Leprosy and Lost Objects

In the section dealing with returning lost objects (Deuteronomy 22:13), the Bible uses a peculiar word in verse 2, ואספתו, you shall gather. This Hebrew word appears only one other time in the Bible; II Kings 5:6; the healing of Naaman’s leprosy. What does the subject of returning lost objects have to do with leprosy? Homiletically speaking, the Sages say: The leprosy affliction comes upon misers; a person unwilling to lend out his property to others. When a miser will declare to his neighbor that he does not have such and such object, his house will be afflicted with leprosy, where the Priest shall command and they shall clear the house (Leviticus 14:36). The person will take out all his material objects and everyone will see that he does, in fact, have the article.


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