Metzora by Rabbi Baruch Lederman
portions of Tazria and Metzora describe in
detail, the procedure followed by a Kohain when
he examines a person for tzaraas, a leprosy-like
disease. One of the guidelines a Kohain utilizes
while checking out a person's skin, is the fact
that every hair on the human body has its own
separate source of nourishment. Thus each hair
We can learn
from this by analogy, that each person is
individual and unique - both in terms of their
needs and abilities. Hashem orchestrates the
world and takes care of us in amazing unexpected
ways, as the following true story illustrates:
Goodman (names of all people and cities have
been changed) was a businessman in Longwell
Michigan. His 20-year-old daughter Sheindel
helped out in the business.
morning, one of Mendel's clients said to him,
"Mendel, your daughter is a gem. Take my advice,
there is a young man I met last week named Yossi
Rosenberg from Canada. He learns in Yeshiva
Yagdil Torah. He has 'alla maalos' - every good
quality you could ask for in a husband and
son-in-law. He is pious, diligent, refined,
smart, kind, talented and good looking to boot."
replied, "Thank you for thinking of us. I know
our Sheindel is really special. I want a boy who
is worthy of her. Right now we have plenty of
offers and we are weighing our options very
you have to go after this. You can't just pass
up on a boy like Yossi."
will get around to this boy of yours
eventually," said Mendel as he grabbed his hat
and hurried out of his office. Mendel always
left work early on Fridays in order to give
himself time to prepare properly for Shabbos.
home and got about his Shabbos preparations.
Suddenly he heard a loud groan from the kitchen.
There he saw his wife on the floor. She felt a
sharp pain in her side. It was so intense; that
she put down the bowl she was holding and keeled
over. She was now writhing in agony. Mendel
called the ambulance and had her rushed to the
examined and the doctors told them that it was a
kidney stone. Although a kidney stone is
extremely painful, it is generally not fatal, so
all in all it was a relief. The doctors said
that Mrs. Goodman would need to stay in the
hospital for observation. Yaakov decided to stay
by his wife's side over Shabbos but there was no
way to get food for Shabbos.
Just then, he
saw a young Jewish man clad in Yarmulke and
tzitzis approaching. "I heard from one of the
nurses that you are going to be stuck here for
Shabbos. Here take this. It should tide you
in the bag and it contained a number of grocery
items including grape juice and some Challah
rolls. To Mendel, who was starving by now, it
was a feast. Before he could say anything, the
young man politely excused himself, wished
Mendel a Good Shabbos and a Refuah Shelaimah for
his wife, and was off (after all, he too needed
to get home for Shabbos).
made Kiddush for his wife and told her of their
mysterious benefactor. Since Mendel had plenty
of time on his hands - he wasn't going anywhere
all Shabbos - he asked around the hospital to
see if anyone knew who that young man was. He
wanted to pay him back for all the groceries or
at least thank him. Mendel found out who the
Jewish patients were and described the young
man. Maybe he had been visiting a friend or
relative in the hospital.
"I know whom
you're talking about," said one of the nurses,
who overheard Mendel's questions, "That young
man is a saint. He stops in here every Friday
afternoon and visits with whoever happens to be
here. He doesn't have any friends or family
here, he's not even from around these parts. He
once told me he was studying in some Jewish
school in town, but he comes from somewhere like
perked up. This was the second time that day he
heard the word Canada. "What's his name?"
his last name starts with an R and his first
name is some Hebrew name. I think it's Yuppie or
something like that."
straight for his wife's room. He blurted out
excitedly, "I know why we're here! It's because
His wife was
taken aback. She had never seen her husband so
worked up, "Sheindel had nothing to do with it.
I have a kidney stone. Mendel, what's the matter
excitedly told her everything that had
transpired that day, including his conversation
of that morning. "This is the boy for our
Sheindel! I know it."
As soon as
Shabbos was over and his wife was released from
the hospital, Mendel wasted no time seeking out
Yossi. He went to Yagdil Torah and observed the
young man, davening and learning Torah in the
beis midrash (study hall). Mendel was even more
impressed now, after seeing his obvious
sincerity and piety.
Mendel would take a long time checking a boy
out, before approving him for his beloved
daughter, but here Mendel knew all that he
needed to know. He made haste in arranging a
date for Yossi and Sheindel.
week, Yossi was standing at their door. As soon
as Sheindel laid eyes on Yossi, she knew he was
the one. He was a beautiful person - inside and
out - and Sheindel could sense his purity and
his adelkeit (gentleness).
sat in the parlor with Yossi. Mrs. Goodman
began, "Tell me Yossi, are you related to the
Rosenbergs in Toronto? I've heard so many
delightful things about that wonderful family."
responded, "My name isn't Rosenberg, it's
Rosenfeld; and I'm from Montreal. My parents,
Herschel and Esther Rosenfeld, run a family
dropped upon hearing the name Herschel
Rosenfeld. He never wanted to hear that name
again. After his dealings with him, he knew
Herschel Rosenfeld all too
was no way any daughter of his would marry into
the family of that despicable man. (To Be
Michael & Leah Bernstein in memory of her mother
Feiga bas Dovid Yaakov.
Congregation Kehillas Torah, San Diego, CA