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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The kohen, or priest, must examine a potential case of tzaras (what we wrongly translate as leprosy). Sometimes, the would-be metzora must wait days for a diagnosis. We live in a world of instant gratification and immediate response. A world where everything is tweeted and posted, often lacking context.

The metzora teaches us some things simply can’t be rushed. Especially things that might be difficult to grasp easily.

I thought about that this week upon hearing of the death of Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, zt”l. His personality and his life defied sound bites. Even the stories where he said nothing are long. His titles—Rosh Yeshiva, Rosh Kollel, PhD, professor, Israel Prize Recipient—don’t really fit in our 140 character limits.

His life was one of deep thought and long conversation with the point of placing the subject in context and making appropriate comparisons.

That legacy of his and this lesson of the metzora: that sometimes things need time, that some things time can’t hurry, that some conversations need be long winded, that not everything is instant, is one we must always remember.

All the more so when we work in and around politics and government. But also in our living rooms and on our playgrounds.

Words to consider. Ideas to ponder. Politics and the parsha.

In his memory, and his honor. Yehi zichro baruch.

Howie Beigelman works at the intersection of nonprofit advocacy and Jewish communal affairs. Follow him on Twitter @howielb.

By Howie Beigelman