Vayikra (Leviticus): Tazria > Ch 13 & 14

Law of Tzara’ath (Leprosy - Skin Lesions)

  • [All] this is the law for every lesion of tzara'ath, and for a nethek, and for tzara'ath of garments and houses, and for a se'eith and for a sapachath and for a bahereth; To render decisions regarding the day of uncleanness and the day of cleanness. This is the law of tzara'ath.
  • The details of different types of lesions and the actions to be taken in each case are NOT included in this summary


Law of thara’ath on a man: kohanim should inspect & quarantine anyone who has lesions

  • If a man has a se'eith, a sappachath, or a bahereth on the skin of his flesh, and it forms a lesion of tzara'ath on the skin of his flesh, he shall be brought to Aaron the kohen, or to one of his sons, the kohanim.
  • Kohen will check the type of lesion, quarantine the man and check again.
  • The person with tzara'ath, in whom there is the lesion his garments shall be torn, his head shall be unshorn, he shall cover himself down to his mustache and call out, "Unclean! Unclean!" All the days the lesion is upon him, he shall remain unclean. He is unclean; he shall dwell isolated; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.


Law of thara’ath on a man: sacrifice after healing of the thara’ath

  • The person to be cleansed shall sacrifice (details are not listed here) two live, clean birds, a cedar stick, a strip of crimson [wool], and hyssop, then immerse his garments, shave off all his hair, immerse [himself] in water, and become clean. After this, he may enter the camp, but he shall remain outside his tent for seven days.
  • On the seventh day, he shall shave off all his hair, immerse his garments and immerse his flesh in water, thus becoming clean.
  • On the eighth day, he shall sacrifice (details are not listed here) two unblemished [male] lambs, one unblemished ewe lamb in its [first] year, three tenths [of an ephah] of fine flour mixed with [olive] oil as a meal offering, and one log of [olive] oil. But if he is poor and cannot afford [these sacrifices], he shall take one [male] lamb as a guilt offering for a waving to effect atonement for him, and one tenth [of an ephah] of fine flour mixed with oil as a meal offering, and a log of oil. And two turtle doves or two young doves, according to what he can afford; one shall be a sin offering, and one a burnt offering.


Law of thara’ath on garments, threads or leather: kohanim should inspect & quarantine any lesions

  • The kohen shall look at the lesion, and he shall quarantine [the article with] the lesion for seven days. And he shall look at the lesion on the seventh day. [If] the lesion has spread on the garment, or on the warp or woof [threads], or on the leather or on any article made from leather, the lesion is a malignant tzara'ath ; it is unclean. And he shall burn the garment, the warp or woof [threads] of wool or of linen, or any leather article which has the lesion upon it, for it is a malignant tzara'ath ; it shall be burned in fire.
  • But if the kohen looks, and, behold! the lesion has not spread on the garment, the warp or woof [threads], or any leather article, the kohen shall order, and they shall wash what the lesion is upon, and he shall quarantine it again for seven days. Then the kohen shall look [at it] after the lesion has been washed. And, behold! the lesion has not changed in appearance, and the lesion has not spread; it is unclean. You shall burn it in fire. It is a penetrating lesion on the worn or new [article].
  • But if the kohen looks [at it] after it has been washed, and behold! the lesion has become dimmer, he shall tear it out of the garment, out of the leather, or out of the warp or woof [threads]. And if it appears again on the garment, the warp or woof [threads] or any leather article, it is a recurrent growth [of the lesion]. You shall burn it in fire [the article] upon which the lesion is [found].
  • But the garment, the warp or woof [threads] or any leather article which is washed, and the lesion disappears from them, shall be immersed a second time, and it shall be clean.


Law of thara’ath on a house: kohanim should inspect & quarantine any lesions

  • When the one to whom the house belongs tells the kohen, "Something like a lesion has appeared to me in the house," the kohen shall order that they clear out the house, before the kohen comes to look at the lesion, so that everything in the house should not become unclean. After this, the kohen shall come to look at the house.


Law of thara’ath on a house: sacrifice after healing of the thara’ath

  • The kohen will try to quarantine the house, then try to remove the lesion, then in the worst case scenario, demolish the house. If the house is successfully cleaned, then its owner will sacrifice two birds, a cedar stick, a strip of crimson [wool], and hyssop. He shall send away the live bird outside the city, onto the [open] field. He shall thus effect atonement for the house, and it will be clean.


 

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