34 When you enter the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, and I inflict an eruptive plague upon a house in the land you possess,
KEE ta-VO-u el E-retz k’-NA-an a-SHER a-NEE no-TAYN la-KHEM la-a-khu-ZAH v’-na-ta-TEE NE-ga tza-RA-at b’-VAYT E-retz a-khu-zat-KHEM
לד כִּי תָבֹאוּ אֶל־אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם לַאֲחֻזָּה וְנָתַתִּי נֶגַע צָרַעַת בְּבֵית אֶרֶץ אֲחֻזַּתְכֶם׃
14:34 When you enter the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession
In addition to the sin of lashon hara, speaking negatively about others, lacking generosity and being unwilling to give to other could also cause tzaraat to appear on one’s home. The Kli Yakar points out that once they took possession of the land, the Israelites found many homes filled with riches. If they failed to share what they had, Hashem would afflict those homes. Hashem bequeathed the Jewish people the Land of Israel with the expectation that they would share its bounty with others. From its inception, the contemporary State of Israel internalized this message; it is often the first to volunteer its resources and knowledge to help countries in need. In his book Altneuland, Theodor Herzl wrote that following the establishment of a Jewish national home, Jews would come to the aid of the suffering people in Africa, whose “problem, in all its horror, only a Jew can fathom.” Israel’s founding leaders took this admonition to heart and, in 1958, Golda Meir, then Israel’s Foreign Minister, created a department whose mission was to help Africa overcome problems of water, irrigation, agriculture and education.