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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Biat Hamikdash - Chapter 8

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Biat Hamikdash - Chapter 8

1

There are a total of 90 physical blemishes that [disqualify] humans alone. In particular, they are: There are eight involving the head:

a) one who has the center of his forehead depressed below as if it was pushed down with one's hand;

b) one who has the center of his forehead raised up above, like an egg;1

c) one who has the sides of his head emerge toward his face like a hammer;

d) one whose head projects outward abnormally from his neck;

e) one whose head is abnormally large to the extent that it sits on his neck like a turnip on top of its leaves;2

f) one who is bald and has no hair whatsoever on his head. If, however, he has a row of hair extending across the back of his head from ear to ear, it is acceptable.

g) a person's whose hair extends from ear to ear on the front of his head, but he is bald on the remainder of his head, he is unacceptable;

h) a person whose hair extends around his entire head from the front and the back, but he has no hair on the top of his head. He also is deemed bald and is unacceptable.

א

כָּל הַמּוּמִין הַמְיֻחָדִין בָּאָדָם תִּשְׁעִים וְזֶהוּ פְּרָטָן. שְׁמוֹנָה בָּרֹאשׁ וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁאֶמְצַע קָדְקֳדוֹ שׁוֹקֵעַ לְמַטָּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁדְּחָקוֹ בְּיָדוֹ. מִי שֶׁאֶמְצַע קָדְקֳדוֹ עוֹלֶה לְמַעְלָה כְּמוֹ בֵּיצָה. מִי שֶׁפְּאַת רֹאשׁוֹ יוֹצֵא כְּנֶגֶד פָּנָיו כְּמוֹ מַקֶּבֶת. מִי שֶׁרֹאשׁוֹ יוֹצֵא מֵאֲחוֹרָיו כְּנֶגֶד עָרְפּוֹ. מִי שֶׁרֹאשׁוֹ רָחָב וְיוֹצֵא מִכָּאן וּמִכָּאן עַד שֶׁתִּמְצָא רֹאשׁוֹ עַל צַוָּארוֹ כְּמוֹ רֹאשׁ הַלֶּפֶת עַל הֶעָלִין שֶׁלּוֹ. הַקֵּרֵחַ שֶׁאֵין בְּכָל רֹאשׁוֹ שֵׂעָר כָּל עִקָּר. וְאִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ שִׁיטָה שֶׁל שֵׂעָר מֻקֶּפֶת מֵאֲחוֹרָיו מֵאֹזֶן לְאֹזֶן כָּשֵׁר. מִי שֶׁהָיָה הַשֵּׂעָר מַקִּיף מֵאֹזֶן לְאֹזֶן מִלְּפָנָיו בִּלְבַד וּשְׁאָר הָרֹאשׁ קֵרֵחַ הוּא הֲרֵי הוּא פָּסוּל. מִי שֶׁהָיָה הַשֵּׂעָר שֶׁלּוֹ מַקִּיף אֶת כָּל הָרֹאשׁ סָבִיב מִלְּפָנָיו וּמֵאַחֲרָיו וְאֵין שָׁם שֵׂעָר בְּאֶמְצַע גַּם זֶה קֵרֵחַ וּפָסוּל:

2

There are two involving the neck. They are:

a) one whose neck is sunk [into his trunk] so much that it appears to be placed on his shoulders;

b) one whose neck is so long that it appears unconnected with his shoulders.

ב

שְׁנַיִם בַּצַּוָּאר וְאֵלּוּ הֵם. מִי שֶׁצַּוָּארוֹ שׁוֹקֵעַ הַרְבֵּה עַד שֶׁנִּמְצָא רֹאשׁוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מֻנָּח עַל כְּתֵפָיו. מִי שֶׁצַּוָּארוֹ אָרֹךְ הַרְבֵּה עַד שֶׁנִּרְאֶה כְּשָׁמוּט מִבֵּין כְּתֵפָיו:

3

There are four involving the ears. They are:

a) one whose two ears are very small;

b) one whose two ears are very swollen like sponges;

c) one whose ears hang down low;

d) one who has one ear differ from another in appearance.3

ג

אַרְבָּעָה בָּאֹזֶן וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁשְּׁתֵּי אָזְנָיו קְטַנּוֹת הַרְבֵּה. מִי שֶׁשְּׁתֵּי אָזְנָיו נְפוּחוֹת דּוֹמוֹת לִסְפוֹג. מִי שֶׁאָזְנָיו מְדֻלְדָּלוֹת לְמַטָּה. מִי שֶׁאַחַת מֵאָזְנָיו מְשֻׁנָּה מֵחֲבֶרְתָּהּ בְּמַרְאֶהָ:

4

There are five involving the eyebrows. They are:

a) one who does not have any hair at all on his eyebrows. This is the meaning of the term gibein mentioned in the Torah; 4

b) one whose eyebrows hang low;5

c) one who has only one eyebrow;6

d) one who has more than two eyebrows;

e) one who has one eyebrow that is different in appearance than the other, whether the hair on one is long and on the other, short, or the hair on one is black and, on the other, white or red, since there is a difference in appearance, he is unacceptable.

ד

חֲמִשָּׁה בַּגְּבִינִים וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ שֵׂעָר בִּגְבִינָיו וְהוּא (ויקרא כא כ) "גִּבֵּן" הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה. מִי שֶׁגְּבִינָיו שׁוֹכְבִין. מִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ אֶלָּא גָּבִין אֶחָד. מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ גְּבִינִין יֶתֶר עַל שְׁנַיִם. מִי שֶׁאֶחָד מִגְּבִינָיו מְשֻׁנֶּה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ בֵּין שֶׁשְּׂעָרוֹ שֶׁל זֶה אָרֹךְ וּשְׂעָרוֹ שֶׁל זֶה קָצָר בֵּין שֶׁשְּׂעָרוֹ שֶׁל אֶחָד שָׁחֹר וּשְׂעָרוֹ הַשֵּׁנִי לָבָן אוֹ אָדֹם הוֹאִיל וְיֵשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶם שִׁנּוּי זֶה הֲרֵי זֶה פָּסוּל:

5

There are four involving the eyelids. They are:

a) one who does not have any hair at all on his eyelids;

b) one who has very thick hair on his eyelids;

c) one who has an eyelid whose hair is different from that of the other eyelid, e.g., one is black and the other white, one is thin and the other is thick;

d) one whose eyelids are closed slightly and do not open wide like those of other people.

ה

אַרְבָּעָה בְּרִיס הָעַיִן וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ שֵׂעָר כְּלָל בְּרִיסֵי עֵינָיו. מִי שֶׁשְּׂעַר רִיסֵי עֵינָיו מְרֻבֶּה מְעֻבֶּה הַרְבֵּה. מִי שֶׁשְּׂעַר אֶחָד מֵרִיסֵי עֵינָיו מְשֻׁנֶּה מִשְּׂעַר רִיס אַחֵר כְּגוֹן שֶׁאֶחָד שָׁחֹר וְאֶחָד לָבָן אוֹ שֶׁאֶחָד נוֹשֵׁר וְהַשֵּׁנִי מְעֻבֶּה. מִי שֶׁעַפְעַפָּיו סְגוּרוֹת מְעַט וְאֵינָן נִפְתָּחוֹת הַרְבֵּה כִּשְׁאָר כָּל הָאָדָם:

6

There are eleven involving the eyes. They are:

a) one whose two eyes are positioned above their appropriate place, close to his forehead;

b) one whose two eyes are positioned below their appropriate place;

c) one whose two eyes are round and are not extended slightly as other eyes are;

d) one whose eyes pop out like the eyes of a tiger and like the eyes of a person who looks at someone when he is very angry;

e) one whose eyes are very large, like those of a calf;

f) one whose eyes are small, like those of a duck;

g) one who is continuously tearing;

h) one who has fluid [continuously]7 dripping from the tip of his eyes near his nose or the ends of his eyes near his temples;

i) one who contracts his eyelids and squints slightly when he sees light or when he wishes to look at something carefully;

j) a person who is cross-eyed to the extent that he sees two storeys of the same building as one.8 This defect can be noticed when such a person is speaking with one person and it appears that he is speaking with another;

k) one who has one eye that is different than the other, whether in place, in appearance, e.g., one is black and the other is of mixed color, or one is small and one is large. Since there is a difference between them, he is unacceptable.

ו

אַחַד עָשָׂר בָּעֵינַיִם וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁהָיוּ שְׁתֵּי עֵינָיו לְמַעְלָה מִן הַמָּקוֹם הָרָאוּי לָהֶם קְרוֹבוֹת מִפַּדַּחְתּוֹ. מִי שֶׁהָיוּ שְׁתֵּי עֵינָיו לְמַטָּה מִמָּקוֹם הָרָאוּי לָהֶם. מִי שֶׁהָיוּ שְׁתֵּי עֵינָיו עֲגוּלוֹת וְאֵינָם נִמְשָׁכוֹת בָּאֹרֶךְ מְעַט מִשְּׁאָר הָעֵינַיִם. מִי שֶׁעֵינָיו מוּזָרוֹת וְהֵן יוֹצְאוֹת כְּעֵינֵי הַנָּמֵר וּכְמִי שֶׁהוּא מִסְתַּכֵּל בְּעֵת שֶׁכּוֹעֵס כַּעַס הַרְבֵּה. מִי שֶׁעֵינָיו גְּדוֹלוֹת הַרְבֵּה כְּשֶׁל עֵגֶל. מִי שֶׁעֵינָיו קְטַנּוֹת כְּשֶׁל אַוָּז. מִי שֶׁדְּמָעָיו זוֹלְפוֹת תָּמִיד. מִי שֶׁלַּחְלוּחִית נִמְשֶׁכֶת מֵרֹאשׁ עֵינוֹ מִכְּנֶגֶד הַחֹטֶם אוֹ מִזְּנַב עֵינוֹ מִצַּד צְדָעָיו. מִי שֶׁמְּקַבֵּץ רִיסֵי עֵינָיו וְעוֹצְמָן מְעַט בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁרוֹאֶה אוֹר אוֹ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהוּא רוֹצֶה לְדַקְדֵּק בִּרְאִיָּה. מִי שֶׁרְאִיַּת עֵינוֹ מְעֻרְבֶּבֶת עַד שֶׁרוֹאֶה אֶת הַחֶדֶר וְאֶת הָעֲלִיָּה כְּאַחַת. וְיִוָּדַע דָּבָר זֶה בְּעֵת שֶׁיְּדַבֵּר עִם חֲבֵרוֹ וְנִרְאֶה כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מִסְתַּכֵּל בְּאִישׁ אַחֵר. מִי שֶׁאַחַת מֵעֵינָיו מְשֻׁנָּה מֵחֲבֶרְתָּהּ בֵּין בִּמְקוֹמָהּ בֵּין בְּמַרְאֶהָ כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיְתָה אַחַת שְׁחֹרָה וְאַחַת פְּתוּכָה אוֹ אַחַת קְטַנָּה וְאַחַת גְּדוֹלָה הוֹאִיל וְיֵשׁ בֵּין שְׁתֵּיהֶן שִׁנּוּי מִכָּל מָקוֹם פָּסוּל:

7

There are six involving the nose. They are:

a) one whose bridge of the nose is sunken, even [if it is not sunken] to the extent that he can apply ointment to both of his eyes at once.9 This is the meaning of the term charum mentioned in the Torah;10

b) one whose middle of the nose projects upward;

c) one whose tip of the nose points downward;

d) one whose tip of the nose is crooked;

e) one whose nose is disproportionately large;

f) one whose nose is disproportionately small. How is this measured? With one's pinky. If one's nose is larger or smaller than his pinky, it is considered a blemish.

ז

שִׁשָּׁה בַּחֹטֶם וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁעִקַּר חָטְמוֹ שׁוֹקֵעַ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ כּוֹחֵל שְׁתֵּי עֵינָיו כְּאַחַת וְזֶה (ויקרא כא יח) "חָרוּם" הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה. מִי שֶׁאֶמְצַע חָטְמוֹ בּוֹלֵט לְמַעְלָה. מִי שֶׁעֹקֶץ חָטְמוֹ נוֹטֵף לְמַטָּה. מִי שֶׁחָטְמוֹ עָקֹם לְצַד אֶחָד. מִי שֶׁחָטְמוֹ גָּדוֹל מֵאֵיבָרָיו. מִי שֶׁחָטְמוֹ קָטָן מֵאֵיבָרָיו. וְכֵיצַד מְשַׁעֲרִין אוֹתוֹ. בְּאֶצְבַּע קְטַנָּה שֶׁעַל יָדוֹ. אִם הָיָה חָטְמוֹ גָּדוֹל מִמֶּנָּה אוֹ קָטָן מִמֶּנָּה הֲרֵי זֶה מוּם:

8

There are three involving the lips. They are:

a) one whose upper lip extends beyond his lower lip;

b) one whose lower lip extends beyond his upper lip;

c) one whose mouth [hangs] loosely and [hence,] spittle is continually descending from his mouth.

ח

שְׁלֹשָׁה בַּשְּׂפָתַיִם וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁשְּׂפָתוֹ הָעֶלְיוֹנָה עוֹדֶפֶת עַל הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה. מִי שֶׁשְּׂפָתוֹ הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה עוֹדֶפֶת עַל הָעֶלְיוֹנָה. מִי שֶׁפִּיו רָפוּי וְרִירוֹ יוֹרֵד מִפִּיו:

9

There are three involving the belly. They are:

a) one whose belly is swollen;

b) one whose navel projects outward, rather that being concave like that of other people;

c) one whose breasts are extended and lie on his stomach like the breasts of a woman.

ט

שְׁלֹשָׁה בַּבֶּטֶן וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁכְּרֵסוֹ צָבָה [א.] מִי שֶׁטִּבּוּרוֹ יוֹצֵא וְאֵינוֹ שׁוֹקֵעַ כִּשְׁאָר בְּנֵי אָדָם. מִי שֶׁדָּדָיו שׁוֹכְבִין עַל בִּטְנוֹ כְּדָדֵי אִשָּׁה:

10

There are three involving the back. They are:

a) one whose spine is crooked;

b) one who has a vertebra that slipped out of the spinal column, regardless of whether it projected outward, penetrated inward, or slipped to the side. This is included in the term baal chatoteret11;

c) a person with a hunchback. Even though a vertebra has not slipped from its place, this is still considered a blemish.

י

שְׁלֹשָׁה בַּגַּב וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁשִּׁדְרָתוֹ עֲקֻמָּה. מִי שֶׁיָּצָאתָה חֻלְיָא מִשִּׁדְרָתוֹ בֵּין שֶׁבָּלְטָה לַחוּץ אוֹ נִכְנְסָה לִפְנִים אוֹ נָטְתָה לַצְּדָדִין וְזֶהוּ בַּעַל חֲטוֹטֶרֶת. מִי שֶׁתָּפַח בָּשָׂר בְּגַבּוֹ וְנַעֲשָׂה כַּחֲטוֹטֶרֶת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא זָזָה חוּלְיָא מִמְּקוֹמָהּ הֲרֵי זֶה מוּם:

11

There are six involving the hands. They are:

a) one who has an extra finger on his hands, even if he has six on each hand.12 If he cuts the extra finger off, he is acceptable. If, however, it had a bone, he is unacceptable, even if he cuts it off;

b) one who is lacking one of the fingers of his hand;

c) one who has two fingers webbed and connected until below the joint.13 If he cut and separated them to the joint, he is acceptable. Which joint is implied? The first joint that is next to the palm of one's hand;

d) one whose fingers are bent over each other;

e) one who has a projection emerging from his thumb;

f) a left-handed person. If he is ambidextrous, he is acceptable.

יא

שִׁשָּׁה בַּיָּדַיִם וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּיָדוֹ אֶצְבַּע יְתֵרָה בְּאֶצְבְּעוֹת יָדָיו אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ שֵׁשׁ וְשֵׁשׁ. וְאִם חָתַךְ אֶת הַיְתֵרָה כָּשֵׁר. וְאִם הָיָה בָּהּ עֶצֶם אֲפִלּוּ חֲתָכָהּ פָּסוּל. מִי שֶׁחָסֵר אֶצְבַּע מִיָּדוֹ. מִי שֶׁשְּׁתֵּי אֶצְבְּעוֹת יָדָיו קְלוּטוֹת עַד לְמַטָּה מִן הַפֶּרֶק. וְאִם חֲתָכָן וְהִפְרִישָׁן עַד הַפֶּרֶק כָּשֵׁר. בְּאֵיזֶה פֶּרֶק אָמְרוּ בְּפֶרֶק רִאשׁוֹן הַסָּמוּךְ לְכַף הַיָּד. מִי שֶׁאֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו מֻרְכָּבוֹת זוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי זוֹ. מִי שֶׁפִּיקָה יוֹצֵאת מִגּוּדָלוֹ. מִי שֶׁהוּא אִטֵּר יַד יְמִינוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה שׁוֹלֵט בִּשְׁתֵּי יָדָיו כָּשֵׁר:

12

There are four involving the reproductive organs. They are:

a) one who has a very large and long scrotum that reaches his knees;

b) one whose organ is so long it reaches his knees;

c) one whose membranes surrounding his testicles were crushed;

d) one whose membranes surrounding his testicles are inflated. This is the meaning of the term miruach ashech mentioned in the Torah;14

יב

אַרְבָּעָה בְּאֵיבְרֵי הַזָּרַע וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁכִּיס הַבֵּיצִים גָּדוֹל וְאָרֹךְ עַד שֶׁמַּגִּיעַ לְאַרְכֻּבּוֹתָיו. מִי שֶׁהַגִּיד שֶׁלּוֹ אָרֹךְ עַד שֶׁמַּגִּיעַ לְאַרְכּוּבוֹתָיו. מִי שֶׁנִּמְרְחוּ אֲשָׁכָיו וְהֵם הַכִּיס שֶׁל בֵּיצִים. [מִי שֶׁרוּחַ בַּאֲשָׁכָיו] וְהוּא (ויקרא כא כ) "מְרוֹחַ אָשֶׁךְ" הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה:

13

There are fifteen involving the thighs and the legs. They are:

a) one who is bow-legged to the extent that even when he stands with his feet together, his knees will not touch each other;

b) one whose ankle-bone projects outward. The ankle bone is the round bone that is above the heel, toward the inside of the body. It resembles the weaving needle with which women weave;

c) one whose heel juts outward to the extent that his shin appears to be in the center of his foot;

d) some whose feet are wide like a duck's even though they are not webbed like a duck's;

e) one who has a projection emerging from his large toe;15

f) one who has an extra toe on his feet, even if he has six on each foot. If he cuts the extra toe off, he is acceptable, provided it does not have a bone;

g) one who is lacking one of the toes of his foot;

h) one whose toes are bent over each other;

j) one whose toes are webbed until below the joint. If they were connected and he cut and separated them, he is acceptable;

k) one whose foot is entirely straight; i.e., the width of his forefoot and his toes is the same as the width of his heels, and they appear as one straight unit;

l) one whose foot is curved so that his forefoot and toes and his heel appears as the two ends of a bow;

m) one whose foot is hollow; i.e., his mid-foot is upraised above the earth and it is as if he is standing on his heel and his toes;

n) one whose ankles click with each other when he walks;

o) one whose knees click with each other when he walks;

p) one who is left-footed.

יג

חֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר בַּשּׁוֹקַיִם וּבָרַגְלַיִם וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁשּׁוֹקָיו עֲקֻמּוֹת עַד שֶׁמְּחַבֵּר רֶגֶל לְרֶגֶל וְאֵין אַרְכֻּבּוֹתָיו נוֹגְעוֹת זוֹ בְּזוֹ. מִי שֶׁפִּיקָתוֹ יוֹצֵאת וְהַפִּיקָה הִיא הָעֶצֶם הֶעָגל שֶׁלְּמַעְלָה מִן הֶעָקֵב מִצַּד פְּנִים וְהוּא דּוֹמֶה לְפִיקָה שֶׁטּוֹוֹת בָּהּ הַנָּשִׁים. מִי שֶׁעֲקֵבוֹ יוֹצֵא לַאֲחוֹרָיו עַד שֶׁנִּמְצָא הַשּׁוֹק כְּאִלּוּ הוּא בְּאֶמְצַע רַגְלוֹ עוֹמֵד. מִי שֶׁפַּרְסוֹתָיו רְחָבוֹת כְּשֶׁל אַוָּז אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָן קְלוּטוֹת כְּשֶׁל אַוָּז. מִי שֶׁפִּיקָה יוֹצְאָה מִגּוּדָלוֹ. מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּרַגְלוֹ אֶצְבַּע יְתֵרָה אֲפִלּוּ שֵׁשׁ וְשֵׁשׁ. וְאִם חֲתָכָהּ כָּשֵׁר וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה בָּהּ עֶצֶם. מִי שֶׁחָסֵר אַחַת מֵאֶצְבְּעוֹת רַגְלָיו. מִי שֶׁאֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו מֻרְכָּבוֹת זוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי זוֹ. מִי שֶׁהָיוּ אֶצְבְּעוֹת רַגְלָיו קְלוּטוֹת עַד לְמַטָּה מִן הַפֶּרֶק. וְאִם הָיוּ עַד הַפֶּרֶק אוֹ שֶׁחֲתָכָן וְהִפְרִישָׁן כָּשֵׁר. מִי שֶׁרַגְלוֹ כֻּלָּהּ שָׁוָה שֶׁנִּמְצָא רֹחַב פַּס אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו כְּרֹחַב עֲקֵבוֹ וּכְאִלּוּ הִיא חֲתִיכָה שָׁוָה. מִי שֶׁרַגְלוֹ עֲקוּמָה דּוֹמָה לְמַגָּל שֶׁנִּמְצָא פַּס רַגְלוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ הָאֶצְבָּעוֹת עִם עֲקֵבוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הֵם שְׁנֵי רָאשֵׁי הַקֶּשֶׁת. מִי שֶׁרַגְלוֹ חֲלוּלָה וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אֶמְצָעָהּ גָּבוֹהַּ מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ וְנִמְצָא כְּשֶׁעוֹמֵד עוֹמֵד עַל עֲקֵבוֹ וְעַל אֶצְבְּעוֹת רַגְלָיו. הַמַּקִּישׁ בְּקַרְסֻלָּיו בְּעֵת שֶׁמְּהַלֵּךְ. מִי שֶׁמַּקִּישׁ בְּאַרְכֻּבּוֹתָיו בְּעֵת שֶׁמְּהַלֵּךְ. מִי שֶׁהוּא אִטֵּר בְּרֶגֶל יְמִינוֹ:

14

There are four that involve the entire body:

a) one whose trunk is disproportionately larger than his limbs;

b) one whose trunk is disproportionately smaller than his limbs;

c) one who is extremely tall;16

d) a dwarf, i.e., one who is extremely short, so that they are distinguished from people at large.

יד

אַרְבָּעָה בְּכָל הַגּוּף וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁגּוּפוֹ גָּדוֹל מֵאֵיבָרָיו. מִי שֶׁגּוּפוֹ קָטָן מֵאֵיבָרָיו. הָאָרֹךְ בְּיוֹתֵר. הַנַּנָּס וְהוּא הַקָּצָר בְּיוֹתֵר עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ מֻפְלָגִין מִשְּׁאָר הָעָם:

15

There are eight involving the skin. They are:

a) a Kushite;

b) an albino whose skin is white like cheese;

c) one who is red-skinned like scarlet;

d) one who has pure blotches on his skin,17 i.e., [the appearance of] the skin changed because of an internal factor, like a bohak;18

e) [the appearance of] the skin changed because of an external factor, like the scarring of a burn; this is also one of the distinguishing marks that are pure [with regard to tzara'at];19

f) one who has a facial mole that has hair, even if it is not the size of an isar,20 but rather of the smallest size;21

g) one who has a facial mole the size of an isar or more;22h) one afflicted with warts, [when] a person's flesh or skin should distend or the fluids in the skin should distend to any part throughout the body, this is a blemish.

טו

שְׁמוֹנָה בְּעוֹר הַבָּשָׂר וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. הַכּוּשִׁי. הַלָּבָן בְּיוֹתֵר כְּמוֹ גְּבִינָה. הָאָדֹם כְּשָׁנִי. בַּעֲלֵי נְגָעִים טְהוֹרִים שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּנָּה הָעוֹר מֵחֲמַת עַצְמוֹ כְּמוֹ הַבֹּהַק. שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּנָּה הָעוֹר מֵחֲמַת דָּבָר אַחֵר כְּגוֹן צָרֶבֶת הַמִּכְוָה וְזֶה בִּכְלַל נְגָעִים טְהוֹרִין. מִי שֶׁהָיְתָה בְּעוֹר פָּנָיו שׁוּמָא שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ שֵׂעָר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ כְּאִסָּר אֶלָּא כָּל שֶׁהוּא. מִי שֶׁהָיְתָה בְּעוֹר פָּנָיו שׁוּמָא כְּאִסָּר אוֹ יוֹתֵר. בַּעֲלֵי הַדִּלְדּוּלִין וְהוּא שֶׁיִּדַּלְדֵּל הָעוֹר וְהַבָּשָׂר אוֹ הַלַּחְלוּחִית שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּעוֹר שֶׁנִּדַּלְדֵּל בְּאֵי זֶה מָקוֹם שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מִכָּל הַגּוּף הֲרֵי זֶה מוּם:

16

There are four other blemishes possible for a human:

a) one who is deaf;

b) one who is intellectually or emotionally unstable;

c) an epileptic, even if his seizures come at far intervals;

d) one who suffers from severe depression,23 whether on a consistent basis or from time to time.

טז

וְעוֹד יֵשׁ שָׁם בָּאָדָם אַרְבָּעָה מוּמִין אֲחֵרִים וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. הַחֵרֵשׁ. הַשּׁוֹטֶה. וְהַנִּכְפֶּה אֲפִלּוּ לְיָמִים רַבִּים. מִי שֶׁרוּחַ רָעָה מְבַעַתְּתוֹ תָּמִיד אוֹ בְּעִתִּים יְדוּעִים:

17

Thus there are a total of 140 blemishes that may disqualify a priest.24 They are: eight involving the head, two involving the neck, nine involving the ears, five involving the eyebrows, seven involving the eyelids, nineteen involving the eyes, nine involving the nose, nine involving the mouth, three involving the belly, three involving the back, seven involving the hands, sixteen involving the reproductive organs, twenty involving the legs, eight involving the entire body, eight involving the skin, seven involving the body's strength and odor. They have all been outlined one by one.

The following disqualify [a priest] because of the impression they may create:25

a) one who has lost the hair of his eyelids even though the roots remain;

b) one whose teeth have been removed.

יז

נִמְצְאוּ כָּל הַמּוּמִין הַפּוֹסְלִין בְּכֹהֲנִים מֵאָה וְאַרְבָּעִים וְזֶהוּ כְּלָלָם. שְׁמוֹנָה בָּרֹאשׁ. וּשְׁנַיִם בַּצַּוָּאר. וְתִשְׁעָה בָּאָזְנַיִם. וַחֲמִשָּׁה בַּגְּבִינִים. וְשִׁבְעָה בְּרִיס הָעַיִן. וְתִשְׁעָה עָשָׂר בָּעֵינַיִם. וְתִשְׁעָה בַּחֹטֶם. וְתִשְׁעָה בַּפֶּה. וּשְׁלֹשָׁה בַּבֶּטֶן. וּשְׁלֹשָׁה בַּגַּב. וְשִׁבְעָה בַּיָּדַיִם. וְשִׁשָּׁה עָשָׂר בְּאֵיבְרֵי הַזֶּרַע. וְעֶשְׂרִים בָּרַגְלַיִם. וּשְׁמוֹנָה בְּכָל הַגּוּף. וּשְׁמוֹנָה בְּעוֹר הַבָּשָׂר. וְשִׁבְעָה בְּכֹחַ הַגּוּף וְרֵיחוֹ. וּכְבָר נִפְרְטוּ כֻּלָּן אֶחָד אֶחָד. וְאֵלּוּ פָּסְלוּ מִפְּנֵי מַרְאִית הָעַיִן. מִי שֶׁנָּשְׁרוּ רִיסֵי עֵינָיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשְׁאַר הַשֵּׂעָר בְּעִקָּרָן. וּמִי שֶׁנִּטְּלוּ שִׁנָּיו:

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Footnotes
1.

The Ra'avad (and this is also Rashi's interpretation of Bechorot 43a) differs with the Rambam's interpretation of this disqualifying factor. The Kessef Mishneh maintains that the Rambam had a different version of that Talmudic passage.

2.

The accompanying drawing is taken from the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Bechorot 7:1). Similarly, all of the disqualifying factors mentioned here are discussed there and in the following mishnah.

3.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Bechorot 7:3), the Rambam explains that when a person has a pair of organs, it is expected that they be identical and a deviation is considered a blemish.

4.

Leviticus 21:20. The Rambam chooses the first interpretation of this term offered by Bechorot 7:2. Rashi follows the second interpretation, overly long eyebrows. In his Commentary to the Mishnah, the Rambam states that the two opinions both agree that these two conditions are blemishes, the difference of opinion between them concerns only the definition of the term gibein in the Torah.

5.

Reaching his eyelids [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (ibid.)].

6.

Some interpret this simply. Others understand it as meaning that the person's two eyebrows are connected above his nose so that they appear as one long eyebrow.

7.

The bracketed addition is made on the basis of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Bechorot 7:3).

8.

I.e., while focusing on one storey, he will see the other.

9.

I.e., for most people, the bridge of the nose interposes between one eye and the other and it is impossible to apply ointment to them both in one motion. There are certain individuals whose bridge of the nose is so sunk that they can do so.

Bechorot 7:3 defines charum as having a bridge of the nose sunk to the extent that the above is possible. Nevertheless, in the Talmud, another opinion is cited which states that as long as the bridge is sunken more than what is ordinary, it is considered a blemish even if it does not reach such an extreme state. The Rambam accepts this view, because it appears to be favored by the Talmud (Kessef Mishneh).

11.

This term is used by the Mishnah (Bechorot 7: 1). Although the term is generally interpreted as meaning a hunchback in contemporary Hebrew, the implication above is also included in the Talmudic term.

12.

And thus the two hands appear the same.

13.

I.e., to the end of one's fingers.

15.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam concerning this point. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh justify the Rambam's view.

16.

Bechorot 45b explains that although a tall person is considered attractive, if he is exceptionally tall, people consider it objectionable.

17.

I.e., blotches that are not associated with the impurity resulting from tzara'at.

18.

See Hilchot Tuma'at Tzara'at 1:1 for a definition of this term.

19.

With regard to the impurity of tzara'at. See ibid. 6:4.

20.

An isar is a Roman coin that the Talmud mentions in various halachic contexts (Kiddushin 2a, Bava Metzia 51b, Mikvaot 9:5, et al.). The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 34:2) quotes Rashba as stating that in his (medieval) times the size of an isar was already not known. More recently, Middos VeShiurei Torah, p. 169, gives the diameter of an isar as 23 mm. Thus its area would be slightly more than 3.6 cm.

21.

Since it has hair, it is considered objectionable, regardless of its size.

22.

If it smaller, it is not that noticeable, and hence, it is not considered a blemish.

23.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Bechorot 7:5), the Rambam describes this condition as severe melancholia to the extent that the person's physical functioning is impaired.

24.

I.e., the total of those mentioned in this and the previous chapter.

25.

See Chapter 6, Halachot 5-6.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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