class in the memory of a dear friend or loved one we will do this for a gift of Chai, $18.00 American dollars.

Gematria is a particular study of Jewish mysticism based on the numerical value of Hebrew letters in the Aleph Bais (Hebrew alphabet) as inscribed in the Torah. Jewish Gematria has many disciplines.

In this parsha there are two words every person wants to hear, Taw Hor Hoo, meaning "He is clean." There are two words that are dreaded, Taw May Hoo, meaning "He is unclean." In Parshas Tazria we find the words Taw Hor Hoo {He is clean} recorded six times. We find the words Taw May Hoo {He is unclean} recorded seven times. The Gematria for Taw Hor Hoo is 232 and the Gematria for Taw May Hoo is 62.

{from right to left}
Taw Hor Hoo
232 = Aleph = 1 + Vav = 6 + Hey = 5 + Reish = 200 + Vav = 6 + Hey = 5 + Tes = 9

Taw May Hoo
62 =
Aleph = 1 + Vav = 6 + Hey = 5 + Aleph = 1 + Mem = 40 + Tes = 9

The Gematria 232 for Taw Hor Hoo {He is clean} is also shared with the Gematria Yi Vaw Raych, meaning bless. This represents the person who is pronounced clean who did not transgress the Torah mitzvahs by speaking loshon hora. This is the individual who blesses Hashem and who is blessed by Hashem.

{from right to left}
Yi Vaw Raych
232 = Chof = 20 + Reish = 200 + Bais = 2 + Yud = 10

The Gematria 62 for Taw May Hoo {He is unclean} tells us something about the very nature of man. In Genesis 2:7 we read the description of man's Creation which consists of just 62 letters. Now we are not suggesting that man was predisposed to sin. We are not suggesting that Adam was not righteous until his sin. What we are saying, however, is that man's nature is attracted to uncleanness. In other words, Chava knew that eating from the forbidden fruit was wrong. Yet she listened to the Loshon Hora of the Sutan speaking lies, and speaking against G-d. Chava then took and gave to her husband. Chava had already heard G-d's side to the matter, His commands, His direction and His response if His instructions were broken. Now we see that side of man that wants to be tempted, G-d forbid. We see the other side of man. We see the side of man that wants to hear the other side of the story, that wants to know what the opposition has to say. Man wants to devour the juicy gossip, G-d forbid. Then man wants to give what they have learned, what they have heard to their family members as Chava shared with Adam, G-d forbid!

In Parshas Tzav we discussed the dedication of the Mishkon and compared it to dedicating the Mishkon of our own individual spiritual temple. We stated that just as "Moshe took the anointing oil and anointed the Mishkon and everything inside it and sanctified them {it}" in Leviticus 8:10, we must do the same thing symbolically. We stated that the Gematria Mispar Katan of Leviticus 8: 10 was 170. This is so significant because it represents the difference between Taw Hor Hoo {232}, clean, and Taw May Hoo {62}, unclean. This is the difference between the dedicated, Torah observant Jew and the non observant and undedicated Jew. The difference is 170. Some Jews will observe the Torah and sanctify G-d's name as in Leviticus 8:10, and others will desecrate it, similar to what Chava did, G-d forbid!

As stated earlier we find Taw May Hoo {He is unclean} recorded seven times. 7 x 62 = 434. The Gematria 434 introduces the offender {the one who slandered, the one who spoke loshon hora, the one who is suffering from the affliction of Tzora'as} to the path of Gi Oo Lahs, meaning redemption. Our sages say this is simply done by the offenders' obedient confession to any person who approaches. They are to shout, "UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!"

As simple as this is {shouting the words "unclean, unclean"}, it is in obedience to the Torah mitzvah and is a confession of belief and faith in the Torah. It is a profession of redemption.

{from right to left}
Gi Oo Lahs
434 = Sav = 400 + Lamid = 30 + Aleph = 1 + Gimmel = 3
See Gematria Number Index on Gematria Page

When man sins he is separated from G-d. He is separated from the beauty of Gan Eden as Adam and Chava were. Man is separated from that special elevated Shabbos experience in Gan Eden because of sin... because of loshon hora.

Now we note that the Gematria of the letter Zayin {seven} which represents our spirit and spirituality only occurs seven times in Parshas Tazria. So we see that even though man's nature is weak, especially when it comes to loshon hora represented by 62, Hashem has provided a path of redemption for man. The Zayin represents that path of redemption. It is as if when man falls, G-d forbid, Hashem picks him up. Hashem provides the covering for man's sins. Yet this is only accomplished when man acknowledges his sin, turns away from his sin and does restitution.

So from this we learn of the blessings for those who do not speak or listen to loshon hora and the separation and isolation for those who do.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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