April 3, 2003
Before You Speak
In Parshat Tazriya, we learn about the skin disease of leprosy. If one gets this disease, he or she must be isolated outside the Israelite camp until they have recovered. The rabbis inform us that someone gets leprosy because he or she has gossiped about or slandered someone. Really? Could this be true?
We must always remember that the rabbis have deep lessons to teach us. Here is the lesson: When you gossip or slander, you are trying to hurt the person you are talking about and giving them "cooties" by saying bad things about them. Then your friends will not want to be friends with the kids with "cooties." You have isolated this person, as if they have leprosy. Remember, what goes around comes around. If you say bad things about someone, they might say bad things about you, and then you will be the one to be isolated. And that wouldn't be any fun at all.
Mitzvah Goreret Mitzvah -- One Mitzvah Creates Another!
It's time to plant your mitzvah garden. Create a patch in your garden at home or at school and designate it "The Mitzvah Garden." Plant flower seeds or bulbs; water and care for them. In about eight weeks, when your flowers have bloomed, clip them and take them as gifts to a hospital or an old-age home. What a beautiful spring gift!
Congratulations to Simone Schriger, 10, of Brentwood Â and Â Danielle Landau, 11, of Tarzana Â for answering this question:
What do Nixon, Reagan, Clinton,Â Truman, Washington, Lincoln Â and Jefferson have in common?
Answer: Their names all end with an "N."