By Batya Hefter
What spiritual lessons can be learned from the laws of impurity/ tumah as they relate to bodily discharges; this is the subject of the end of parshat metzora vayikra 15?
There is a shocking discrepancy in severity of the impurity of a zav/ zava as opposed to a niddah or man following seminal emission. The impurity of a zav or zava, non-natural emissions (Ramban), their purification process requires the person to count seven clean days, immerse in a mikva and bring a korban on the eighth day. Whereas the menstruate woman after her seven day regular cycle and a man following seminal discharge, is impure for only one day, can then immerse in a mikva and does not need to bring a korban. What accounts for this severe discrepancy?
For Rav Tzaddok every aspect of avodat Hashem requires mindfulness, desire and vitality. The extended period of tumah for the zav, he claims, is that the emission was a lifeless, had no desire or vitality. Therefore the zav needs a lengthy purification process to return to a vital healthy spiritual state. He compares this to learning Torah with cheshek, with desire and vitality as opposed to relating to the Torah as disconnected from you, as an object of knowledge. (Tzidkat HaTzadik 225).