As mentioned, most of this week’s Parsha, Parshas Metsora, is dedicated to the purification process.
Think about it. Does the name Metsora, meaning someone who has Tsara’as, sound like an appropriate name? Hardly.
In fact, some Rabbis refused to call this Parsha by the name Metsora.
That’s soooo interesting!
Instead they called it “Zos Tehiyeh,” the first two unique words in the Parsha.
We’re talking about some of the greatest Rabbis of all time, who lived over 900 years ago – beginning with the learned Rabbi Saadya Gaon, from Egypt and Iraq; then the great Rashi from Germany and France, and continuing with the amazing Rambam from Spain and Egypt.
Also, going back a few hundred years, there were great Rabbis, who would refer to Parshas Metsora as Parshas Teharah – the Parsha of Purity!
For example, around 300 years ago, the highly respected Chidah, Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulay, traveled the world and wrote a diary. In his diary he would date each entry with reference to the Parsha of the week. Today is the 6h day of Cheshvan, Parshas Noach… Today is the 13th day of Cheshvan, Parshas Lech-Lecha; and so on and so on.
But instead of writing Parshas Metsora he always wrote Parshas Teharah! For example, he would write: Today is the 4th day of Iyar, Parshas Teharah.
Regardless, the common custom is to call it Parshas Metsora.
Why is this?
Here’s an idea:
Metsora can be broken into two words, Motsi Ra: bringing out bad:
On one hand (or shall we say “on one thumbs down”), this means someone who spreads evil gossip and brought evil into the atmosphere.
On the other hand (or “on the other thumbs up”), it can also mean “removing bad,” and that’s what Parshas Metsora is all about – the removal of one’s bad past and the beginning of a new journey filled with goodness and kindness!