The Torah tells of a home inflicted with tzaraat, a spiritual infliction that took the form of green or red patches on the walls of a home.

What was the cause of this tzaraat? Rashi explains that hundreds of years after Canaanites hid gold in the walls of their homes, the tzaraat would show up on these homes. To purify the home, the walls with tzaraat had to be demolished, revealing the gold within.

The Zohar explains that only a small number of Canaanites hid gold in their walls. While most of them were resigned to G‑d’s plan to give the land of Canaan to the people of Israel, there were those who were not. These consisted of Canaanites deeply steeped in idolatry and morally depraved even by Canaanite standards. They hid their gold in their walls with the plan to one day come back and expel the Israelites from the land.

Since the impurities of idolatry of most of the Canaanite homes were superficial, they were dispelled when a Torah-observant Israelite would enter and start doing mitzvahs. The walls of the homes of the deeply depraved, soaked in the impurities, took the presence of a very holy person to extract the impurities. G‑d arranged that only the holiest people moved into these homes. The impurities would come out in the form of tzaraat, the house would be demolished, and the gold would be found.

What lesson are we to take from the holy person in a house inflicted with tzaraat?

We all find ourselves in situations that at first glance seem like a punishment—just like a holy person who finds tzaraat on his home. You could rightfully think: “What have I done to deserve this?” But with time and trust in G‑d, that He knows best, you will find that it is all to reward you with a treasure. The same is true when you find yourself hit with a devastating blow; you must realize that G‑d put you into this situation—just like a holy person in a damaged house. Only you have the ability to extract the good from the predicament and reveal the treasure within.

Before I was born, my parents were blessed with a special-needs child, my brother Shalom. With great love, my parents included him in everything we did. I grew up loving him as they did, and doing things with him all the time. I would get teased a lot, and it hurt. But I think my relationship with Shalom made me into the person I am today. Now I think, what a treasure, what a gift, to grow up this way.

Of course, this is only when dealing with difficult predicaments; sometimes, G‑d hands us a blow that is utterly devastating, for example, the loss of a loved one. What treasure could be found in this situation? Even if there is positive, it doesn’t take away the pain. In this case, all we can do is accept Hashem’s will, and with His help, the pain will lessen in time.

With all this said, it is time for Moshiach to come and put this discussion to rest.