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Tazria-Metzorah-The lesson of the two birds

The lesson of the two birds

“The Cohen shall command him to take two birds for the person to receive his atonement” (Vayikra 14:4 ).

As part of the purification process of the Metzorah (the leper) must bring two birds.as an offering.  Rashi tells us that the reason is based on the fact that leprosy strikes as a punishment for speaking lashon hara (slanderous speech). This is an act of “chatter,” thus he must bring chatter-filled birds, as his atonement.

The question is, wouldn’t one bird suffice to convey this message? Why does the Torah require that two birds be brought for the purification process?

 

Not all speech is negative There are many times when speech is appropriate and even a Mitzvah, such as in the learning of Torah and in performing chessed – a kind deed, for one’s  Fellowman.  The challenge in life is to make sure to keep negative speech silent.  However, when it comes to Torah activities, on the contrary, one should speak up!

Mishley (Ecclesiastes18:  v 21) states, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue!” Misused speech causes harm and death. Positive speech brings life. This gift of speech must be wisely used.

 

We are now prepared to understand the lesson of the two birds! There are two types of speech and the two birds. One bird is slaughtered reminiscent of the fact that misused speech causes harm and death.  The second bird the Metzorah is required to bring is sent away to fly free to live out the rest of its life pleasantly.  This signifies that good speech brings life. The Metzorah is thus shown very powerfully that he must carefully train himself to use his gift of speech judiciously. This is the lesson of the two birds.

 

 

 

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