Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states:” And G-d spoke to Moshe and Aharon saying, ‘When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, or a scab, or a bright spot and it becomes in the skin of his flesh the plague of tzora’as, then he shall be brought to Aharon the priest or unto one of his sons the priests’ ” (Leviticus 13:1-2).
What is the significance and meaning of these different types of tzora’as?
The Chasan Sofer comments that the different types of tzora’as are illustrative of reasons why people might speak against others:
1) Sais (a rising): A person might speak against others to raise his own stature.
2) Sapachas (a scab): A person might join (sipuach) a group of people who speak against others. In ordinary circumstances, he would not speak lashon hara, but to be sociable or to fit in, he would.
3) Baheres (a bright spot): A person might have done something against someone else, and to exonerate himself, he speaks against that person. He clarifies (bahir) the reason for his behavior. If one is aware of the motivation for his speaking lashon hara, he can work on correcting himself.
The Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, points out that from the severity of the tumah (spiritual uncleanliness) of the metzora (the person afflicted with tzora’as), we have an indication of the severity of lashon hara. This is the only type of tumah in which the person is required to stay entirely out of the camp or city where other people live.
If one is careful not to speak negatively about others, he may never have to whisper again!