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Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 112

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Positive Commandment 112 (Digest)
Proclaiming Ritual Impurity

"And the person with tzaraat, in whom there is the lesion, his garments shall be torn, his head shall be unshorn, he shall cover himself down to his lips and call out, 'Unclean! Unclean!'"—Leviticus 13:45.

We are commanded to make a metzora recognizable so that people should stay away from him [and thus avoid contracting ritual impurity].

According to our tradition, this mitzvah somewhat applies to all carriers of ritual impurity; they too must make themselves recognizable in order that people keep away from them [though a person with an impurity other than tzaraat need not do all that is stated in the verse above].

Women who suffer from tzaraat are exempt from [most of] this mitzvah, though they do need to cover their face down to their lips and proclaim that they are impure—similar to all other people who are impure [with impurities other than tzaraat].


Translation of (the unabridged text of) Sefer Hamitzvot by Rabbi Berel Bell, member of the Rabbinical Court of Montreal and director of Teacher Training for the Jewish Learning Institute.

From "Sefer Hamitzvot in English," published by Sichos in English.
Daily Quote
And it was when they crossed, that Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you, while I am not yet taken away from you." And Elisha said, "Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me." And he said, "You have made a difficult request. If you see me taken from you, it will be so to you, and if not, it will not be." And it was that they were going, walking and talking, and behold a fiery chariot and fiery horses, and they separated them both. And Elijah ascended to heaven in a whirlwind. And Elisha saw, and he was crying, "My father! My father! The chariots of Israel and their riders!" And he saw him no longer. Now he took hold of his garments and rent them in two pieces...
  –II Kings 2:9-12
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