"This shall be the Torah of the leper." Rabbi Yitzhak opened [his discourse] with the verse: "the sun rises and the sun sets." (Eccl. 1:5) We have learned this verse and explained that it speaks of the soul of a man. When the soul exists within man in this world, then "the sun rises". [The soul which illuminates the entire body when it is within it is compared to the sun.] "the sun sets," refers to the time when a person departs from this world. If at that time he is in a state of repentance, then [as the verse continues: the soul] "hastens to its place where it rises again". [Repentance purifies the soul that then is drawn back to the place it was hewn from – the Shechinah – and it enjoys Her light.] If he is righteous, as it is written: "And when the sun sets [when the soul leaves this world] he shall be clean, and afterwards he shall eat of the holies". [“Eating” representing an even higher level spiritual of union.] (Lev. 22:7)

Come and see: G‑d grants pardons for all the sins of the world [when one does teshuva] except for an evil tongue, when a person speaks any evil about another, as is written: "This shall be the Torah of the metzora/leper." (Lev. 14:2) He speaks evil of his friend, [Metzora has the same letters as 'Motzi (shem) Ra/disclosing evil']. Rabbi Hiyya said [this similarity in letters shows], if someone spreads evil talk, all his limbs become defiled and he should be confined, for his evil speech rises aloft and arouses an impure spirit on himself and he becomes defiled. He who intends to defile is defiled; by the deed done below another similar deed is aroused in the spiritual realm.

He [Rabbi Hiyya] opened the discussion, saying: "How is the faithful city become a harlot?" (Isaiah 1:21) Can she, who was faithful to her husband, become a harlot? [Doesn't She – the Shechinah - always suckle bounty from G‑d? How can she become a harlot, meaning suckle from the externalities?] "She who was full of judgment/justice". Justice is the Holy One, blessed be He [Zeir Anpin formerly always resided in Jerusalem, along with] righteousness, the Congregation of Israel [Shechinah]. Because another aspect [of the Other Side] was awakened, the Holy One, blessed be He, called 'Justice', departs from her. A spirit of murderers abides in her, as it is written: "But now murderers" [who draw their strength from the Other Side] dwell there. If that was the fate of Jerusalem, the Holy City [representing the Holy Shechinah], how much more so must that be the fate of ordinary men [who give rise to slander], as it is written: "This shall be the Torah of the leper."

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does this mean to you, and why is it revealed to you now?

Above, we hear the hint in the word Metzorah/leper to the words Motzi Shem Rah/he who brings forth a bad name, namely by speaking Lashon HaRa/evil speech. We justify saying bad things about others with "But its true!" And in our minds we may also get a feeling of satisfaction and dissing the other. As with the sexual conduct discussed in last week’s Zohar, so too does the improper speech here create negativity in supernal realms. Words create: Abra KeDabra means "I create by speaking." Would it be that all our words be for the good! For the sin of speaking poorly, Jerusalem was destroyed, and her fixing depends on our fixing.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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