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וצוה הכהן ולקח למטהר שתי צפרים חיות טהורות ועץ ארז ושני תולעת ואזוב... ושחט את הצפור האחת אל כלי חרש על מים חיים

The Kohen shall command, and for the person being purified there shall be taken two live, clean birds, cedar wood and crimson wool and hyssop… and the one bird shall be slaughtered into an earthenware vessel over spring water. (14:4, 5)

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Horav Nosson Gestetner, zl, observes that the taharas, purification process, of the metzora involves the four yesodos, foundations, types of Creation: domeim, inanimate; tzomeiach, growing vegetation; chai, living creature; medaber, human who has the power of speech. The water and earthenware vessel are domemim, inanimate objects. The cedar wood and hyssop represent the tzomeiach, growing vegetation. The bird and crimson wool dyed from the blood of a worm, correspond to chai, living creatures. The Kohen who performs the purification is the medaber, symbolizes the human speaking creature. The lesson for us is straightforward: one who speaks lashon hora defiles every aspect of Creation. Thus, his purification must be effected by representations of all four yesodos of Creation.

This idea is expressed by the mitzvos surrounding the Festival of Pesach. Here, too, we use all four forms of Creation. The water which is used for the matzah is a domeim; the flour is derived from a tzomeiach; and the marror is a tzomeiach. The Korban Pesach, Pascal Sacrifice, is a chai; and the person who executes the Seder, relating the story of the liberation and exodus from Egypt, is the medaber. The mitzvah of Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim, relating the exodus from Egypt, is specifically carried out through the medium of the “mouth” – the peh – sach, mouth which speaks, because the liberation from Egypt involved all four yesodos of Creation, as the plagues that struck Egypt affected all four yesodos.

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