Peace vs. Truth
[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much.]
This week’s Parsha discusses the purification process of a Metzora who has gotten leprosy, often as a result of speaking Loshon Hara. The first step in the process is to go to a Kohen who will determine whether or not it is leprosy. Even if the Kohen is not a Talmid Chachom, there is still an obligation to go to him. Why?
One of the commentators [I believe it is the Sakachaver Rebbe] explains that often, a Baal Lashon Hara’s rational is that the lashon hara is true and ‘for the sake of truth, I must expose his actions and tell people about him. In fact the sign of Hashem is emes [truth] so we see emes is very important.’
Therefore, the Torah says, “send him to the Kohen,” regardless of whether he is a Talmid Chachom or not, as all Kohanim are descendants of Aharon who loved and pursued peace even at the expense of emes. [Aharon at times would even alter the truth for the sake of peace.] Hence, the lesson for the Baal Lashon Hara is that there is something more important than Emes. Granted that Emes is the sign of Hashem, but Shalom-peace, which is the name of Hashem, is a much higher level.
May we all internalize this lesson, to realize that although saying the truth is very important, at times being at peace with people takes precedence.