אָדָם, כִּי-יִהְיֶה בְעוֹר-בְּשָׂרוֹ שְׂאֵת אוֹ-סַפַּחַת אוֹ בַהֶרֶת, וְהָיָה בְעוֹר-בְּשָׂרוֹ, לְנֶגַע צָרָעַת...-- When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, or a scab, or a bright spot, and it become in the skin of his flesh the plague of leprosy… (Leviticus 13:2)
According to the sages of the Talmud, the skin afflictions described above occur as a punishment for engaging in Lashon Harah. The question that begs asking: why is it that in ancient times when people were seemingly more pious and good were there instances of these skin afflictions and today when most people seem to be involved in Lashon Harah this leprosy is almost non-existent? Explains Rabbi Moshe Alshich (Tzfat, 16th cent.), these types of skin disorders are signs of a hidden illness in the soul of a person – the skin affliction is caused by one’s deep-seated humility sending the affliction to the host as a call to make teshuvah. However, a soul that is far removed from all things holy will not have the mechanism by which to alarm the host. In short, today's rampant Lashon Harah blinds us from even recognizing it as a problem.
!לשון הרע לא מדבר אלי