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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Tum'at Tsara'at - Chapter 12

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Tum'at Tsara'at - Chapter 12

1

The minimum measure for a tzara'at affliction for garments is a gris like an affliction for humans. An affliction smaller than a gris is pure. There are three distinguishing marks for the afflictions of garments: intense green, intense red, and the spreading of the affliction. All three are explicitly mentioned in the Torah.

"Intense green" refers to a dark green hue, like the wings of a peacock or the leaves of a date palm. "Intense red" refers to a dark red hue, a deep red, like fine scarlet thread. These two signs can be combined with each other.

When an affliction is intense green or red, the garment is placed in isolation. If this sign remains for two consecutive weeks, the garment is deemed impure and burnt. Similarly, if the size of the affliction increases, the garment is deemed impure and burnt.

What is implied? When an intense green or an intense red affliction is visible on a garment, it should be isolated for seven days. On the seventh day, it should be inspected. If it expanded, it is deemed definitively impure and burnt. If its appearance remained unchanged, but it did not increase in size, or it increased, but its color faded from the two colors because of which it was isolated, or its color became more intensely red or green, but it did not increase in size, the place of the blemish should be washed, and the garment isolated for a second seven day period. At the end of the second week, i.e., the thirteenth day, it should be assessed. If it turned to a third color, the garment should be washed and it is pure. If the color of the blemish changed from its original hue, i.e., initially, it was intense green, and it became intense red, or initially, it was intense red and then it became intense green, the place of the blemish should be ripped out and a patch sewn in the place that was ripped out. The remainder of the garment is released from the inspection process. It should be laundered a second time, immersed in the mikveh and then it is pure.

If, at the time of the second inspection, the blemish retained the appearance for which it was initially isolated, it should be deemed definitively impure and should be burnt in its entirety.

א

צָרַעַת בְּגָדִים כִּגְרִיס, כְּצָרַעַת אָדָם. אֲבָל פָּחוֹת מִכִּגְרִיס טָהוֹר. וּשְׁלֹשָׁה סִימָנֵי טֻמְאָה יֵשׁ בָּהֶן. יְרַקְרַק אֲדַמְדַּם וְהַפִּשְׂיוֹן. וּשְׁלָשְׁתָּן מְפֹרָשִׁין בַּתּוֹרָה. יְרַקְרַק הוּא הַיָּרֹק שֶׁבַּיְרֻקִּין שֶׁהוּא יָרֹק הַרְבֵּה כִּכְנַף הַטַּוָּס וּכְהוּצֵי הַדֶּקֶל. וַאֲדַמְדַּם הוּא אָדֹם שֶׁבָּאֲדֻמִּים שֶׁהוּא אָדֹם הַרְבֵּה כִּזְהוֹרִית יָפָה. וּשְׁנֵי מַרְאוֹת אֵלּוּ מִצְטָרְפִין זֶה עִם זֶה בְּמַרְאֶה יְרַקְרַק אוֹ אֲדַמְדַּם מַסְגִּירִין אֶת הַבֶּגֶד. וְאִם עָמַד בְּמַרְאֶה זֶה שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת מַחְלִיטִין וְשׂוֹרְפִין וְכֵן אִם פָּשָׂה מַחְלִיטִין וְשׂוֹרְפִין. כֵּיצַד. בֶּגֶד שֶׁנִּרְאֶה בּוֹ נֶגַע יְרַקְרַק אוֹ אֲדַמְדַּם מַסְגִּירוֹ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וּבַשְּׁבִיעִי רוֹאֶה אִם פָּשָׂה מַחְלִיטוֹ וְשׂוֹרֵף אֶת כָּל הַבֶּגֶד. וְאִם עָמַד בְּמַרְאֵהוּ וְלֹא פָּשָׂה אוֹ שֶׁפָּשָׂה וְכֵהָה מִשְּׁנֵי הַמַּרְאוֹת שֶׁהֻסְגַּר בָּהֶן אוֹ שֶׁהוֹסִיף הַמַּרְאֶה לְהַאֲדִים וּלְהוֹרִיק וְלֹא פָּשָׂה יְכַבֵּס מְקוֹם הַנֶּגַע וְיַסְגִּיר שִׁבְעַת יָמִים שֵׁנִית וּבְסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי שֶׁהוּא יוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר רוֹאֶה. אִם כֵּהָה לְמַרְאֶה שְׁלִישִׁית הֲרֵי זֶה טָעוּן כִּבּוּס וְטָהוֹר. וְאִם נִשְׁתַּנָּה הַנֶּגַע מִמַּה שֶּׁהָיָה כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיָה יְרַקְרַק וְנַעֲשָׂה אֲדַמְדַּם אוֹ אֲדַמְדַּם וְנַעֲשָׂה יְרַקְרַק קוֹרֵעַ מְקוֹם הַנֶּגַע וְשׂוֹרֵף מַה שֶּׁקָּרַע וְתוֹפֵר מַטְלִית בַּמָּקוֹם שֶׁקָּרַע וּפוֹטֵר שְׁאָר הַבֶּגֶד וּמְכַבְּסוֹ כֻּלּוֹ כִּבּוּס שֵׁנִי וּמַטְבִּילוֹ, וְטָהֵר. וְאִם עָמַד בַּמַּרְאֶה שֶׁהֻסְגַּר בּוֹ בַּתְּחִלָּה יַחְלִיטוֹ וְיִשְׂרֹף אֶת כֻּלּוֹ:

2

When a blemish that was intense green increased in size, but the new portion was intense red, or it was intense red and increased, but the increase was green, it is considered as an increase.

ב

נֶגַע שֶׁהָיָה יְרַקְרַק וּפָשָׂה אֲדַמְדַּם אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה אֲדַמְדַּם וּפָשָׂה יְרַקְרַק הֲרֵי זֶה פִּשְׂיוֹן:

3

When in the midst of a blemish, there was a portion of the garment that was unsoiled and unblemished and then the blemish spread into it, the blemish is not considered to have increased in size. It must increase outward. An increase within the blemish itself is not considered as an increase, not for a blemish on a person's body, nor for one on garments or on buildings.

ג

נֶגַע שֶׁהָיָה בְּאֶמְצָעוֹ מָקוֹם נָקִי בְּלֹא נֶגַע וּפָשָׂה לוֹ הַנֶּגַע אֵינוֹ פִּשְׂיוֹן עַד שֶׁיִּפְשֶׂה לַחוּץ. שֶׁאֵין פִּשְׂיוֹן הַנֶּגַע לְתוֹכוֹ פִּשְׂיוֹן בֵּין בְּאָדָם בֵּין בִּבְגָדִים וּבָתִּים:

4

If a blemish spreads to the place immediately adjacent to it, even the slightest spread is considered a sign of impurity. If a blemish appears on a distant place on the garment or one returns after the initial blemish disappeared or was removed, it must be a gris in size.

What is implied? If a garment was isolated and then another blemish the size of a gris emerged some distance from the blemish for which it was isolated, it is considered to have spread and it is burned. If the second blemish is less than a gris, no attention is paid to it. Similarly, when a blemished portion was removed from a garment as explained and then a blemish the size of a gris returned, it should be burnt. Similarly, if a blemish increased in size after the garment was released from the inspection process, the garment should be burnt.

ד

הַפִּשְׂיוֹן הַסָּמוּךְ בַּבְּגָדִים כָּל שֶׁהוּא וְהָרָחוֹק אוֹ הַחוֹזֵר כִּגְרִיס. כֵּיצַד. בֶּגֶד שֶׁהֻסְגַּר וְנוֹלַד בּוֹ נֶגַע אַחֵר כִּגְרִיס רָחוֹק מִן הַנֶּגַע שֶׁהֻסְגַּר בּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה פִּשְׂיוֹן וְיִשָּׂרֵף. וְאִם הָיָה פָּחוֹת מִכִּגְרִיס אֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין בּוֹ. וְכֵן בֶּגֶד שֶׁקָּרַע מִמֶּנּוּ הַנֶּגַע בְּסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ שֵׁנִי כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וְחָזַר בּוֹ נֶגַע כִּגְרִיס יִשָּׂרֵף. וְכֵן בֶּגֶד שֶׁפָּשָׂה בּוֹ הַנֶּגַע אַחַר שֶׁנִּפְטַר יִשָּׂרֵף:

5

When a person washes a blemish at the end of the first week as we explained, one should also wash part of the garment that is adjacent to it, as implied by Leviticus 13:54: "that on which the blemish is found." Whenever blemishes on a garment must be washed, we use the seven detergents that are used when checking a bloodstain, as explained with regard to nidah impurity.

ה

מִי שֶׁמְּכַבֵּס אֶת הַנֶּגַע בְּשָׁבוּעַ רִאשׁוֹן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ צָרִיךְ לְכַבֵּס מְעַט מִן הַבֶּגֶד שֶׁחוּצָה לוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג נד) "אֵת אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ הַנָּגַע". וְכָל נִגְעֵי בְּגָדִים שֶׁמְּכַבְּסִין אוֹתָן מַעֲבִירִין עֲלֵיהֶן שִׁבְעָה סַמְמָנִין שֶׁמַּעֲבִירִין עַל הַכֶּתֶם כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמַּעֲבִירִין עַל הַכְּתָמִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּעִנְיַן נִדָּה:

6

The following laws apply when the blemished portion of a garment was torn out and a patch sewn in its place, as we explained. If a blemish the size of a gris returned to a different place on the garment, the patch may be removed and saved, while the remainder of the garment must be burnt. If the blemish returned and appeared on the patch, the entire garment must be burnt.

ו

בֶּגֶד שֶׁקָּרַע מִמֶּנּוּ מְקוֹם הַנֶּגַע וְתָפַר מַטְלִית כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וְחָזַר נֶגַע כִּגְרִיס עַל הַבֶּגֶד. מַתִּיר אֶת הַמַּטְלִית וּמַצִּילָהּ וְשׂוֹרֵף שְׁאָר הַבֶּגֶד. חָזַר הַנֶּגַע עַל הַמַּטְלִית שׂוֹרֵף אֶת הַכּל:

7

The following rules apply when a person takes a patch of cloth from a garment that was isolated and sews it on a pure garment. If a blemish became manifest on the initial garment again, the patch should be burnt together with it. If the blemish appears again on the patch, the first garment must be burnt and the patch obligates the garment on which it is sewn to be assessed for signs of impurity. If the blemish remains unchanged for two weeks or increases in size, the entire second garment is burnt.

ז

הַטּוֹלֶה מִן הַמֻּסְגָּר בְּטָהוֹר וְחָזַר נֶגַע עַל הַבֶּגֶד שׂוֹרֵף אֶת הַמַּטְלִית. חָזַר עַל הַמַּטְלִית הַבֶּגֶד הָרִאשׁוֹן הַמֻּסְגָּר יִשָּׂרֵף וְהַמַּטְלִית תְּשַׁמֵּשׁ אֶת הַבֶּגֶד שֶׁהִיא תְּפוּרָה בּוֹ בְּסִימָנִין. אִם עָמַד בְּעֵינָיו שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת אוֹ פָּשָׂה שׂוֹרְפִין הַכּל:

8

When a garment comes initially entirely intense green or intense red, it should be isolated for one week after another. If the blemish remains unchanged for two weeks, the garment should be burnt. If, however, a garment was isolated because of a blemish and the blemish spread over the entire garment, causing it to become entirely intense green or intense red or the garment was released from the inspection process and after it was released, the blemish returned entirely intense green or intense red, it is pure.

If a blemish was washed and it spread, the garment should be burnt.

ח

בֶּגֶד שֶׁבָּא כֻּלּוֹ בַּתְּחִלָּה יְרַקְרַק אוֹ אֲדַמְדַּם מַסְגִּירוֹ שָׁבוּעַ אַחַר שָׁבוּעַ. אִם עָמַד בּוֹ שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת יִשָּׂרֵף. אֲבָל בֶּגֶד שֶׁהִסְגִּירוֹ וּפָשָׂה הַנֶּגַע בְּכֻלּוֹ וְנַעֲשָׂה יְרַקְרַק אוֹ אֲדַמְדַּם אוֹ שֶׁפְּטָרוֹ וְאַחַר שֶׁפְּטָרוֹ בָּא כֻּלּוֹ יְרַקְרַק אוֹ אֲדַמְדַּם הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. כִּבֵּס וּפָשָׂה יִשָּׂרֵף:

9

When the loose strands of the fabric of a garment extend beyond the fabric of the weave, e.g., a coarse woolen blanket, and a blemish appears in those strands, the blanket is not impure unless the blemish appears in the fabric and the weave itself.

The terms used by Leviticus 13:55 with regard to garment bikarachto and bigabachto mean the following: Karachto refers to worn out garments; gabachto, to new ones.

ט

בֶּגֶד שֶׁמּוֹכִין יוֹצְאִין עַל פָּנָיו מִן הָאָרִיג כְּגוֹן סָגוֹס שֶׁל צֶמֶר וְנִרְאָה בּוֹ נֶגַע אֵינוֹ מִתְטַמֵּא עַד שֶׁיֵּרָאֶה הַנֶּגַע בַּמּוֹכִין וּבָאָרִיג עַצְמוֹ. וְזֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בַּבְּגָדִים (ויקרא יג נה) "בְּקָרַחְתּוֹ אוֹ בְגַבַּחְתּוֹ" קָרַחְתּוֹ אֵלּוּ הַשְּׁחָקִים גַּבַּחְתּוֹ אֵלּוּ הַחֲדָשִׁים:

10

Colored garments do not contract impurity due to blemishes of tzara'at. This applies whether they were dyed by human activity or naturally colored. To contract such impurity, they must be white. If the warp of a garment was colored and its woof, white, or if its woof was colored and its warp, white, everything follows its appearance.

When there is a knit that is less than three fingerbreadths by three fingerbreadths, it does not contract impurity due to blemishes of tzara'at.

י

הַבְּגָדִים הַצְּבוּעִים אֵינָן מִטַּמְּאִין בִּנְגָעִים בֵּין שֶׁצְּבוּעִין בִּידֵי אָדָם בֵּין שֶׁצְּבוּעִין בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם עַד שֶׁיְּהוּ לְבָנִים. בֶּגֶד שֶׁשִּׁתְיוֹ צָבוּעַ וְעֶרְבוֹ לָבָן עֶרְבוֹ צָבוּעַ וְשִׁתְיוֹ לָבָן הַכּל הוֹלֵךְ אַחַר הַנִּרְאֶה. פָּחוֹת מִשָּׁלֹשׁ אֶצְבָּעוֹת עַל שָׁלֹשׁ אֶצְבָּעוֹת מִן הָאָרִיג אֵינוֹ מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים:

11

When a cloth was woven less than three fingerbreadths by three fingerbreadths and a blemish was discovered on it and afterwards, one increased its size and made it more than three by three, it is pure.

יא

בֶּגֶד שֶׁאָרַג בּוֹ פָּחוֹת מִשָּׁלֹשׁ עַל שָׁלֹשׁ וְנִרְאָה בּוֹ נֶגַע וְאַחַר כָּךְ הִשְׁלִימוֹ לְשָׁלֹשׁ עַל שָׁלֹשׁ טָהוֹר:

12

When a person sews patches together, each one being less than three fingerbreadths by three fingerbreadths, and makes a garment from them, it can contract impurity due to blemishes. The rationale is that sewing is like weaving and it is considered as one garment.

יב

הַתּוֹפֵר מַטְלִיּוֹת שֶׁאֵין בְּכָל אַחַת מֵהֶן שָׁלֹשׁ עַל שָׁלֹשׁ וְעָשָׂה מֵהֶן בֶּגֶד הֲרֵי זֶה מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים שֶׁהַתָּפוּר כְּאָרוּג וְכֻלּוֹ בֶּגֶד אֶחָד הוּא:

13

If a garment was made from many patches, some colored and some, white, and a tzara'at blemish was discovered on a white patch, it should be isolated. If the blemish remains unchanged for two weeks, the entire garment is deemed impure and burnt. Similarly, if the blemish spreads to another white patch, the blemish is considered to have increased in size even though a colored patch intervenes between them.

If the garment was entirely colored except for one line, even if only a gris, it should be isolated if a blemish appears on it. For if it remains with the original color, without increasing its intensity or fading for two weeks, the garment should be burnt.

יג

בֶּגֶד שֶׁהוּא מַטְלִיּוֹת מַטְלִיּוֹת מֵהֶן צְבוּעִין וּמֵהֶן לְבָנִים וְנִרְאָה נֶגַע בַּלָּבָן שֶׁבּוֹ מַסְגִּירִין אוֹתוֹ אִם עָמַד שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת נִטְמָא כֻּלּוֹ וְיִשָּׂרֵף. וְכֵן אִם פָּשָׂה הַנֶּגַע בְּמַטְלִית לְבָנָה אַחֶרֶת הֲרֵי זֶה פִּשְׂיוֹן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶם צָבוּעַ. הָיָה כֻּלּוֹ צָבוּעַ וּבוֹ פַּס אֶחָד לָבָן אֲפִלּוּ כִּגְרִיס וְנִרְאָה בּוֹ נֶגַע יַסְגִּיר שֶׁאִם עָמַד בְּעֵינָיו וְלֹא הוֹסִיף וְלֹא כֵּהָה שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת יִשָּׂרֵף:

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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