"If a person [in Hebrew, 'adam'] has in the skin of his flesh…"[a leprous infection…](Lev. 13:2)

We have learned that people are referred to [in Torah] in [four] different ways: "adam", "gever", "enosh"and "ish". (Shabbat 54b) [All mean the same thing, "a person", but] the most distinguished among them is "adam",as it is written: "G‑d created man ['adam'] in His image" (Gen. 1:27); "For in the image of G‑d He created man ['adam']" (Gen. 9:6). These verses do not use the terms "gever", "enosh" or "ish". From these verses we see that the title "adam"refers to a person of G‑dly stature.

The upper and lower worlds are all sustained by the sacrificial offerings….

In fact, these titles are codes for four levels of the soul and correspond to the Four Worlds, respectively: "Adam" is the level of the soul called "Chaya" (called the "Neshama of the Neshama"in the Zohar), which is manifested in chochma, and corresponds to Atzilut; "gever" is the level of the soul called "Neshama", manifested in bina and corresponds to Beriya; "enosh"is the level of the soul called "Ruach", manifested in the six emotional qualities of Zeir Anpin and corresponds to Yetzira;"ish" is the level of the soul called "Nefesh" manifested in malchut and corresponds to Asiya.

Adam

Chaya

Chochma

Atzilut

Gever

Neshama

Bina

Beryia

Enosh

Ruach

Zeir Anpin

Yetzira

Ish

Nefesh

Malchut

Asiya

However, Rabbi Yehuda said: But it is written, "When a person ['adam'] brings an atonement-offering to G‑d" (Lev. 1:2). [This seems to refute the proposition that "adam" is the most distinguished title for man, because] who has to bring an atonement-offering? A sinner, and yet the term "adam" is used!

How can this apply to a person who is on the level of Chaya-chochma-Atzilut?

Rabbi Yitzchak responded: The [physical] world and the upper and lower worlds are all sustained by the sacrificial offerings, which are a great delight to the Holy Blessed One. Now, who is fit to offer a sacrifice that causes supernal delight? Only the most honorable person, who is called "adam"!

I.e. only a person on the highest level has the ability to sustain heaven and earth.

Rabbi Yehuda replied: [But the verses,] "If a person has in the skin of his flesh a leprous infection… he shall be brought to Aaron" (Lev. 13:2) and "When a person is struck with a leprous plague he shall be brought before a priest" (ibid. 13:9) seem to disprove this?

A person on a higher spiritual level should not remain the way he is….

[Rabbi Yitzchak explained]: It is precisely such a person whom the Holy Blessed One wishes to purify more than any other. A person on a higher spiritual level should not remain the way he is [without rectification]. And that is why the verse states, "…he shall be brought to Aaron" and "he shall be brought before a priest". It does not say, "he shall come", but rather, "he shall be brought" [by others]. For anyone who sees such a person is obligated to bring him before a priest, since a person of holy stature cannot remain the way he is.

This is because the worlds cannot be sustained without such a person, and it is everyone's benefit that such a person be healed.

The only question remaining is how a person on such a high spiritual level can become struck with leprosy? Commentaries explain that although such a person has rectified everything that he can, there may still remain a small quantity of spiritual waste that causes a supernatural infection in his outermost levels - his skin. In fact, prior to the infection being labeled "impure" by the priest, it is a very high level of divine illumination, albeit of the aspect known as "harsh severity". For this reason he must be brought to the priest, the man of chesed (loving-kindness), who has the ability to sweeten the harsh severities and transform them into pure goodness. (Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, Likutei Torah, Tazria 22b )

[Zohar III p. 48a; translation & commentary by Moshe Miller]