Metzora: A Treasure of Gold

“When you enter the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, and I inflict an plague of tzara’at upon a house in the land you possess”[1] (כִּי תָבֹאוּ אֶל־אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם לַאֲחֻזָּה וְנָתַתִּי נֶגַע צָרַעַת בְּבֵית אֶרֶץ אֲחֻזַּתְכֶם)

Rashi writes, “This was an announcement for them, when these plagues came upon them because the Amorites had concealed treasures of gold in the walls of their houses during the forty years the Israelites were in the wilderness [so the Israelites would not take possession of their gold when they conquered the land]. Thanks to the plague, the house was broken down and they would discover them.”

Before Passover, the homes of many Jewish families look as if someone had torn them down. The thorough cleaning doesn’t leave a stone unturned. But in the merit of this cleaning, which is done for the sake of Heaven, with dedication and love—we all merit to find treasures in the house. The treasure found is alluded to in Rashi’s carefully chosen words, “treasures of gold” (מַטְמוֹנִיּוֹת שֶׁל זָהָב). What treasure is it that we all find thanks to our tearing the house apart for Pesach cleaning?

The Hebrew word for “treasures” (מַטְמוֹנִים) can be read as “49 are counted” (מט מוֹנִים), a beautiful reference to the 49 days of the Counting of the Omer. The gold revealed at the end of the 49 days is the Torah, about which King David says, “I prefer the Torah You speak more than thousands of gold and silver [pieces].”[2]



[1]. Leviticus 14:34.

[2]. Psalms 119:72.

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