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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Tum'at Tsara'at - Chapter 15

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Tum'at Tsara'at - Chapter 15

1

There is an isolation period of three weeks, i.e., nineteen days, for blemishes on houses. For the seventh day counts for the first and the second week and the thirteenth day counts for the second and the third week. Thus if three weeks are necessary, an inspection is made on the seventh day, the thirteenth day, and the nineteenth day. The isolation of a house for three weeks is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah. Similarly, most of the laws applying to blemishes on houses were conveyed by the Oral Tradition.

א

נִּגְעֵי בָּתִּים יֵשׁ בָּהֶן הֶסְגֵּר שְׁלֹשָׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת שֶׁהֵן תִּשְׁעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם שֶׁיּוֹם שְׁבִיעִי עוֹלֶה לְכָאן וּלְכָאן וְיוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר עוֹלֶה לְכָאן וּלְכָאן נִמְצֵאתָ אַתָּה לָמֵד שֶׁאִם צָרִיךְ לִשְׁלֹשָׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת רוֹאֵהוּ בַּשְּׁבִיעִי וּבְיוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר וּבְיוֹם תִּשְׁעָה עָשָׂר. וְהֶסְגֵּר בָּתִּים שְׁלֹשָׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת אֵינוֹ מְפֹרָשׁ בַּתּוֹרָה וְכֵן רֹב דִּינֵי נִגְעֵי בָּתִּים דִּבְרֵי קַבָּלָה הֵן:

2

The explicit laws pertaining to them that are stated in the Torah and the Received Tradition are as follows: When a priest comes to see a intense green or intense red blemish that is sunk beneath the surface on the wall of a dwelling, as we explained, he should isolate the house for seven days. Even if at the outset, it was entirely intense green or intense red, he should isolate it. On the seventh day, he should inspect it. If the blemish faded or, needless to say, if it disappeared, he should scrape away the place of the blemish and the house is deemed pure.

If its color remained, but it did not spread, it should be isolated for another week and inspected on the thirteenth day. If it faded or, needless to say, if it disappeared, he should scrape away the place of the blemish and purify the house with fowl.

If, at the end of the second week, he discovered that the blemish had spread or retained its color, he should remove the stones on which the blemish had been manifest, scrape off the mortar that had supported them and deposit it outside the city. He should plaster the entire house and isolate it for a third week.

On the nineteenth day, he should inspect it. If the blemish returned and comprised two grisim, this is considered to be spreading after plastering and the entire house should be destroyed. If the blemish did not return, he should purify the house with fowl. If, however, at any time before it is purified with fowl, the blemish returns, the house should be destroyed. If another blemish appears in the house after it was purified, it should be inspected as if for the first time.

Similarly, if the blemish spread at the end of the first week, he should remove the stones on which the blemish had been manifest, scrape off the mortar that had supported them and deposit it outside the city. He should plaster the entire house and isolate it for a second week. Afterwards, he should inspect it. If the blemish returned and comprised two grisim, this is considered to be spreading after plastering and the entire house should be destroyed. If the blemish did not return, he should purify the house with fowl. If, however, at any time before it is purified with fowl, the blemish returns, the house should be destroyed. If another blemish appears in the house after it was purified, it should be inspected as if for the first time.

ב

וְכָל הַדִּינִין הַמְפֹרָשִׁין בָּהֶן בַּתּוֹרָה וּבְדִבְרֵי קַבָּלָה כָּךְ הֵם. כְּשֶׁיָּבוֹא הַכֹּהֵן וְיִרְאֶה הַנֶּגַע שׁוֹקֵעַ יְרַקְרַק אוֹ אֲדַמְדַּם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ יַסְגִּיר שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וַאֲפִלּוּ מְצָאוֹ כֻּלּוֹ בַּתְּחִלָּה יְרַקְרַק אוֹ אֲדַמְדַּם יַסְגִּיר. וּבַשְּׁבִיעִי רוֹאֵהוּ אִם כֵּהָה הַנֶּגַע וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם הָלַךְ קוֹלֵף מְקוֹם הַנֶּגַע בִּלְבַד וְהַבַּיִת טָהוֹר. מְצָאוֹ שֶׁעָמַד בְּעֵינָיו וְלֹא פָּשָׂה מַסְגִּיר שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי וְרוֹאֵהוּ בְּיוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר אִם כֵּהָה הַנֶּגַע אוֹ הָלַךְ לוֹ קוֹלֵף מְקוֹם הַנֶּגַע וּמְטַהֵר אֶת הַבַּיִת בְּצִפֳּרִים. וְאִם מָצָא הַנֶּגַע שֶׁפָּשָׂה בְּסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי אוֹ שֶׁעָמַד בְּעֵינוֹ חוֹלֵץ אֶת הָאֲבָנִים שֶׁבָּהֶן הַנֶּגַע וּמַקְצֶה הֶעָפָר אֶל מִחוּץ לָעִיר וְטָח אֶת כָּל הַבַּיִת וּמַסְגִּירוֹ שָׁבוּעַ שְׁלִישִׁי. וּבְיוֹם תִּשְׁעָה עָשָׂר רוֹאֵהוּ אִם חָזַר בּוֹ נֶגַע כִּשְׁנֵי גְּרִיסִין הֲרֵי זֶה פִּשְׂיוֹן אַחֲרֵי הִטּוֹחַ וְנוֹתֵץ אֶת כָּל הַבַּיִת וְאִם לֹא חָזַר בּוֹ נֶגַע מְטַהֲרוֹ בְּצִפֳּרִים. וְכָל זְמַן שֶׁיַּחְזֹר בּוֹ הַנֶּגַע קֹדֶם שֶׁיְּטַהֲרוֹ בְּצִפֳּרִים הֲרֵי זֶה יִנָּתֵץ. וְאִם נִרְאָה בּוֹ נֶגַע אַחַר שֶׁטִּהֲרוֹ בְּצִפֳּרִים יֵרָאֶה בַּתְּחִלָּה. וְכֵן אִם פָּשָׂה הַנֶּגַע בְּסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ רִאשׁוֹן חוֹלֵץ אֶת הָאֲבָנִים שֶׁבָּהֶן הַנֶּגַע וְקוֹצֶה הֶעָפָר חוּץ לָעִיר וְטָח אֶת כָּל הַבַּיִת וּמַסְגִּירוֹ שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי וְרוֹאֶה אִם מָצָא בּוֹ נֶגַע כִּשְׁנֵי גְּרִיסִין הֲרֵי זֶה פִּשְׂיוֹן אַחֲרֵי הִטּוֹחַ וְנוֹתֵץ אֶת כָּל הַבַּיִת וְאִם לֹא חָזַר בּוֹ נֶגַע מְטַהֲרוֹ בְּצִפֳּרִים. וְכָל זְמַן שֶׁיִּרְאֶה בּוֹ נֶגַע קֹדֶם טָהֳרָה בְּצִפֳּרִים יִנָּתֵץ. וְאִם נִרְאָה בּוֹ אַחַר שֶׁטִּהֲרוֹ בְּצִפֳּרִים יֵרָאֶה בַּתְּחִלָּה:

3

When the priest removes the stones on which the blemish was found, he should not remove less than two stones. He may not take stones from one side of the house and bring them to the other, for Leviticus 14:42 states: "And they shall take other stones." Similarly, he may not take mortar from one side of the house and bring it to the other, for that verse states: "And he shall take other mortar and plaster the house."

He may not plaster the house with lime, only with mortar, for the verse states: "And he shall take other mortar." He should not bring one larger stone in place of two that he removed or two smaller stones in place of one that he removed. Instead, he should bring two in place of two. He may, however, bring two in place of three.

ג

כְּשֶׁהוּא חוֹלֵץ אֶת הָאֲבָנִים שֶׁבָּהֶן הַנֶּגַע אֵינוֹ חוֹלֵץ פָּחוֹת מִשְּׁתֵי אֲבָנִים וְאֵינוֹ נוֹטֵל אֲבָנִים מִצַּד זֶה וּמְבִיאָן לְצַד זֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יד מב) "וְלָקְחוּ אֲבָנִים אֲחֵרוֹת". וְלֹא עָפָר מִצַּד זֶה וּמֵבִיא לְצַד זֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יד מב) "וְעָפָר אַחֵר יִקַּח וְטָח אֶת הַבָּיִת". וְאֵינוֹ טָח בְּסִיד אֶלָּא בְּעָפָר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְעָפָר אַחֵר יִקַּח וְגוֹ'. אֵינוֹ מֵבִיא אֶבֶן אַחַת תַּחַת שְׁתַּיִם שֶׁחָלַץ וְלֹא שְׁתֵּי אֲבָנִים תַּחַת אֶבֶן אַחַת חֲלוּצָה אֶלָּא מֵבִיא שְׁתַּיִם תַּחַת שְׁתַּיִם. וְיֵשׁ לוֹ לְהָבִיא שְׁתַּיִם תַּחַת שָׁלֹשׁ:

4

If there was a blemish on a wall between one person's house and another's, they both must remove the stones; they both must scrape away the mortar, and they both must bring other stones. The owner of the blemished house alone brings the new mortar, as implied by Leviticus 14:42 states: "And he shall take other mortar and plaster the house." From the use of a singular form, we learn that his neighbor does not join with him in the plastering.

ד

הָיָה הַכֹּתֶל בֵּינוֹ לְבֵין חֲבֵרוֹ שְׁנֵיהֶן חוֹלְצִין וּשְׁנֵיהֶן קוֹצִים אֶת הֶעָפָר וּשְׁנֵיהֶם מְבִיאִין אֲבָנִים אֲחֵרוֹת. אֲבָל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת מֵבִיא לְבַדּוֹ אֶת הֶעָפָר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יד מב) "וְעָפָר אַחֵר יִקַּח וְטָח" אֵין חֲבֵרוֹ מְטַפֵּל עִמּוֹ בְּטִיחָה:

5

The following laws apply when there is a blemish on a stone in the corner of a house. When the owner removes the stone, he removes it entirely. If he must destroy the house, he must destroy only his own and leave his neighbor's. There is an unresolved question if the part of the stone that projects into his neighbor's house is considered as a handle to his stone and brings impurity to it.

ה

אֶבֶן שֶׁבַּזָּוִית בִּזְמַן שֶׁהוּא חוֹלֵץ חוֹלֵץ אֶת כֻּלָּהּ וּבִזְמַן שֶׁהוּא נוֹתֵץ נוֹתֵץ אֶת שֶׁלּוֹ וּמַנִּיחַ אֶת שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ. וְיֵשׁ בַּדָּבָר סָפֵק אִם תִּהְיֶה זוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ כְּמוֹ יָד לָאֶבֶן שֶׁלּוֹ:

6

When a blemish was discovered in a house and there was a loft built over it, the beams of the ceiling should be left for the loft. If it was discovered in the loft, the beams should be left for the house. If there was no loft on top of it, all of its stones, wood, and mortar are destroyed with it. The partitions on the roof and the lattice of the windows may be saved.

ו

בַּיִת שֶׁנִּרְאָה בּוֹ נֶגַע וְהָיְתָה עֲלִיָּה עַל גַּבָּיו נוֹתֵן אֶת הַקּוֹרוֹת לַעֲלִיָּה. נִרְאָה בַּעֲלִיָּה נוֹתֵן אֶת הַקּוֹרוֹת לַבַּיִת. לֹא הָיְתָה עֲלִיָּה עַל גַּבָּיו אֲבָנָיו וְעֵצָיו וַעֲפָרוֹ כֻּלָּן נִתָּצִין עִמּוֹ. וּמַצִּיל אֶת הַמַּלְבְּנִין וְאֶת סְרִיגֵי הַחַלּוֹנוֹת:

7

When a person takes stones from a house that had been isolated and builds them into a house that is pure, if the blemish returns to the house that had been isolated, he should remove those stones from the pure house. If the blemish appears on the stones that he added, the isolated house should be destroyed and the second house isolated, as is the law with regard to a house on which a blemish is first discovered.

ז

הַלּוֹקֵחַ אֲבָנִים מִבַּיִת מֻסְגָּר וּבְנָאָן בְּבַיִת טָהוֹר חָזַר הַנֶּגַע לַמֻּסְגָּר חוֹלֵץ אֶת הָאֲבָנִים שֶׁבַּטָּהוֹר. נִרְאָה נֶגַע עַל הָאֲבָנִים שֶׁבָּנָה הַמֻּסְגָּר יִנָּתֵץ וְהַבַּיִת הַשֵּׁנִי מַסְגִּירִין אוֹתוֹ בְּנֶגַע זֶה כְּדִין כָּל בַּיִת שֶׁנִּרְאָה בּוֹ נֶגַע בַּתְּחִלָּה:

8

How is a house on which there was a blemish purified after the stones were removed and it was plastered? One should bring "living water" in an earthenware container, two fowl, a cedar branch, a hyssop, a crimson strand, like the purification of a man in every respect. The difference is in the purification process of a man, one sprinkles the blood seven times on the back of the hand of the afflicted person. And in the purification process of a house, one sprinkles the blood seven times on the lintel of the house from the outside. The remainder of the practices are the same.

ח

כֵּיצַד מְטַהֲרִין אֶת הַבַּיִת הַמְנֻגָּע. אַחַר הַחֲלִיצָה וְהַטִּיחָה מֵבִיא מַיִם חַיִּים בִּכְלִי חֶרֶס וּשְׁתֵּי צִפֳּרִים וְעֵץ אֶרֶז וְאֵזוֹב וּשְׁנִי תּוֹלַעַת כְּטָהֳרַת אָדָם שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ לְכָל דָּבָר. אֶלָּא שֶׁבְּאָדָם מַזֶּה שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים לְאַחַר יָדוֹ שֶׁל מְצֹרָע וּבְבַיִת מַזֶּה שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים עַל הַמַּשְׁקוֹף שֶׁל בַּיִת מִבַּחוּץ. וּשְׁאָר כָּל מַעֲשֵׂיהֶן שָׁוִין:

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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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