The only garments that contract impurity due to tzara'at blemishes are wool and linen garments, cloths where the warp or woof is made of wool or linen, and any leather utensil, whether hard or soft. Even leather that is colored naturally is susceptible to impurity because of blemishes. Felt is considered like garments and is susceptible to impurity because of blemishes. Tents are susceptible to impurity because of blemishes whether they are made from wool or linen or they are leather.


אֵין מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים אֶלָּא בִּגְדֵי צֶמֶר וּפִשְׁתִּים בִּלְבַד. אוֹ הַשְּׁתִי אוֹ הָעֵרֶב שֶׁל צֶמֶר וּפִשְׁתִּים. וְכָל כְּלֵי הָעוֹר בֵּין קָשֶׁה בֵּין רַךְ. אַף הָעוֹר הַצָּבוּעַ בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים. וְהַלְּבָדִים כִּבְגָדִים וּמִטַּמְּאִין בִּנְגָעִים. וְהָאֹהָלִים מִטַּמְּאִין בִּנְגָעִים בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ שֶׁל צֶמֶר וּפִשְׁתִּים בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ שֶׁל עוֹר:


All garments of wool and linen are susceptible to impurity except those belonging to gentiles. When a person purchases a garment from gentiles, if tzara'at appears on it, it should be viewed as if for the first time. When a garment is made from mixed species - wool and linen - it can incur impurity because of tzara'at blemishes.


כָּל הַבְּגָדִים שֶׁל צֶמֶר וּפִשְׁתִּים מִטַּמְּאִין בִּנְגָעִים חוּץ מִבִּגְדֵי עַכּוּ''ם. הַלּוֹקֵחַ בְּגָדִים מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם יֵרָאוּ בַּתְּחִלָּה. בֶּגֶד שֶׁהוּא כִּלְאַיִם מִן הַצֶּמֶר וּמִן הַפִּשְׁתִּים מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים:


The following rules apply when camels' wool and sheep's wool were spun together: If the majority is camels' wool, it does not contract impurity because of blemishes. If the majority is sheep's wool, it does. If equal amounts are used, it can incur impurity. The same laws apply when flax and hemp are mixed together.

The wool of a sheep born from a goat does not contract impurity because of blemishes. When the warp of a garment was linen and its woof, hemp, or its warp hemp and its woof, linen, it does not contract impurity because of blemishes. Similarly, if its warp or woof was linen or wool and the remainder goat's hair or the like, it does not contract impurity because of blemishes.


צֶמֶר גְּמַלִּים וְצֶמֶר רְחֵלִים שֶׁטְּוָאָן זֶה עִם זֶה אִם רֹב מִן הַגְּמַלִּים אֵינוֹ מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים וְאִם רֹב מִן הָרְחֵלִים מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים. מֶחֱצָה לְמֶחֱצָה מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים. וְהוּא הַדִּין בְּפִשְׁתָּן וְקַנְבּוֹס שֶׁטְּרָפָן זֶה בָּזֶה. וְרָחֵל בַּת עֵז אֵין הַצֶּמֶר שֶׁלָּהּ מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים. בֶּגֶד שֶׁהָיָה שִׁתְיוֹ פִּשְׁתָּן וְעֶרְבוֹ קַנְבּוֹס אוֹ שִׁתְיוֹ קַנְבּוֹס וְעֶרְבוֹ פִּשְׁתָּן אֵינוֹ מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים. וְכֵן אִם הָיָה שִׁתְיוֹ אוֹ עֶרְבוֹ פִּשְׁתָּן אוֹ צֶמֶר וְהַשְּׁאָר נוֹצָה שֶׁל עִזִּים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ אֵינוֹ מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים:


A hide that was not processed does not contract impurity because of blemishes. Similarly, a hide that is an unformed mass before implements were made from it, does not contract impurity because of blemishes. This can be inferred from Leviticus 13:52 which speaks of "leather articles." Nevertheless, all leather articles - whether flat or receptacles - are susceptible to impurity because of blemishes.


הָעוֹר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְעֻבָּד אֵינוֹ מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים. וְכֵן הָעוֹר שֶׁהוּא גּלֶם קֹדֶם שֶׁעָשָׂה מִמֶּנּוּ כֵּלִים אֵינוֹ מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כְּלִי הָעוֹר. וְכָל (ויקרא יג נב) "כְּלֵי הָעוֹר" בֵּין פְּשׁוּטֵיהֶן בֵּין מְקַבְּלֵיהֶן כָּל שֶׁהֵן מִטַּמְּאִין בִּנְגָעִים:


The hides of sea-animals do not contract impurity because of blemishes. If anything that grows on the earth was connected to such a hide, even a strand or string of wool or flax or the hide of an animal or a beast that was processed to any degree, and an implement was made, tzara'at blemishes can cause it to contract impurity, provided it was connected to it in a manner that garments are connected with regard to impurity.


עוֹרוֹת חַיָּה שֶׁבַּיָּם אֵין מִטַּמְּאִין בִּנְגָעִים. חִבֵּר לָהֶן מִן הַגָּדֵל בָּאָרֶץ אֲפִלּוּ חוּט אוֹ מְשִׁיחָה שֶׁל צֶמֶר אוֹ פִּשְׁתִּים אוֹ עוֹר בְּהֵמָה וְחַיָּה הַמְעֻבָּדִין כָּל שֶׁהוּא וְעָשָׂה מֵהֶן כֵּלִים מִטַּמְּאִין בִּנְגָעִים וְהוּא שֶׁיְּחַבְּרֶנּוּ לוֹ כְּדֶרֶךְ חִבּוּרֵי בְּגָדִים לְטֻמְאָה:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


All utensils that are fit to contract other types of impurity - even though they are not fit to contract the impurity that results when a zav treads on them, because they are not meant to be lied upon or sat upon - are susceptible to impurity because of blemishes. To cite examples: a ship's sail, a curtain, a barber's sheet, a mantle for scrolls, a belt and laces for shoes and sandals that are a gris wide. These all contract impurity because of blemishes. Needless to say, other articles do, e.g., pillows and cushions.

A leather drinking pouch and a carrying case should be inspected in their ordinary fashion. A blemish is considered to have increased in size when it spreads from their inner side to their outer side or from their outer side to their inner side. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations with regard to all two-sided leather utensils.


כָּל כְּלִי הָרָאוּי לְהִתְטַמֵּא בִּשְׁאָר הַטֻּמְאוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְטַמֵּא בְּמִדְרַס הַזָּב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא נַעֲשָׂה לְמִשְׁכָּב אוֹ לְמוֹשָׁב הֲרֵי זֶה מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים כְּגוֹן קֶלַע שֶׁל סְפִינָה וְהַפָּרֹכֶת וְשָׁבִיס שֶׁל שְׂבָכָה וּמִטְפְּחוֹת סְפָרִים וְהָאַבְנֵט וּרְצוּעוֹת מִנְעָל וְסַנְדָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן רֹחַב כִּגְרִיס. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן מִטַּמֵּא בִּנְגָעִים וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שְׁאָר הַכֵּלִים כְּגוֹן כָּרִים וּכְסָתוֹת. הַחֵמֶת וְהַתּוּרְמָל נִרְאִין כְּדַרְכָּן וּפוֹשֶׂה הַנֶּגַע מִתּוֹכָן לַאֲחוֹרֵיהֶן וּמֵאֲחוֹרֵיהֶן לְתוֹכָן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן מִכְּלֵי הָעוֹר הַכְּפוּלִין:


When a sheet is creased, its creases are straightened out and then its blemishes are inspected.


סָדִין הַמְקֻמָּט מַפְשִׁיטִין אֶת קְמָטָיו וְרוֹאִין אֶת נִגְעוֹ:


The thread for the warp and the woof - whether of wool or of linen - are susceptible to impurity because of blemishes immediately after it has been spun even though the linen has not been whitened, nor the wool soaked in hot water.

How much thread must be on a ball of thread for it to contract impurity because of blemishes? Enough to weave a cloth three fingerbreadths by three fingerbreadths from it, both the warp and the woof. This applies whether it was all warp threads or all woof threads. If the ball of thread was collected from separate threads, it is not susceptible to impurity because of blemishes.


הַשְּׁתִי וְהָעֵרֶב בֵּין שֶׁל צֶמֶר בֵּין שֶׁל פִּשְׁתָּן מִטַּמְּאִין בִּנְגָעִין מִיָּד מִשֶּׁיִּטָּווּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא לִבֵּן הַפִּשְׁתָּן וְלֹא שָׁלַק הַצֶּמֶר. וְכַמָּה יִהְיֶה בִּפְקַעַת שֶׁל טָווּי וְתִטָּמֵא בִּנְגָעִים, כְּדֵי לֶאֱרֹג מִמֶּנּוּ שָׁלֹשׁ עַל שָׁלֹשׁ שְׁתִי וָעֵרֶב, בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה כֻּלָּהּ שְׁתִי בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה כֻּלָּהּ עֵרֶב. הָיְתָה הַפְּקַעַת מְקֻבֶּצֶת מֵחוּטִים פְּסוּקִין אֵינָהּ מִטַּמְּאָה בִּנְגָעִים:


The following law applies when a) they are two balls of thread connected to each other with a thread, b) part of the warp thread is wound over the top frame of the loom and part over the bottom frame of the loom, or c) one side of a cloak is connected to the other with one strand. If a blemish is discovered on one of these entities, the other is pure even though the strand connects them.

If a blemish is discovered in the weaving thread and in the warp that has not yet been woven, even though a portion of the blemish exists on the cloth and a portion on the warp, it is impure. If, however, the blemish appears on the unwoven warp alone, the woven cloth is pure. If the blemish appears on the woven portion alone, the unwoven warp is pure.

If a blemish appears on a wrapping blanket, the strands protruding from it should be burnt with it. If the blemish appears on the strands, the wrapping blanket is pure. If the blemish spreads from the strands to the wrapping blanket, the wrapping blanket is impure.


שְׁתֵּי פְּקָעִיּוֹת הַמְעֻרוֹת זוֹ לָזוֹ בְּחוּט. וְכֵן הַשְּׁתִי שֶׁמִּקְצָתוֹ לָפוּף עַל הַכֹּבֶד הָעֶלְיוֹנָה וּמִקְצָתוֹ לָפוּף עַל הַכֹּבֶד הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה. וְכֵן שְׁנֵי דַּפֵּי חָלוּק שֶׁמְּעֵרוֹת בְּחוּט אֶחָד וְנִרְאָה הַנֶּגַע בְּאֶחָד מֵהֶן. הַשֵּׁנִי טָהוֹר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחוּט אֶחָד מְחַבֵּר בֵּינֵיהֶן. נִרְאָה הַנֶּגַע בְּנֶפֶשׁ הַמַּסֶּכֶת וּבַשְּׁתִי הָעוֹמֵד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּקְצָת הַנֶּגַע בַּבֶּגֶד וּמִקְצָתוֹ בַּשְּׁתִי הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא. נִרְאָה הַנֶּגַע בַּשְּׁתִי הָעוֹמֵד לְבַדּוֹ הָאָרוּג טָהוֹר. נִרְאָה בָּאָרוּג לְבַדּוֹ הַשְּׁתִי הָעוֹמֵד טָהוֹר. נִרְאָה בְּסָדִין שׂוֹרֵף אֶת הַנִּימִין. נִרְאָה בַּנִּימִין הַסָּדִין טָהוֹר. פָּשָׂה מִן הַנִּימִין לַסָּדִין הַסָּדִין טָמֵא:


When a blemish is discovered in a cloak, its borders may be saved. Even if the border is made of wool or linen, it can be saved and should not be burnt.


חָלוּק שֶׁנִּרְאָה בּוֹ נֶגַע מַצִּיל אֶת הָאִמְרִיוֹת שֶׁבּוֹ אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה הָאִימֶרֶת צֶמֶר אוֹ פִּשְׁתִּים מַצִּילָהּ וְאֵינָהּ נִשְׂרֶפֶת:


When a garment that was isolated because of a blemish was dyed or sold to a gentile, it is pure. Similarly, if it became mixed with others, they are all deemed pure. If the owner cut it up and made it into small strands, each one less than three fingerbreadths by three fingerbreadths, it is pure and it is permitted to benefit from it. If one of the strands was three fingerbreadths by three fingerbreadths and the blemish was discovered on it, it alone is impure.


בֶּגֶד מֻסְגָּר שֶׁצְּבָעוֹ אוֹ מְכָרוֹ לְעַכּוּ''ם טָהוֹר. וְכֵן אִם נִתְעָרֵב בַּאֲחֵרִים כֻּלָּן טְהוֹרִים. קְצָצוֹ וְעָשָׂהוּ מוֹכִין פָּחוֹת מִשָּׁלֹשׁ עַל שָׁלֹשׁ טָהוֹר וּמֻתָּר בַּהֲנָיָתוֹ. הָיְתָה בָּהֶן אַחַת שָׁלֹשׁ עַל שָׁלֹשׁ וְנִרְאָה בָּהּ נֶגַע הִיא לְבַדָּהּ טְמֵאָה:


When a garment that had been definitively deemed impure became mixed with others, they are all considered impure and must be burned. This applies even if one is mixed with several thousands. Similarly, even if it was cut up into strands, they are all impure and it is forbidden to benefit from them.


בֶּגֶד מֻחְלָט שֶׁנִּתְעָרֵב בַּאֲחֵרִים כֻּלָּן טְמֵאִין וְיִשָּׂרְפוּ אֲפִלּוּ אֶחָד בְּכַמָּה אֲלָפִים. וְכֵן אִם קְצָצָן וַעֲשָׂאָהוּ מוֹכִין הֲרֵי הֵן טְמֵאִין וְאָסוּר בַּהֲנָיָתָן:


With regard to ritual impurity, a garment or a leather utensil or threads for the warp or the woof that were isolated or deemed impure is considered a primary category of ritual impurity and is analogous to a person who contracted tzara'at in all respects. It imparts impurity when touched, when carried, when brought into a building, and imparts impurity to couches and seats on which it is placed even if they are under a stone.

What is implied? When one brings even an olive-sized portion of a garment or a leather utensil or threads for the warp or the woof that were blemished into a building that is ritually pure, everything in the building - humans and utensils - become primary derivatives of impurity. Similarly, if there is a couch or a seat located under a stone and one places an olive-sized portion on the stone, the couch or the seat becomes impure.


אֶחָד בֶּגֶד אוֹ כְּלִי עוֹר אוֹ שְׁתִי אוֹ עֵרֶב הַמֻּסְגָּר אוֹ הַמֻּחְלָט לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאָה הֲרֵי הוּא אָב מֵאֲבוֹת הַטֻּמְאוֹת כְּאָדָם מְצֹרָע לְכָל דָּבָר מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וּבְבִיאָה וְעוֹשֶׂה מִשְׁכָּב וּמוֹשָׁב אֲפִלּוּ מִתַּחַת הָאֶבֶן. כֵּיצַד. בֶּגֶד מְנֻגָּע אוֹ שְׁתִי אוֹ עֵרֶב אוֹ כְּלֵי עוֹר הַמְנֻגָּעִין שֶׁהִכְנִיס מֵהֶן אֲפִלּוּ כְּזַיִת לְבַיִת טָהוֹר נִטְמָא כָּל אֲשֶׁר בַּבַּיִת בֵּין אָדָם בֵּין כֵּלִים וְנַעֲשׂוּ כֻּלָּן רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה. וְכֵן מִשְׁכָּב וּמוֹשָׁב הַמֻּנָּח תַּחַת הָאֶבֶן וְהִנִּיחַ כְּזַיִת מֵהֶן לְמַעְלָה מִן הָאֶבֶן נִטְמָא הַמִּשְׁכָּב אוֹ הַמּוֹשָׁב:


When a cloth is three fingerbreadths by three fingerbreadths even though it does not possess the mass of an olive-sized portion, it renders a house that was pure impure when brought inside. If it was the size of several olive-sized portions, once an olive-size portion is brought into a building that is pure, it renders it impure.

Although all the measures are halachot transmitted to Moses at Sinai there is an allusion in the Torah to the concept that an olive-sized portion of a blemished garment conveys impurity. For Leviticus 14:54-55 states: "For all blemishes of tzara'at, for a netek, for the tzara'at of garments and of houses." An association is made between blemishes affecting humans and those affecting garments and houses. Now a person afflicted by tzara'at is equated with a human corpse, as Numbers 12:12 states: "Let her not be as a corpse." Hence, just as the minimum measure for a portion of a human corpse that imparts impurity is an olive-sized portion, the minimum measure for these is an olive-sized portion.


מַטְלִית שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ שָׁלֹשׁ עַל שָׁלֹשׁ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ כְּזַיִת כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּכְנַס רֻבָּהּ לְבַיִת טָהוֹר טִמְּאַתּוּ. הָיוּ בָּהּ כַּמָּה זֵיתִים כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּכְנַס מִמֶּנָּה כְּזַיְת לְבַיִת טָהוֹר נִטְמָא. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּל הַשִּׁעוּרִין הֲלָכָה לְמשֶׁה מִסִּינַי הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא יד נד) "לְכָל נֶגַע הַצָּרַעַת וְלַנָּתֶק" (ויקרא יד נה) "וּלְצָרַעַת הַבֶּגֶד וְלַבָּיִת" הִקִּישׁ נִגְעֵי אָדָם לְנִגְעֵי בְּגָדִים וּבָתִּים וְהִשְׁוָה הַמְצֹרָע לְמֵת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יב יב) "אַל נָא תְהִי כַּמֵּת" מָה הַמֵּת בִּכְזַיִת אַף אֵלּוּ בִּכְזַיִת:


Blemished garments are sent outside a city, whether it is surrounded by a wall or not. This reflects a stringency relevant to garments over humans.


בְּגָדִים הַמְנֻגָּעִים מְשַׁלְּחִין אוֹתָן חוּץ לָעִיר בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה מֻקֶּפֶת חוֹמָה בֵּין שֶׁאֵינָהּ מֻקֶּפֶת. וְזֶה חֹמֶר בִּבְגָדִים מִבְּאָדָם: