Israel Forever

For the week ending 12 April 2008 / 7 Nisan 5768

For the Birds

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Two birds serve the purpose of purification of the metzora whose leprosy-like affliction has come to an end. Rashi cites the explanation of the Talmudic Sages for the choice of birds:

"The affliction was a Heavenly punishment for sinfully chattering gossip and slander. It is therefore fitting that the purification be achieved through birds that are constantly chirping."

One of the truly unpleasant facets of Israeli society is the almost fanatical preoccupation of the media with reporting all the negative actions of the nation's citizens. The so-called "right of the people to know" which is the mantra of the "fourth estate" serves as an excuse to perpetrate character assassination.

Perhaps the lesson of the metzora will serve as a warning to the "public's watchdogs" in the media that not everything is fit for print or any other form of media. When such chatter is left for the birds we will have a cleaner and better Israel forever.

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