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ב"ה

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Tum'at Tsara'at - Chapter 8, Tum'at Tsara'at - Chapter 9, Tum'at Tsara'at - Chapter 10

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Tum'at Tsara'at - Chapter 8

1

With regard to blemishes of the head and the chin, if the hair would fall out from its roots and leave a portion of skin bare of hair, it is called a netek. A netek may not be less than the size of a gris that is square. This applies whether it appears deep or not. The term "deep" was mentioned with regard to a netek only to teach you: Just as a shade that is deep comes about through the hand of heaven, so too, a netek must come about through the hand of heaven. This excludes a blemish on a portion of the head or chin whose hair was removed by a person. Such a blemish is pure.

When a woman or a seris grow hair on their chins, they can contract the impurity of a netek if it falls off.

א

נִגְעֵי הָרֹאשׁ וְהַזָּקָן הוּא שֶׁיִּפּל הַשֵּׂעָר שֶׁבָּהֶן מֵעִקָּרוֹ וְיִשָּׁאֵר מְקוֹם הַשֵּׂעָר פָּנוּי וְזֶה הוּא הַנִּקְרָא נֶתֶק. וְאֵין נֶתֶק פָּחוֹת מִכִּגְרִיס הַמְרֻבָּע בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה מַרְאֵהוּ עָמֹק בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה עָמֹק. וְלֹא נֶאֱמַר עָמֹק בִּנְתָקִין אֶלָּא לוֹמַר לְךָ מַה מַּרְאֶה עָמֹק בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם אַף נֶתֶק הַמְטַמֵּא בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם לְהוֹצִיא שֶׁנִּתְּקוֹ אָדָם שֶׁהוּא טָהוֹר. וְהָאִשָּׁה וְהַסָּרִיס שֶׁהֶעֱלָה זְקָנָם שֵׂעָר הֲרֵי זֶה מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְתָקִים:

2

Netakim become impure due to two signs: short, golden hair and spreading. There is an isolation period of two weeks. All of this is explicitly stated in the Torah.

What is implied? When a netek appears on a man's head or in his beard, if it contains two or more short, gold hairs, and there is no black hair in the netek at all, he should be deemed definitively impure. If it did not contain any hair - neither black, nor golden - he should be isolated for a week. On the seventh day, a priest should examine him. If short golden hair emerged or the netek spread, the afflicted person should be deemed definitively as impure. If two black hairs emerged, he should be released from the inspection process.

If it neither spread and neither golden nor black hair emerged, the priest should shave around the netek, but not the hair directly adjacent to the netek and isolate him for a second week. The priest should examine him again at the end of the second week. If the netek spread or short golden hair emerged, he should be deemed definitively as impure. If nothing changes, he is released from the inspection process. For netakim do not require isolation for more than two weeks. If golden hair appears or the netek expands after he was released, he is definitively categorized as impure.

ב

הַנְּתָקִין מְטַמְּאִין בִּשְׁנֵי סִימָנִים בְּשֵׂעָר צָהֹב דַּק וּבְפִשְׂיוֹן וְיֵשׁ בָּהֶן הֶסְגֵּר שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת וְכָל זֶה מְפֹרָשׁ בַּתּוֹרָה. כֵּיצַד. מִי שֶׁנּוֹלַד לוֹ נֶתֶק בְּרֹאשׁוֹ אוֹ בִּזְקָנוֹ אִם הָיוּ בּוֹ שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת צְהֻבּוֹת דַּקּוֹת וְלֹא יוֹתֵר וְאֵין שָׁם בַּנֶּתֶק שֵׂעָר שָׁחֹר כְּלָל יַחְלִיט. לֹא הָיָה בּוֹ שֵׂעָר לֹא שָׁחֹר וְלֹא צָהֹב יַסְגִּיר שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד וּבַשְּׁבִיעִי רוֹאֵהוּ אִם נוֹלַד בּוֹ שֵׂעָר צָהֹב דַּק אוֹ שֶׁפָּשָׂה הַנֶּתֶק יַחְלִיט נוֹלְדוּ בּוֹ שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת שְׁחוֹרוֹת יִפְטֹר אוֹתוֹ. לֹא פָּשָׂה וְלֹא נוֹלַד בּוֹ שֵׂעָר צָהֹב וְלֹא שֵׂעָר שָׁחֹר יְגַלֵּחַ סְבִיבוֹת הַנֶּתֶק וְלֹא יְגַלֵּחַ הַנֶּתֶק וְיַסְגִּיר שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי וְחוֹזֵר וְרוֹאֵהוּ בְּסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי. אִם פָּשָׂה הַנֶּתֶק אוֹ נוֹלַד בּוֹ שֵׂעָר צָהֹב דַּק יַחְלִיט. לֹא נוֹלַד בּוֹ כְּלוּם יִפְטֹר שֶׁאֵין הֶסְגֵּר בִּנְתָקִין יֶתֶר עַל שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת. וְאִם אַחַר שֶׁפְּטָרוֹ נוֹלַד בּוֹ שֵׂעָר צָהֹב אוֹ פָּשָׂה יַחְלִיט:

3

How is the netek shaved? One shaves the area around it and leaves two hairs next to it on every side so that any spread will be noticeable.

This shaving is acceptable no matter which person performs it, as implied by Leviticus 13:33: "And he will be shaved." Similarly, the shaving may be performed with any instrument. Even if one is a nazirite, he should shave. If, however, he isolated him without shaving, the isolation is effective.

ג

כֵּיצַד מְגַלְּחִין אֶת הַנֶּתֶק. מְגַלֵּחַ חוּצָה לוֹ וּמַנִּיחַ שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת סָמוּךְ לוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה נִכָּר הַפִּשְׂיוֹן. וְתִגְלַחְתּוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה בְּכָל אָדָם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג לג) "וְהִתְגַּלָּח" וְכֵן כְּשֵׁרָה בְּכָל דָּבָר וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה נָזִיר הֲרֵי זֶה מְגַלֵּחַ. הִסְגִּירוֹ וְלֹא גִּלְּחוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻסְגָּר:

4

The golden hair mentioned by the Torah must have a golden hue. The term dak mentioned there implies that the hair must be short. If, however, they were long, even though they are of a golden hue, it is not a sign of impurity.

ד

(ויקרא יג ל) "שֵׂעָר צָהֹב" הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה הוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כְּתַבְנִית הַזָּהָב. וְזֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג ל) "דַּק" הוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה קָצָר אֲבָל אִם הָיָה אָרֹךְ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא צָהֹב כְּתַבְנִית הַזָּהָב אֵינוֹ סִימַן טֻמְאָה:

5

Two short golden hairs are a sign of impurity. Whether they are adjacent to each other or distant from each other, whether they are in the center of the netek or at its extremities, whether the netek existed before the golden hair or the golden hair existed before the netek, they are a sign of impurity, provided they can be pulled out by tweezers, as explained with regard to white hair.

ה

שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת הַצְּהֻבּוֹת הַדַּקּוֹת סִימַן טֻמְאָה. בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ זוֹ בְּצַד זוֹ בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ מְרֻחָקוֹת זוֹ מִזּוֹ. בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ בְּאֶמְצַע הַנֶּתֶק בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ בְּסוֹף הַנֶּתֶק. בֵּין שֶׁקָּדַם הַנֶּתֶק אֶת הַשֵּׂעָר הַצָּהֹב בֵּין שֶׁקָּדַם הַשֵּׂעָר הַצָּהֹב אֶת הַנֶּתֶק. הֲרֵי הוּא סִימַן טֻמְאָה. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ נִטָּלוֹת בְּזוּג כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בַּשֵּׂעָר הַלָּבָן:

6

For black hair to save a blemish from being considered a netek, there must be two hairs. They do not prevent that categorization unless they are long enough to be bent in half, with their point touching their base. If that criterion is met, their presence is significant whether they are adjacent to each other or distant from each other, provided they are in the center of the netek and there is enough empty skin for two hairs to grow between the two black hairs that are located in the netek and the hair that is outside it. If, however, the two hairs remain at the extremity of the netek, they do not prevent it from being placed in that category.

How do they prevent the netek from being considered as tzara'at? If two black hairs remain in the netek, even though there are golden hairs in the netek or it spread, the person is pure. If the person was deemed definitively impure because of golden hair or the spreading of the netek and two black hairs grew in it, the netek is considered as pure and they counteract the spreading or the golden hair. This applies whether they grew in the middle of the netek or at its extremities. For hair that grows prevents a netek from being considered as impure in every place within the netek, while hair that remains is effective only when it is two hairsbreadth away from healthy hair.

ו

הַשֵּׂעָר הַשָּׁחֹר הַמַּצִּיל בִּנְתָקִין אֵין פָּחוֹת מִשְּׁתֵי שְׂעָרוֹת. וְאֵינָן מַצִּילוֹת עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ אָרְכָּן כְּדֵי לָכֹף רֹאשָׁן לְעִקָּרָן. בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ זוֹ בְּצַד זוֹ בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ מְפֻזָּרוֹת וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ בְּאֶמְצַע הַנֶּתֶק וְיִשָּׁאֵר מִן הַנֶּתֶק פָּנוּי בֵּין הַשֵּׂעָר הַשָּׁחֹר שֶׁבְּתוֹכוֹ וּבֵין הַשֵּׂעָר שֶׁחוּצָה לוֹ כְּדֵי צְמִיחַת שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת. אֲבָל אִם נִשְׁאֲרוּ הַשְּׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת הַשְּׁחֹרוֹת בְּצַד הַנֶּתֶק בְּסוֹפוֹ אֵינָן מַצִּילוֹת. כֵּיצַד מַצִּילוֹת. שֶׁאִם נִשְׁאַר בְּתוֹךְ הַנֶּתֶק שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת שְׁחוֹרוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנּוֹלְדָה בַּנֶּתֶק שֵׂעָר צָהֹב דַּק אוֹ שֶׁפָּשָׂה הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. הֶחְלִיטוֹ בְּשֵׂעָר צָהֹב אוֹ בְּפִשְׂיוֹן וְצָמַח בַּנֶּתֶק שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת שְׁחֹרוֹת טִהֵר הַנֶּתֶק וּמַצִּילוֹת מִיַּד הַפִּשְׂיוֹן וּמִיַּד הַשֵּׂעָר הַצָּהֹב. בֵּין שֶׁצָּמְחוּ בְּאֶמְצַע הַנֶּתֶק בֵּין שֶׁצָּמְחוּ בְּסוֹפוֹ. שֶׁהַצּוֹמֵחַ מַצִּיל בְּכָל מָקוֹם וְהַנִּשְׁאָר אֵינוֹ מַצִּיל עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה רָחוֹק מִן הַקָּמָה שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת:

7

The fact that two hairs grow in a netek, one black and one white, or gold, or one long and one short, does not prevent a netek from being categorized as impure.

ז

שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת שֶׁצָּמְחוּ אַחַת שְׁחוֹרָה וְאַחַת לְבָנָה אוֹ צְהֻבָּה אַחַת אֲרֻכָּה וְאַחַת קְצָרָה אֵינָן מַצִּילוֹת:

8

The following rule applies when a netek was deemed definitively impure because of golden hair or spreading and then black hair grew in it and it was declared pure. Even though the black hair disappeared, the person is pure until other golden hair emerges or the netek spread further, as Leviticus 13:37 states: "The netek has been healed; he is pure." Since it was healed, he is pure, even though the original signs of impurity remain unchanged.

ח

נֶתֶק שֶׁהֻחְלַט בְּשֵׂעָר צָהֹב אוֹ בְּפִשְׂיוֹן וְנוֹלַד בּוֹ שֵׂעָר שָׁחוֹר וְטִהֵר. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָלַךְ הַשֵּׂעָר הַשָּׁחוֹר הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר עַד שֶׁיִּוָּלֵד בּוֹ שֵׂעָר צָהֹב אַחֵר אוֹ יִפְשֶׂה פִּשְׂיוֹן אַחֵר מֵאַחַר שֶׁהָלַךְ הַשֵּׂעָר הַשָּׁחֹר. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג לז) "נִרְפָּא הַנֶּתֶק טָהוֹר הוּא" כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּתְרַפֵּא טָהוֹר הוּא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁסִּימָנֵי טֻמְאָה בִּמְקוֹמָן:

9

If a person was deemed definitively impure because of golden hair - whether he was categorized as such originally, after a week of isolation, after two weeks of isolation, or after he was released from the inspection process - and then the golden hair which caused him to be deemed impure disappeared, but other golden hair grew in that netek or the netek spread, the person is definitively impure, as he was before.

Similarly, if he was deemed impure because a netek spread - whether he was categorized as such after a week of isolation, after two weeks of isolation, or after he was released from the inspection process - and then the area to which the netek spread healed, but it spread elsewhere or golden hair grew in it, he remains definitively impure as he was. He remains in that state until no sign of impurity remains or two black hairs grow.

ט

הֶחְלִיטוֹ בְּשֵׂעָר צָהֹב בֵּין שֶׁהֶחְלִיטוֹ בַּתְּחִלָּה בֵּין שֶׁהֶחְלִיטוֹ בְּסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ רִאשׁוֹן אוֹ בְּסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי אוֹ שֶׁהֶחְלִיטוֹ אַחַר הַפִּטּוּר וְהָלַךְ הַשֵּׂעָר הַצָּהֹב וְנוֹלַד בּוֹ שֵׂעָר צָהֹב אַחֵר אוֹ שֶׁנּוֹלַד לוֹ פִּשְׂיוֹן הֲרֵי זֶה מֻחְלָט כְּשֶׁהָיָה. וְכֵן אִם הֶחְלִיטוֹ בְּפִשְׂיוֹן בֵּין בְּסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ רִאשׁוֹן אוֹ בְּסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי אוֹ אַחַר הַפִּטּוּר וְהָלַךְ הַפִּשְׂיוֹן וְחָזַר פִּשְׂיוֹן אַחֵר אוֹ שֶׁנּוֹלַד לוֹ שֵׂעָר צָהֹב הֲרֵי זֶה מֻחְלָט כְּשֶׁהָיָה עַד שֶׁלֹּא יִשָּׁאֵר סִימַן טֻמְאָה אוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּצְמִיחַ בּוֹ שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת שְׁחוֹרוֹת:

10

The following rules apply when there were two netakim next to each other and a line of black hair dividing them. If the line of black hair was broken and the netek covered it in one place, the original situation prevails, for the black hair that remains is still at the side of the netakim. If the netek broke through the line of hair in two places, he is pure, because the remainder of the line is now in the middle of the netek.

How large must the break between them be? No less than a space sufficient for two hairs to grow. If there was a break in one place the size of a gris, the person is impure, because the break itself is considered as another netek, because the black hair is at its side and not in its midst.

The following rules apply when there is a netek that is surrounded by black hair and there is another netek surrounding the black hair. If the hair between them is broken through in one place, the person is impure. The rationale is that the inner netek is not saved, because the black hair is at its side, not in its midst. If the hair was broken through in two places, he is pure, even if the broken space is a gris in size. The rationale is that the inner netek and the outer netek became a single entity with black hair in the middle. This applies provided the open space is large enough for two hairs to grow or larger.

י

שְׁנֵי נְתָקִים זֶה בְּצַד זֶה וְשִׁיטָה שֶׁל שֵׂעָר שָׁחוֹר מַפְסֶקֶת בֵּינֵיהֶן וְנִפְרַץ הַשֵּׂעָר הַשָּׁחוֹר (וְנִתַּק) מִמָּקוֹם אֶחָד הֲרֵי הוּא כְּמוֹת שֶׁהָיָה שֶׁהַשֵּׂעָר הַשָּׁחוֹר הַנִּשְׁאָר בֵּינֵיהֶן הֲרֵי הוּא בְּצַד הַנֶּתֶק. נִפְרְצָה הַשִּׁטָּה מִשְּׁנֵי מְקוֹמוֹת טָהוֹר שֶׁהֲרֵי הַנִּשְׁאָר מִן הַשִּׁטָּה בְּאֶמְצַע הַנֶּתֶק. וְכַמָּה יִהְיֶה בְּכָל פִּרְצָה מֵהֶן. אֵין פָּחוֹת מִמְּקוֹם צְמִיחַת שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת. וְאִם הָיְתָה פִּרְצָה מִמָּקוֹם אֶחָד כִּגְרִיס הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא שֶׁהַפִּרְצָה עַצְמָהּ נֶתֶק אַחֵר. וַהֲרֵי שֵׂעָר שָׁחוֹר בְּצִדּוֹ וְאֵינוֹ כָּנוּס לְתוֹכוֹ. נֶתֶק שֶׁהַשֵּׂעָר הַשָּׁחוֹר מַקִּיפוֹ וְנֶתֶק אַחֵר מַקִּיף אֶת הַשֵּׂעָר הַשָּׁחוֹר. נִפְרַץ הַשֵּׂעָר שֶׁבֵּינֵיהֶן מִמָּקוֹם אֶחָד טָמֵא שֶׁהַנֶּתֶק הַפְּנִימִי לֹא נִצַּל שֶׁהֲרֵי הַשֵּׂעָר הַשָּׁחֹר בְּצִדּוֹ לֹא בְּתוֹכוֹ. נִפְרָץ הַשֵּׂעָר מִשְּׁנֵי מְקוֹמוֹת טָהוֹר וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה פִּרְצָה כִּגְרִיס. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַנֶּתֶק הַפְּנִימִי וְהַחִיצוֹן נַעֲשׂוּ נֶתֶק אֶחָד וְשֵׂעָר שָׁחוֹר בָּאֶמְצַע. וְהוּא שֶׁתִּהְיֶה הַפִּרְצָה כְּדֵי צְמִיחַת שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת אוֹ יֶתֶר:

11

The following rules apply when there is a netek with a strand of bald skin extending from it or two netakim with a strand of bald skin connecting them. If this strand is wide enough for two hairs to grow, it can bring about impurity if short golden hair grows in it or its size increases. And new black hair that grows in it can prevent it from being declared impure. The black hair that remains in that strand, by contrast, does not prevent such a categorization unless the strand is as wide as a gris.

יא

נֶתֶק שֶׁהָיָה חוּט יוֹצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ וְכֵן שְׁנֵי נְתָקִין שֶׁחוּט יוֹצֵא מִזֶּה לָזֶה. אִם יֵשׁ בְּרֹחַב הַחוּט הַנָּתוּק כְּדֵי צְמִיחַת שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת זוֹקְקִין לִטַּמֵּא בְּשֵׂעָר צָהֹב דַּק וּפִשְׂיוֹן וּמַצִּילִין בַּצּוֹמֵחַ בּוֹ. אֲבָל שֵׂעָר שָׁחוֹר הַנִּשְׁאָר בְּאוֹתוֹ הַחוּט אֵינוֹ מַצִּיל עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה רֹחַב הַחוּט כִּגְרִיס:

12

When a person had a netek the size of a gris on his head and the netek expanded until it covered his entire head and no hair was left at all with the exception of less than two hairs, he is pure. This applies whether he became entirely bald while isolated, while deemed definitively impure, or after he was released from the inspection process, as Leviticus 13:40 states: "He is entirely bald; he is pure."

Similarly, if a netek was on the place of his beard and he lost all his facial hair, he is pure. Although this is not stated in the Written Law, it is part of the Oral Tradition that if all of one's facial hair falls off, he is pure. In such a situation, the skin on his face that became hairless can become impure according to the laws that govern blemishes on the skin, as we explained.

יב

מִי שֶׁהָיָה בְּרֹאשׁוֹ נֶתֶק כִּגְרִיס וּפָשָׂה הַנֶּתֶק [עַל] כָּל רֹאשׁוֹ וְלֹא נִשְׁאַר שָׁם שֵׂעָר כְּלָל אֶלָּא פָּחוֹת מִשְּׁתֵי שְׂעָרוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. בֵּין שֶׁנִּתַּק כֻּלּוֹ מִתּוֹךְ הֶסְגֵּר אוֹ מִתּוֹךְ הֶחְלֵט אוֹ אַחַר הַפִּטּוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג מ) "קֵרֵחַ הוּא טָהוֹר הוּא". וְכֵן אִם הָיָה הַנֶּתֶק בִּזְקָנוֹ וְנִתַּק כָּל זְקָנוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין זֶה מְפֹרָשׁ בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁבִּכְתָב קַבָּלָה הִיא שֶׁאִם הָלַךְ כָּל שֵׂעָר הַזָּקָן טָהוֹר הוּא. וְיִתְטַמֵּא עוֹר הַזָּקָן שֶׁקָּרַח בְּנִגְעֵי עוֹר הַבָּשָׂר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

13

When a person comes at the outset with a netek covering his entire head or the entire area of his beard, he should be isolated for one week. If golden hair does not grow, he should be isolated for a second week. If short golden hair grows, he should be deemed impure. If not, he should be released from the inspection process. If, however, golden hair grows after he is released, he is deemed as definitively impure. If black hair grows, he is pure.

If someone comes at the outset with a netek covering his entire head or the entire area of his beard and black hair appeared, he is pure as stated. If the black hair disappears, he is impure, because the netek spread.

יג

הַבָּא בַּתְּחִלָּה וְכָל רֹאשׁוֹ נָתוּק אוֹ כָּל זְקָנוֹ נָתוּק יַסְגִּיר שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד. אִם לֹא נוֹלַד לוֹ שֵׂעָר צָהֹב יַסְגִּיר שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי. אִם נוֹלַד לוֹ שֵׂעָר צָהֹב דַּק טָמֵא. לֹא נוֹלַד לוֹ יִפָּטֵר. נוֹלַד לוֹ אַחַר הַפִּטּוּר שֵׂעָר צָהֹב הֲרֵי זֶה מֻחְלָט. נוֹלַד לוֹ שֵׂעָר שָׁחוֹר הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. הַבָּא כֻּלּוֹ נָתוּק רֹאשׁ אוֹ זָקָן וְנוֹלַד לוֹ שֵׂעָר שָׁחוֹר טָהוֹר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. הָלַךְ הַשֵּׂעָר הַשָּׁחוֹר טָמֵא מִשּׁוּם פִּשְׂיוֹן:

14

Total baldness on the head and the area of the beard are not dependent one on the other. The two areas are not combined together, nor is there a concept of tzara'at spreading from one to the other. This is derived from Leviticus 13:30 which speaks of: "tzara'at of the head or of the beard," teaching that they are considered as two different categories.

What is the area where the beard grows? From the joint of the upper jawbone until the Adam's apple. A virtual line is drawn from one ear to the other. Any place where hair grows that is from the line and above is considered as part of the head. From the line and below, it is considered as part of the area of the beard.

יד

הָרֹאשׁ וְהַזָּקָן אֵינָן מְעַכְּבִין זֶה אֶת זֶה וְאֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִין זֶה עִם זֶה וְאֵין פּוֹשִׂין מִזֶּה לָזֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג ל) "צָרַעַת הָרֹאשׁ אוֹ הַזָּקָן" מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהֵן חֲשׁוּבִין שְׁנַיִם. וְאֵי זֶהוּ זָקָן. מֵהַפֶּרֶק שֶׁל לֶחִי הָעֶלְיוֹן עַד פִּיקָה שֶׁל גְּרֹגֶרֶת. מוֹתֵחַ אֶת הַחוּט מֵאֹזֶן לְאֹזֶן. כָּל שֶׁמִּן הַחוּט וּלְמַעְלָה הֲרֵי הוּא מִכְּלַל הָרֹאשׁ. וּמִן הַחוּט וּלְמַטָּה מִכְּלַל הַזָּקָן:

Tum'at Tsara'at - Chapter 9

1

Everyone can become impure due to tzara'at blemishes, even a new-born baby or servants, but not gentiles or resident aliens. Anyone is acceptable to inspect such blemishes. A person can inspect all blemishes except his own.

א

הַכּל מִתְטַמְּאִין בִּנְגָעִים אֲפִלּוּ קָטָן בֶּן יוֹמוֹ וְהָעֲבָדִים אֲבָל לֹא עַכּוּ''ם וְלֹא גֵּר תּוֹשָׁב. וְהַכּל כְּשֵׁרִין לִרְאוֹת אֶת הַנְּגָעִים. וְכָל הַנְּגָעִים אָדָם רוֹאֶה אוֹתָן חוּץ מִנִּגְעֵי עַצְמוֹ:

2

Even though everyone is acceptable to assess blemishes, the designation of a person as impure or pure is dependent on a priest.

What is implied? If there is a priest who does not know how to assess blemishes, a sage should observe them and instruct him: "Say 'You are impure,'" and the priest says: "You are impure;" "Say 'You are pure,'" and the priest says: "You are pure." "Isolate him," and he isolates him. The pronouncement must be made by a priest, because Deuteronomy 21:5 states: "Their statements will determine every quarrel and every blemish." Even if a priest is a minor or intellectually or emotionally incapable, the sage instructs him and he declares the person definitively impure, releases him from the inspection process, or isolates him.

When does the above apply? When the priest relies on the words of the sage. If, however, the priest assesses the blemish and relies on his own understanding, it is forbidden for him to assess any blemish unless he is instructed by a master and is thoroughly versed in all the blemishes and their names, including the blemishes that affect a person and those that affect clothes and houses.

ב

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַכּל כְּשֵׁרִין לִרְאוֹת נְגָעִים הַטֻּמְאָה וְהַטָּהֳרָה תְּלוּיָה בְּכֹהֵן. כֵּיצַד. כֹּהֵן שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִרְאוֹת הֶחָכָם רוֹאֵהוּ וְאוֹמֵר לוֹ אֱמֹר טָמֵא וְהַכֹּהֵן אוֹמֵר טָמֵא. אֱמֹר טָהוֹר וְהַכֹּהֵן אוֹמֵר טָהוֹר. הַסְגִּירוֹ וְהוּא מַסְגִּירוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כא ה) "וְעַל פִּיהֶם יִהְיֶה כָּל רִיב וְכָל נֶגַע". וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הַכֹּהֵן קָטָן אוֹ שׁוֹטֶה הֶחָכָם אוֹמֵר לוֹ וְהוּא מַחְלִיט אוֹ פּוֹטֵר אוֹ סוֹגֵר. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיָה הַכֹּהֵן סוֹמֵךְ עַל דִּבְרֵי הֶחָכָם. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה הַכֹּהֵן רוֹאֶה וְסוֹמֵךְ עַל עַצְמוֹ אָסוּר לוֹ לִרְאוֹת נֶגַע מִכָּל נְגָעִים עַד שֶׁיּוֹרֶנּוּ רַבּוֹ וְיִהְיֶה בָּקִי בְּכָל הַנְּגָעִים וּבִשְׁמוֹתֵיהֶן בְּנִגְעֵי אָדָם כֻּלָּם וּבְנִגְעֵי בְּגָדִים וּבְנִגְעֵי בָּתִּים:

3

A priest who declared a person who was pure as impure or a person who was impure as pure does not affect his status, as can be inferred from Leviticus 13:44: "He is impure and the priest shall deem him impure" and ibid.:37: "He is pure and the priest shall declare him pure." When a person who contacted tzara'at is healed, either after isolation or after having been deemed definitively impure, he remains impure even for several years,until a priest tells him: "You are pure."

ג

כֹּהֵן שֶׁטִּמֵּא אֶת הַטָּהוֹר אוֹ טִהֵר אֶת הַטָּמֵא לֹא עָשָׂה כְּלוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג מד) "טָמֵא הוּא" (ויקרא יג מד) "וְטִמְּאוֹ הַכֹּהֵן" (ויקרא יג לז) "טָהוֹר הוּא" (ויקרא יג לז) "וְטִהֲרוֹ הַכֹּהֵן". וּמְצֹרָע שֶׁנִּרְפָּא בֵּין מִתּוֹךְ הֶסְגֵּר בֵּין מִתּוֹךְ הֶחְלֵט אֲפִלּוּ אַחַר כַּמָּה שָׁנִים הֲרֵי זֶה בְּטֻמְאָתוֹ עַד שֶׁיֹּאמַר לוֹ כֹּהֵן טָהוֹר אַתָּה:

4

A priest is not permitted to deem a person impure until he focuses his sight on the blemish when compared to the flesh outside of it. The priest who inspected a blemish initially should be the one who inspects it at the end of the first week and at the end of the second week. He is the one who places the person in isolation, deems him definitively impure, or releases him from the inspection process.

If the priest who initially inspected the blemish dies or becomes sick, another priest should inspect it. The second priest cannot deem it impure because its size increased, because only the first priest can tell whether it increased or not.

A priest's word is accepted if he says: "This blemish increased in size" or "This blemish did not increase in size," "This white hair preceded the blemish," or "This blemish preceded the white hair."

ד

אֵין הַכֹּהֵן רַשַּׁאי לְטַמֵּא אֶת הַטָּמֵא עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ עֵינָיו בִּמְקוֹם הַנֶּגַע בְּעוֹר הַבָּשָׂר שֶׁחוּצָה לוֹ. וְכֹהֵן שֶׁרָאָה הַנֶּגַע בַּתְּחִלָּה הוּא שֶׁרוֹאֵהוּ בְּסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ רִאשׁוֹן וּבְסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי וְהוּא שֶׁמַּסְגִּירוֹ אוֹ מַחְלִיטוֹ אוֹ פּוֹטְרוֹ. מֵת הַכֹּהֵן שֶׁרָאָהוּ תְּחִלָּה אוֹ שֶׁחָלָה רוֹאֵהוּ כֹּהֵן אַחֵר וְאֵין הַשֵּׁנִי יָכוֹל לְטַמְּאוֹ בְּפִשְׂיוֹן שֶׁאֵין יוֹדֵעַ אִם פָּשָׂה אִם לֹא פָּשָׂה אֶלָּא רִאשׁוֹן. וְנֶאֱמָן כֹּהֵן לוֹמַר נֶגַע זֶה פָּשָׂה וְנֶגַע זֶה לֹא פָּשָׂה. וְשֵׂעָר לָבָן זֶה קָדַם אֶת הַבַּהֶרֶת אוֹ בַּהֶרֶת זוֹ קָדְמָה אֶת שֵׂעָר לָבָן:

5

A challal is not acceptable to inspect blemishes, as can be inferred from Leviticus 13:2: "One of the descendants of Aaron, the priests," i.e., when their priestly status is intact. One who is disqualified from serving in the Temple because of physical blemishes is fit to inspect blemishes, provided he is not blind, even in one eye. Indeed, even a priest whose eyesight has become impaired should not inspect blemishes, as is derived from ibid:12: "the entire vision of the eyes of the priest."

ה

חָלָל פָּסוּל לִרְאִיַּת נְגָעִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג ב) "אֶחָד מִבָּנָיו הַכֹּהֲנִים" בִּכְהֻנָּתָם. אֲבָל בַּעֲלֵי מוּמִין כְּשֵׁרִים לִרְאִיַּת נְגָעִים וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה סוּמָא וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּאַחַת מֵעֵינָיו. וַאֲפִלּוּ כֹּהֵן שֶׁכָּהָה מְאוֹר עֵינָיו לֹא יִרְאֶה אֶת הַנְּגָעִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג יב) "לְכָל מַרְאֵה עֵינֵי הַכֹּהֵן":

6

Blemishes may be inspected only during the day, whether to isolate a person, to deem him definitively impure, or to release him from the inspection process as pure, for throughout the passage the term "on the day" is used.

A blemish should not be inspected in the early morning, nor towards evening, nor inside a building, nor on a cloudy day, because then a darker hue of white will look brighter. Nor should it be inspected at noon, because then a brighter hue of white will look darker.

When should it be inspected? In the fourth hour after sunrise, in the fifth hour, in the eighth hour, and in the ninth hour. This applies to blemishes on a person's body, those on garments, and those on buildings.

ו

אֵין רוֹאִין אֶת הַנְּגָעִים אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם בֵּין לְהַסְגִּיר בֵּין לְהַחְלִיט בֵּין לִפְטֹר. שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּכָל הָעִנְיָן הוּא אוֹמֵר בַּיּוֹם וּבַיּוֹם. וְאֵין רוֹאִין לֹא בְּשַׁחֲרִית וְלֹא בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם וְלֹא בְּתוֹךְ הַבַּיִת וְלֹא בַּיּוֹם הַמְעֻנָּן לְפִי שֶׁכֵּהָה נִרְאֵית עַזָּה. וְלֹא בַּצָּהֳרַיִם לְפִי שֶׁעַזָּה נִרְאֵית כֵּהָה. אֵימָתַי רוֹאִין אוֹתָן בְּשָׁעָה רְבִיעִית וּבַחֲמִישִׁית וּבַשְּׁמִינִית וּבַתְּשִׁיעִית. בֵּין נִגְעֵי אָדָם בֵּין נִגְעֵי בְּגָדִים וּבָתִּים:

7

Blemishes can be inspected on any day with the exception of the Sabbath and the holidays. If the seventh day of a person's isolation falls on the Sabbath or a holiday, the inspection is postponed. This leads to both leniencies and stringencies. For it is possible that the blemish would have been deemed impure on the Sabbath and, on the following day, the signs of impurity will have disappeared. Conversely, it is possible that, on the Sabbath, the blemish would have been deemed pure and on the following day, signs of impurity will appear. The determination of one's status is made only at the time of the inspection after the Sabbath.

ז

בְּכָל יוֹם רוֹאִין אֶת הַנְּגָעִים חוּץ מִשַּׁבָּת וְיוֹם טוֹב. חָל יוֹם שְׁבִיעִי שֶׁלּוֹ לִהְיוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת אוֹ בְּיוֹם טוֹב מַעֲבִירִין לַאֲחוֹרָיו. וְיֵשׁ בַּדָּבָר לְהָקֵל וּלְהַחְמִיר. שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בְּיוֹם שַׁבָּת זֶה שֶׁהוּא יוֹם הָרָאוּי לִרְאוֹת טָמֵא וּלְמָחָר יֵלְכוּ לָהֶן סִימָנֵי טֻמְאָה. וְאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה טָהוֹר וּלְמָחָר יִוָּלְדוּ לוֹ סִימָנֵי טֻמְאָה. וְאֵין דָּנִין אוֹתוֹ אֶלָּא בִּשְׁעַת רְאִיָּתוֹ לְאַחַר הַשַּׁבָּת:

8

When a blemish appears on a bridegroom, he is given all seven days of celebration. Similarly, if a blemish appears on his garments or his home, it is not inspected until after the seven days of his celebration. Similarly, during a festival, he is given all the days of the festival before an inspection is made, as indicated by Leviticus 14:36: "And the priest shall give a command and they will empty the home." Now if the Torah postponed the matter for the sake of concerns that are merely permitted, i.e., so that one's utensils not be deemed impure, the inference can certainly be made, that judgment should be postponed for a mitzvah.

ח

חָתָן שֶׁנִּרְאָה בּוֹ נֶגַע נוֹתְנִין לוֹ כָּל שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי הַמִּשְׁתֶּה. וְכֵן אִם נִרְאָה בִּבְגָדָיו אוֹ בְּבֵיתוֹ אֵין רוֹאִין אוֹתָן עַד לְאַחַר הַמִּשְׁתֶּה. וְכֵן בָּרֶגֶל נוֹתְנִין לוֹ כָּל יְמוֹת הָרֶגֶל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יד לו) "וְצִוָּה הַכֹּהֵן וּפִנּוּ אֶת הַבַּיִת" וְגוֹ' אִם הִמְתִּינָה תּוֹרָה לִדְבַר הָרְשׁוּת שֶׁלֹּא יִטַּמְּאוּ כֵּלָיו קַל וָחֹמֶר לִדְבַר מִצְוָה:

9

A person should not be isolated, deemed definitively impure, or sent away except on the day the blemish was first inspected, the seventh day afterwards, or the thirteenth. This applies with regard to blemishes for which the isolation period is two weeks, because the seventh day is counted when calculating the first week and the second week. It is valid for all blemishes, those on a person's body, those on garments, and those on buildings.

ט

אֵין מַסְגִּירִין וְלֹא מַחְלִיטִין וְלֹא פּוֹטְרִין אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם שֶׁיִּרְאֶה בּוֹ בַּתְּחִלָּה אוֹ בַּשְּׁבִיעִי אוֹ בְּיוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר בִּנְגָעִים שֶׁמַּסְגִּירִין בָּהֶן שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיּוֹם שְׁבִיעִי עוֹלֶה לְמִנְיַן שָׁבוּעַ רִאשׁוֹן וּלְמִנְיַן שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי בְּכָל הַנְּגָעִים בֵּין בְּנִגְעֵי אָדָם בֵּין בְּנִגְעֵי בָּתִּים וּבְגָדִים:

10

A person should not be isolated a second time in the midst of a period of isolation. Nor is one deemed definitively impure if a sign of impurity appears during the days of isolation. Nor is one who has been deemed definitively impure deemed definitively impure for another blemish that appeared, nor is he sent into isolation for a blemish that is fit to require isolation if it appears in the time he is definitively impure.

If, however, a person has two blemishes and a priest sees one and then the other, it is permitted for him to say: "You are isolated because of this one and deemed definitively impure because of the other one" or "You are deemed definitively impure because of this one and isolated because of the other one." This applies whether at the time of the initial examination, at the conclusion of the first week or at the conclusion of the second week.

Two blemishes should not be seen at the same time, whether on one person or on two people, as implied by Leviticus 13:3: "And the priest shall see the blemish."

י

אֵין מַסְגִּירִין בְּתוֹךְ יְמֵי הֶסְגֵּר וְלֹא מַחְלִיטִין בְּתוֹךְ יְמֵי הֶסְגֵּר אִם נוֹלַד לוֹ סִימַן הֶחְלֵט. וְלֹא מַחְלִיטִין הַמֻּחְלָט אִם נוֹלַד לוֹ נֶגַע אַחֵר. וְלֹא מַסְגִּירִין אוֹתוֹ בְּתוֹךְ יְמֵי חִלּוּטוֹ אִם נוֹלַד לוֹ נֶגַע אַחֵר שֶׁרָאוּי לְהֶסְגֵּר. אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ בּוֹ שְׁנֵי נְגָעִים וְרָאָה זֶה וְחָזַר וְרָאָה זֶה הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לוֹמַר לוֹ הֲרֵי אַתָּה מֻסְגָּר בָּזֶה וּמֻחְלָט בָּזֶה אוֹ מֻחְלָט בָּזֶה וּמֻסְגָּר בָּזֶה בֵּין בַּתְּחִלָּה בֵּין בַּסּוֹף בֵּין בְּסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ רִאשׁוֹן בֵּין בְּסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי. וְאֵין רוֹאִין שְׁנֵי נְגָעִים כְּאַחַת בֵּין בִּשְׁנֵי אֲנָשִׁים בֵּין בְּאִישׁ אֶחָד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג ג) "וְרָאָה הַכֹּהֵן אֶת הַנֶּגַע":

11

When a blemished person comes to a priest for an examination, he should not tell him: "Go and return." Instead, he should attend to him immediately. If two people come before him, he should examine the first and then isolate him, release him from the inspection process, or deem him definitively impure and then examine the second person.

יא

נָגוּעַ שֶׁבָּא לַכֹּהֵן לַרְאוֹתוֹ לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ לֵךְ וְשׁוּב אֶלָּא נִזְקָק לוֹ מִיָּד. בָּאוּ לְפָנָיו שְׁנַיִם רוֹאֶה אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹן מַסְגִּירוֹ אוֹ פּוֹטְרוֹ אוֹ מַחְלִיטוֹ וְחוֹזֵר וְרוֹאֶה אֶת הַשֵּׁנִי:

12

It is not necessary for a priest to look carefully at the blemished person's underarms, between his testicles, or in the creases of his flesh, lest there be a blemish there, as implied by Leviticus 13:12: "the entire vision of the eyes of the priest." This also applies when a person has become entirely white.

How should a person with a blemish stand before a priest to be inspected? If male, he is inspected while naked, standing like one who is hoeing and like one who is harvesting olives. If female, she is inspected while naked, sitting on the ground like one who is kneading dough, like one who nurses her child, or like one who weaves with a standing loom, in which instance she raises her right hand until reveals her underarm.

If a blemish can be detected when a man or a woman is in these positions, he or she is impure. If it cannot be detected in such a position, no attention is paid to it. Just as a person appears for the inspection of his blemish, so must he appear for his shaving. If hair could be found on any portion of his flesh when a man is standing naked like one who is hoeing or like one who is harvesting olives or a woman is sitting in the position described, the shaving is acceptable. The priest is not required to search in other places to see if hair remains, even though he is required to remove all the person's hair, as will be explained.

יב

אֵין הַכֹּהֵן זָקוּק לְבַקֵּשׁ תַּחַת אַצִּילֵי יָדָיו שֶׁל נָגוּעַ אוֹ בֵּין פְּחָדָיו אוֹ בְּתוֹךְ הַקְּמָטִים שֶׁמָּא שָׁם נֶגַע שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג יב) "לְכָל מַרְאֵה עֵינֵי הַכֹּהֵן". וְכֵן בְּהוֹפֵךְ כֻּלּוֹ לָבָן. וְכֵיצַד יַעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי הַכֹּהֵן. אִם אִישׁ הוּא נִרְאֶה עָרֹם וְעוֹמֵד כְּעוֹדֵר וּכְמוֹסֵק זֵיתִים. וְאִם אִשָּׁה הִיא נִרְאֵית עֲרֻמָּה וְיוֹשֶׁבֶת כְּעוֹרֶכֶת וּכְמֵינִיקָה אֶת בְּנָהּ וּכְאוֹרֶגֶת בְּעוֹמְדִים שֶׁמַּגְבַּהַת יָדָהּ הַיְמָנִית עַד שֶׁיִּגָּלֶה בֵּית הַשֶּׁחִי. אִם הָיָה הַנֶּגַע נִרְאֶה בָּהֶן בִּזְמַן שֶׁהֵן עוֹמְדִין הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא וְאִם אֵינוֹ נִרְאָה בָּהֶן כְּשֶׁהֵן עוֹמְדִין כָּךְ אֵין נִזְקָקִין לוֹ. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהָאָדָם נִרְאֶה לְנִגְעוֹ כָּךְ הוּא נִרְאֶה לְתִגְלַחְתּוֹ שֶׁאִם לֹא יֵרָאֶה שֵׂעָר בְּכָל בְּשָׂרוֹ כְּשֶׁיַּעֲמֹד עָרֹם כְּעוֹדֵר וּכְמוֹסֵק אוֹ כְּשֶׁתֵּשֵׁב הָאִשָּׁה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ הֲרֵי זוֹ תִּגְלַחַת כְּשֵׁרָה וְאֵין כֹּהֵן זָקוּק לְחַפֵּשׂ בִּשְׁאָר מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁמָּא נִשְׁאַר בָּהֶן שֵׂעָר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא צָרִיךְ לְגַלֵּחַ הַכּל כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר:

Tum'at Tsara'at - Chapter 10

1

A person who removes the signs of impurity, whether all of them or part of them, or who burns the healthy flesh in a baheret, whether partially or entirely, or who removes an entire blemish from his flesh, a garment, or a building, violates a negative commandment, as Deuteronomy 24:8 states: "Be very careful with regard to a tzara'at blemish, to watch it carefully, and to act according to everything that the priest, the Levites, will instruct you, as you were commanded, you shall heed." Implied is that one should not remove hair nor cut off any sign. This applies before the priest comes for an initial examination, after the person has been isolated, after he has been deemed definitively impure, or after he has been sent away as pure.

He is not, however, liable for lashes unless his acts are effective. If his acts are not effective, he is not liable for lashes. What is implied? If a person had a baheret with three white hairs and he pulled out one or he burnt a portion of the healthy flesh in a baheret, but a lentil-sized portion remained, he is not liable for lashes, because he is impure, as was his status previously. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. He is, however, given stripes for rebellious conduct.

Similarly, one who shaves the hairs next to a netek is liable for lashes, as Leviticus 13:33 states: "He shall not shave the netek." He is not liable unless he shaves the entire area around the netek with a razor.

It is permitted for a person afflicted with tzara'at to carry a pole on his shoulder on which there is a tzara'at blemish or to tie palm bast on his foot on which there is a blemish. If the signs of impurity are removed, they are removed, provided he does not have the intent of removing them.

א

הַתּוֹלֵשׁ סִימָנֵי טֻמְאָה בֵּין כֻּלָּן בֵּין מִקְצָתָן. אוֹ הִכְוָה אֶת הַמִּחְיָה כֻּלָּהּ אוֹ מִקְּצָתָהּ. אוֹ הַקּוֹצֵץ הַנֶּגַע כֻּלּוֹ מִבְּשָׂרוֹ אוֹ מִן הַבֶּגֶד אוֹ מִן הַבַּיִת. בֵּין קֹדֶם שֶׁיָּבוֹא לַכֹּהֵן בֵּין בְּתוֹךְ הֶסְגֵּר אוֹ בְּתוֹךְ הֶחְלֵט אוֹ אַחַר הַפִּטּוּר הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כד ח) "הִשָּׁמֶר בְּנֶגַע הַצָּרַעַת לִשְׁמֹר מְאֹד וְלַעֲשׂוֹת כְּכל אֲשֶׁר יוֹרוּ אֶתְכֶם הַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִם", תִּשְׁמְרוּ שֶׁלֹּא יִתְלֹשׁ אוֹ שֶׁיָּקֹץ. אֲבָל אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה עַד שֶׁיּוֹעִילוּ מַעֲשָׂיו וְאִם לֹא הוֹעִילוּ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה. כֵּיצַד. הָיְתָה בּוֹ בַּהֶרֶת וּבָהּ שָׁלֹשׁ שְׂעָרוֹת לְבָנוֹת וְתָלַשׁ אַחַת. כָּוָה מִקְצָת הַמִּחְיָה וְנִשְׁאַר מִמֶּנָּה כַּעֲדָשָׁה. אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא טָמֵא כְּשֶׁהָיָה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. וּמַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת. וְכֵן הַמְגַלֵּחַ אֶת הַנֶּתֶק לוֹקֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג לג) "וְאֶת הַנֶּתֶק לֹא יְגַלֵּחַ". וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב עַד שֶׁיְּגַלֵּחַ כָּל הַנֶּתֶק בְּתַעַר. וּמֻתָּר לִמְצֹרָע לִשָּׂא בְּמוֹט עַל כְּתֵפוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ הַצָּרַעַת וְלִקְשֹׁר הַסִּיב עַל רַגְלוֹ וְאִם הָלְכוּ סִימָנֵי טֻמְאָה יֵלְכוּ וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא נִתְכַּוֵּן לְכָךְ:

2

A person who removes signs of impurity or who burns healthy flesh before the inspection performed by a priest is pure. Similarly, if he does so in the days of his isolation, he will be considered pure after the days of his isolation. If, however, he removed them after he was deemed definitively impure because of them, he remains impure as was his status. He cannot regain purity unless the tzara'at covers his entire body or unless his baheret becomes smaller than a gris.

ב

הַתּוֹלֵשׁ סִימָנֵי טֻמְאָה אוֹ שֶׁכָּוָה אֶת הַמִּחְיָה עַד שֶׁלֹּא בָּא אֵצֶל כֹּהֵן הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. וְכֵן אִם עָשָׂה כֵּן בִּימֵי הֶסְגֵּר הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר לְאַחַר יְמֵי הֶסְגֵּר. וְאִם תְּלָשָׁן אַחַר שֶׁהֻחְלַט בָּהֶן הֲרֵי זֶה מֻחְלָט כְּשֶׁהָיָה וְאֵין לוֹ טָהֳרָה עַד שֶׁתִּפְרַח הַצָּרַעַת בְּכֻלּוֹ אוֹ עַד שֶׁתִּתְמַעֵט בַּהַרְתּוֹ מִכִּגְרִיס:

3

When a person cuts off his entire baheret unintentionally, he is pure. Different rules apply if he cut it off intentionally. If he cut off all the healthy flesh surrounding the baheret, even a hair's width, he can never become pure. If he cut it off exactly, he cannot regain purity unless the baheret covers his entire body.

ג

מִי שֶׁנִּקְצְצָה בַּהַרְתּוֹ כֻּלָּהּ שֶׁלֹּא בְּכַוָּנָה טָהוֹר. קְצָצָהּ בְּכַוָּנָה אִם קָצַץ כָּל הַבָּשָׂר הַחַי הַמַּקִּיפָהּ אֲפִלּוּ כְּחוּט הַשַּׂעֲרָה אֵין לוֹ טָהֳרָה עוֹלָמִית. קְצָצָהּ בְּצִמְצוּם אֵין לוֹ טָהֳרָה עַד שֶׁתִּפְרַח בְּכֻלּוֹ:

4

When one pulls out one white hair and the second fell off on its own accord, the person is pure. If there were three and he pulled out two and one fell off on its own, he remains impure.

If there was a portion of healthy flesh in a baheret the size of a lentil and one burnt half of it and half disappeared, he is pure. If the healthy flesh was larger than a lentil, one burnt off the part greater than a lentil and the lentil sized portion disappeared naturally, he is pure. If he burnt off the portion the size of a lentil and the remainder disappeared, he is impure.

ד

הַתּוֹלֵשׁ שְׂעָרָה לְבָנָה אַחַת וְנָשְׁרָה הַשְּׁנִיָּה הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. הָיוּ שָׁלֹשׁ תָּלַשׁ שְׁתַּיִם וְנָשְׁרָה אַחַת הֲרֵי זֶה בְּטֻמְאָתוֹ. הָיְתָה בּוֹ מִחְיָה כַּעֲדָשָׁה כָּוָה חֶצְיָהּ וְהָלַךְ חֶצְיָהּ הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. הָיְתָה יְתֵרָה מִכַּעֲדָשָׁה כָּוָה הַמּוֹתָר וְהָלַךְ כַּעֲדָשָׁה הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. כָּוָה כַּעֲדָשָׁה וְהָלַךְ הַמּוֹתָר הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא:

5

When a person has a baheret on his foreskin, he should be circumcised even though the circumcision is not being performed on the designated day. The rationale is that the performance of a positive commandment supersedes the observance of a negative commandment in all instances.

If the person was circumcised and the removal of the foreskin also caused the removal of the sign that caused him to be deemed impure, he is obligated to bring the sacrifices of a person becoming purified from tzara'at.

ה

מִי שֶׁהָיְתָה בַּהֶרֶת בְּעָרְלָתוֹ יָמוּל וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא מִילָה שֶׁלֹּא בִּזְמַנָּהּ שֶׁמִּצְוַת עֲשֵׂה דּוֹחָה אֶת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה בְּכָל מָקוֹם. וְאִם מָל וְהָלַךְ בְּעוֹר הָעָרְלָה סִימָן שֶׁהָיָה מֻחְלָט בּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב בְּקָרְבַּן מְצֹרָע:

6

It is a positive commandment for a man afflicted with tzara'at who was deemed as definitively impure to cover his head throughout the time he is impure, he should be cloaked until his lips like a mourner, his clothes should be torn and he must notify those who pass by him that he is impure, as Leviticus 13:45 states: "And the person afflicted with tzara'at who has the blemish shall...." Even a High Priest who becomes afflicted with leprosy covers his head and tears his clothes, for a positive commandment supersedes a negative commandment.

He is forbidden to greet others throughout the time he is deemed impure, as a mourner is, as can be inferred from the continuation of the above verse: "he shall cover his lips," i.e., his lips shall be closed together. He may, however, read Scripture, study Mishnah, and elucidate Torah teachings.

He is forbidden to have his hair cut and launder his clothes throughout the time he is deemed definitively impure. He must conduct himself with these restrictions even on Sabbaths and holidays. He is, however, permitted to wash, anoint himself, wear shoes, engage in physical intimacy, and have his bed stand upright like other people.

ו

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַמְצֹרָע הַמֻּחְלָט מְכֻסֶּה רֹאשׁ כָּל יְמֵי חִלּוּטוֹ וְעוֹטֶה עַל שָׂפָם כְּאָבֵל וּפוֹרֵם בְּגָדָיו וּמוֹדִיעַ הָעוֹבְרִים עָלָיו שֶׁהוּא טָמֵא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג מה) "וְהַצָּרוּעַ אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ הַנֶּגַע" וְגוֹ'. אֲפִלּוּ כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל שֶׁנִּצְטָרֵעַ פּוֹרֵעַ וּפוֹרֵם שֶׁעֲשֵׂה דּוֹחֶה אֶת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה. וְאָסוּר בִּשְׁאִילַת שָׁלוֹם כָּל יְמֵי חִלּוּטוֹ כְּאָבֵל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג מה) "וְעַל שָׂפָם יַעְטֶה" שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שְׂפָתָיו דְּבוּקוֹת. אֲבָל קוֹרֵא וְשׁוֹנֶה וְדוֹרֵשׁ. וְאָסוּר לְסַפֵּר וּלְכַבֵּס כָּל יְמֵי חִלּוּטוֹ. וְנוֹהֵג בְּכָל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ אֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׁבָּתוֹת וְיָמִים טוֹבִים. וַהֲרֵי הוּא מֻתָּר בִּרְחִיצָה וּבְסִיכָה וּבִנְעִילַת הַסַּנְדָּל וּבְתַשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה וְזוֹקֵף אֶת מִטָּתוֹ כִּשְׁאָר הָעָם:

7

The law is that a person afflicted by tzara'at should have a dwelling alone outside the town, as indicated by Leviticus 13:46: "outside the camp where he dwells." This restriction applies only in walled cities in Eretz Yisrael.

ז

דִּין הַמְצֹרָע שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לוֹ מוֹשָׁב לְבַדּוֹ חוּץ לָעִיר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג מו) "מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה מוֹשָׁבוֹ". וְדָבָר זֶה בַּעֲיָרוֹת הַמֻּקָּפוֹת חוֹמָה בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּלְבַד:

8

A woman afflicted by tzara'at does not cover her head, rend her garments, or cloak her face. She does, however, dwell outside her town and inform others that she is impure. Indeed, not only those afflicted by tzara'at, but all those who impart impurity to other people are obligated to inform everyone that they are impure so that they will separate themselves from them, as implied by ibid.:45: "'Impure, impure,' he shall call out." That can be interpreted to mean "The impure person shall inform others that he is impure."

ח

הַמְצֹרַעַת אֵינָהּ פּוֹרַעַת וְאֵינָהּ פּוֹרֶמֶת וְלֹא עוֹטָה עַל שָׂפָם אֲבָל יוֹשֶׁבֶת הִיא מִחוּץ לָעִיר וּמוֹדִיעָה לַאֲחֵרִים שֶׁהִיא טְמֵאָה. וְלֹא הַמְצֹרָעִים בִּלְבַד אֶלָּא כָּל הַמְטַמְּאִים אֶת הָאָדָם חַיָּבִין לְהוֹדִיעַ לַכּל שֶׁהֵן טְמֵאִין כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּפְרְשׁוּ מֵהֶן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג מה) "וְטָמֵא טָמֵא יִקְרָא", הַטָּמֵא מוֹדִיעַ שֶׁהוּא טָמֵא:

9

A tumtum and an androgynus should cover their heads, rend their garments, and cloak their faces, because their status is in doubt.

ט

וְטֻמְטוּם וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס פּוֹרֵעַ וּפוֹרֵם וְעוֹטֶה עַל שָׂפָם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא סָפֵק:

10

The same laws apply to both a person afflicted with tzara'at who is isolated and one who is definitively deemed impure. With regard to impurity, there is no difference between a person afflicted with tzara'at who is isolated and one who is definitively deemed impure except covering one's head, rending one's garments, shaving, and bringing fowl. One who is deemed pure after being isolated is exempt from shaving and bringing fowl, while one who is deemed pure after having been deemed impure has these obligations. Nevertheless, with regard to impurity, they are equal in all matters.

י

אֶחָד מְצֹרָע מֻסְגָּר וְאַחַד מְצֹרָע מֻחְלָט לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאָה. וְאֵין בֵּין מְצֹרָע מֻסְגָּר לִמְצֹרָע מֻחְלָט לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאָה אֶלָּא פְּרִיעָה וּפְרִימָה וְתִגְלַחַת וְצִפֳּרִים שֶׁהַטָּהוֹר מִתּוֹךְ הֶסְגֵּר פָּטוּר מִן הַתִּגְלַחַת וּמִן הַצִּפֳּרִים וְהַטָּהוֹר מִתּוֹךְ הֶחְלֵט חַיָּב בָּהֶן. אֲבָל טֻמְאַת שְׁנֵיהֶן שָׁוָה בְּכָל דָּבָר:

11

A person afflicted with tzara'at is a primary source of impurity. He imparts impurity to humans and implements through touching them and to earthenware containers when a portion of his body enters their inner space. He imparts impurity to a person when carried by him and an object over which he lies or sits even if there is a stone intervening between him and their surface, as is the law regarding a zav and a zavah. This is derived from Leviticus 13:6: "He shall launder his garments." According to the Oral Tradition, it was taught that he becomes pure with regard to imparting impurity to the objects on which he lies or sits. All of these laws apply equally to one isolated because of tzara'at and one deemed definitively impure].

יא

הַמְצֹרָע אָב מֵאֲבוֹת הַטֻּמְאוֹת מְטַמֵּא אָדָם וְכֵלִים בְּמַגָּעוֹ וּכְלֵי חֶרֶס בַּאֲוִירוֹ וּמְטַמֵּא אָדָם בְּמַשָּׂא וּמְטַמֵּא מִשְׁכָּב וּמוֹשָׁב אֲפִלּוּ תַּחַת אֶבֶן כְּזָב וּכְזָבָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג ו) "וְכִבֶּס בְּגָדָיו וְטָהֵר" מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁטָּהֵר מִלְּטַמֵּא מִשְׁכָּב וּמוֹשָׁב. וְאֶחָד הַמֻּסְגָּר וְאַחַד הַמֻּחְלָט בְּכָל אֵלּוּ:

12

There is an additional dimension of severity with regard to a person afflicted by tzara'at. He imparts impurity to a building when he enters it, whether he is in the midst of the time when he has been deemed impure or whether he is during his period of isolation.

What is implied? If he enters a building, everything - whether humans or implements - that is in the building contracts impurity. Even though the afflicted person did not touch them, they become primary derivatives of impurity. The impurity of the building which the afflicted person enters is derived from the phrase, Leviticus 13:46: "outside the camp where he dwells." Implied is that just as he is impure, his dwelling is impure.

If he was standing under a tree and a person who was ritually pure passed under the tree, that person contracts impurity. If a person who was pure was standing under the tree and a person afflicted by tzara'at passed under it, he does not impart impurity to him. If the afflicted person stood, the other person became impure, because the place became the afflicted person's dwelling. If it is unknown whether he stood or not, the other person is pure.

If a person afflicted by tzara'at inserted his head and the majority of his body into a building, everything in the building becomes impure. If he desires to enter a synagogue, a partition that is ten handbreadths high and encompasses an area four cubits by four cubits should be constructed for him. He should enter first and leave last so that he will be dwelling alone and will not stand together with the other people and impart impurity to them.

יב

חֻמְרָא יְתֵרָה יֵשׁ בִּמְצֹרָע שֶׁמְּטַמֵּא בְּבִיאָתוֹ לַבַּיִת בֵּין בִּימֵי הֶחְלֵט בֵּין בִּימֵי הֶסְגֵּר. כֵּיצַד. נִכְנַס לַבַּיִת נִטְמָא כָּל אֲשֶׁר בַּבַּיִת בֵּין אָדָם בֵּין כֵּלִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָגַע בָּהֶן נַעֲשׂוּ רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג מו) "מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה מוֹשָׁבוֹ" מַה הוּא טָמֵא אַף מוֹשָׁבוֹ טָמֵא. הָיָה עוֹמֵד תַּחַת הָאִילָן וְעָבַר אָדָם טָהוֹר תַּחַת הָאִילָן נִטְמָא. הָיָה הַטָּהוֹר עוֹמֵד תַּחַת הָאִילָן וְעָבַר הַמְצֹרָע תַּחְתָּיו לֹא טִמְּאָהוּ וְאִם עָמַד נִטְמָא שֶׁהֲרֵי נַעֲשָׂה לוֹ מוֹשָׁב. סָפֵק עָמַד סָפֵק לֹא עָמַד טָהוֹר. הִכְנִיס הַמְצֹרָע רֹאשׁוֹ וְרֻבּוֹ לַבַּיִת נִטְמָא כָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּתוֹכוֹ. נִכְנַס לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת עוֹשִׂין לוֹ מְחִצָּה גָּבוֹהַּ עֲשָׂרָה טְפָחִים וּרְחָבָה אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת וְנִכְנַס רִאשׁוֹן וְיוֹצֵא אַחֲרוֹן. כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מוֹשָׁבוֹ לְבַדּוֹ וְלֹא יַעֲמֹד עִם הָעָם בְּעִרְבּוּב וִיטַמֵּא אוֹתָם:

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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.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah