Leviticus – Select a Chapter
12:1 Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:
יב:א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃
2 Speak to B’nei Yisrael thus: When a woman at childbirth bears a male, she shall be unclean seven days; she shall be unclean as at the time of her menstrual infirmity.
ב דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אִשָּׁה כִּי תַזְרִיעַ וְיָלְדָה זָכָר וְטָמְאָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים כִּימֵי נִדַּת דְּוׂתָהּ תִּטְמָא׃
3 On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
u-va-YOM ha-sh’-mee-NEE yi-MOL b’-SAR or-la-TO
ג וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי יִמּוֹל בְּשַׂר עָרְלָתוֹ׃
12:3 On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised
This chapter deals with the laws of purity applying to a woman after childbirth. In this context, the Bible also mentions the law of circumcision, the removal of the baby boy’s foreskin on the eighth day of his life. Circumcision was the first commandment given to Avraham, as detailed in Sefer Bereishit chapter 17. That chapter begins with the covenant Hashem makes with Avraham, promising that He will be an everlasting God to Avraham and his descendants, that Avraham will merit numerous offspring, and that Hashem will give them the Land of Israel as an eternal inheritance. To this very day, the circumcision of a male descendant of Avraham draws the new child into the covenant with Hashem, and serves as a constant reminder of God’s promise to remain with His people and give them Eretz Yisrael.Comment
4 She shall remain in a state of blood purification for thirty-three days: she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary until her period of purification is completed.
ד וּשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּשֵׁב בִּדְמֵי טָהֳרָה בְּכָל־קֹדֶשׁ לֹא־תִגָּע וְאֶל־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ לֹא תָבֹא עַד־מְלֹאת יְמֵי טָהֳרָהּ׃
5 If she bears a female, she shall be unclean two weeks as during her menstruation, and she shall remain in a state of blood purification for sixty-six days.
ה וְאִם־נְקֵבָה תֵלֵד וְטָמְאָה שְׁבֻעַיִם כְּנִדָּתָהּ וְשִׁשִּׁים יוֹם וְשֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּשֵׁב עַל־דְּמֵי טָהֳרָה׃
6 On the completion of her period of purification, for either son or daughter, she shall bring to the Kohen, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, a lamb in its first year for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering.
7 He shall offer it before Hashem and make expiation on her behalf; she shall then be clean from her flow of blood. Such are the rituals concerning her who bears a child, male or female.
ז וְהִקְרִיבוֹ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וְכִפֶּר עָלֶיהָ וְטָהֲרָה מִמְּקֹר דָּמֶיהָ זֹאת תּוֹרַת הַיֹּלֶדֶת לַזָּכָר אוֹ לַנְּקֵבָה׃
8 If, however, her means do not suffice for a sheep, she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. The Kohen shall make expiation on her behalf, and she shall be clean.
יג:א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל־אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר׃
2 When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling, a rash, or a discoloration, and it develops into a scaly affection on the skin of his body, it shall be reported to Aharon the Kohen or to one of his sons, the Kohanim.
3 The Kohen shall examine the affection on the skin of his body: if hair in the affected patch has turned white and the affection appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is a leprous affection; when the Kohen sees it, he shall pronounce him unclean.
4 But if it is a white discoloration on the skin of his body which does not appear to be deeper than the skin and the hair in it has not turned white, the Kohen shall isolate the affected person for seven days.
6 On the seventh day the Kohen shall examine him again: if the affection has faded and has not spread on the skin, the Kohen shall pronounce him clean. It is a rash; he shall wash his clothes, and he shall be clean.
9 When a person has a scaly affection, it shall be reported to the Kohen.
10 If the Kohen finds on the skin a white swelling which has turned some hair white, with a patch of undiscolored flesh in the swelling,
11 it is chronic leprosy on the skin of his body, and the Kohen shall pronounce him unclean; he need not isolate him, for he is unclean.
יא צָרַעַת נוֹשֶׁנֶת הִוא בְּעוֹר בְּשָׂרוֹ וְטִמְּאוֹ הַכֹּהֵן לֹא יַסְגִּרֶנּוּ כִּי טָמֵא הוּא׃
12 If the eruption spreads out over the skin so that it covers all the skin of the affected person from head to foot, wherever the Kohen can see
יב וְאִם־פָּרוֹחַ תִּפְרַח הַצָּרַעַת בָּעוֹר וְכִסְּתָה הַצָּרַעַת אֵת כָּל־עוֹר הַנֶּגַע מֵרֹאשׁוֹ וְעַד־רַגְלָיו לְכָל־מַרְאֵה עֵינֵי הַכֹּהֵן׃
13 if the Kohen sees that the eruption has covered the whole body—he shall pronounce the affected person clean; he is clean, for he has turned all white.
14 But as soon as undiscolored flesh appears in it, he shall be unclean;
יד וּבְיוֹם הֵרָאוֹת בּוֹ בָּשָׂר חַי יִטְמָא׃
15 when the Kohen sees the undiscolored flesh, he shall pronounce him unclean. The undiscolored flesh is unclean; it is leprosy.
טו וְרָאָה הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־הַבָּשָׂר הַחַי וְטִמְּאוֹ הַבָּשָׂר הַחַי טָמֵא הוּא צָרַעַת הוּא׃
16 But if the undiscolored flesh again turns white, he shall come to the Kohen,
18 When an inflammation appears on the skin of one’s body and it heals,
יח וּבָשָׂר כִּי־יִהְיֶה בוֹ־בְעֹרוֹ שְׁחִין וְנִרְפָּא׃
19 and a white swelling or a white discoloration streaked with red develops where the inflammation was, he shall present himself to the Kohen.
יט וְהָיָה בִּמְקוֹם הַשְּׁחִין שְׂאֵת לְבָנָה אוֹ בַהֶרֶת לְבָנָה אֲדַמְדָּמֶת וְנִרְאָה אֶל־הַכֹּהֵן׃
20 If the Kohen finds that it appears lower than the rest of the skin and that the hair in it has turned white, the Kohen shall pronounce him unclean; it is a leprous affection that has broken out in the inflammation.
22 If it should spread in the skin, the Kohen shall pronounce him unclean; it is an affection.
כב וְאִם־פָּשֹׂה תִפְשֶׂה בָּעוֹר וְטִמֵּא הַכֹּהֵן אֹתוֹ נֶגַע הִוא׃
23 But if the discoloration remains stationary, not having spread, it is the scar of the inflammation; the Kohen shall pronounce him clean.
כג וְאִם־תַּחְתֶּיהָ תַּעֲמֹד הַבַּהֶרֶת לֹא פָשָׂתָה צָרֶבֶת הַשְּׁחִין הִוא וְטִהֲרוֹ הַכֹּהֵן׃
24 When the skin of one’s body sustains a burn by fire, and the patch from the burn is a discoloration, either white streaked with red, or white,
כד אוֹ בָשָׂר כִּי־יִהְיֶה בְעֹרוֹ מִכְוַת־אֵשׁ וְהָיְתָה מִחְיַת הַמִּכְוָה בַּהֶרֶת לְבָנָה אֲדַמְדֶּמֶת אוֹ לְבָנָה׃
25 the Kohen shall examine it. If some hair has turned white in the discoloration, which itself appears to go deeper than the skin, it is leprosy that has broken out in the burn. The Kohen shall pronounce him unclean; it is a leprous affection.
28 But if the discoloration has remained stationary, not having spread on the skin, and it is faded, it is the swelling from the burn. The Kohen shall pronounce him clean, for it is the scar of the burn.
כח וְאִם־תַּחְתֶּיהָ תַעֲמֹד הַבַּהֶרֶת לֹא־פָשְׂתָה בָעוֹר וְהִוא כֵהָה שְׂאֵת הַמִּכְוָה הִוא וְטִהֲרוֹ הַכֹּהֵן כִּי־צָרֶבֶת הַמִּכְוָה הִוא׃
29 If a man or a woman has an affection on the head or in the beard,
כט וְאִישׁ אוֹ אִשָּׁה כִּי־יִהְיֶה בוֹ נָגַע בְּרֹאשׁ אוֹ בְזָקָן׃
30 the Kohen shall examine the affection. If it appears to go deeper than the skin and there is thin yellow hair in it, the Kohen shall pronounce him unclean; it is a scall, a scaly eruption in the hair or beard.
31 But if the Kohen finds that the scall affection does not appear to go deeper than the skin, yet there is no black hair in it, the Kohen shall isolate the person with the scall affection for seven days.
32 On the seventh day the Kohen shall examine the affection. If the scall has not spread and no yellow hair has appeared in it, and the scall does not appear to go deeper than the skin,
33 the person with the scall shall shave himself, but without shaving the scall; the Kohen shall isolate him for another seven days.
לג וְהִתְגַּלָּח וְאֶת־הַנֶּתֶק לֹא יְגַלֵּחַ וְהִסְגִּיר הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־הַנֶּתֶק שִׁבְעַת יָמִים שֵׁנִית׃
34 On the seventh day the Kohen shall examine the scall. If the scall has not spread on the skin, and does not appear to go deeper than the skin, the Kohen shall pronounce him clean; he shall wash his clothes, and he shall be clean.
35 If, however, the scall should spread on the skin after he has been pronounced clean,
לה וְאִם־פָּשֹׂה יִפְשֶׂה הַנֶּתֶק בָּעוֹר אַחֲרֵי טָהֳרָתוֹ׃
37 But if the scall has remained unchanged in color, and black hair has grown in it, the scall is healed; he is clean. The Kohen shall pronounce him clean.
38 If a man or a woman has the skin of the body streaked with white discolorations,
לח וְאִישׁ אוֹ־אִשָּׁה כִּי־יִהְיֶה בְעוֹר־בְּשָׂרָם בֶּהָרֹת בֶּהָרֹת לְבָנֹת׃
39 and the Kohen sees that the discolorations on the skin of the body are of a dull white, it is a tetter broken out on the skin; he is clean.
40 If a man loses the hair of his head and becomes bald, he is clean.
מ וְאִישׁ כִּי יִמָּרֵט רֹאשׁוֹ קֵרֵחַ הוּא טָהוֹר הוּא׃
41 If he loses the hair on the front part of his head and becomes bald at the forehead, he is clean.
מא וְאִם מִפְּאַת פָּנָיו יִמָּרֵט רֹאשׁוֹ גִּבֵּחַ הוּא טָהוֹר הוּא׃
42 But if a white affection streaked with red appears on the bald part in the front or at the back of the head, it is a scaly eruption that is spreading over the bald part in the front or at the back of the head.
מב וְכִי־יִהְיֶה בַקָּרַחַת אוֹ בַגַּבַּחַת נֶגַע לָבָן אֲדַמְדָּם צָרַעַת פֹּרַחַת הִוא בְּקָרַחְתּוֹ אוֹ בְגַבַּחְתּוֹ׃
43 The Kohen shall examine him: if the swollen affection on the bald part in the front or at the back of his head is white streaked with red, like the leprosy of body skin in appearance,
מג וְרָאָה אֹתוֹ הַכֹּהֵן וְהִנֵּה שְׂאֵת־הַנֶּגַע לְבָנָה אֲדַמְדֶּמֶת בְּקָרַחְתּוֹ אוֹ בְגַבַּחְתּוֹ כְּמַרְאֵה צָרַעַת עוֹר בָּשָׂר׃
44 the man is leprous; he is unclean. The Kohen shall pronounce him unclean; he has the affection on his head.
מד אִישׁ־צָרוּעַ הוּא טָמֵא הוּא טַמֵּא יְטַמְּאֶנּוּ הַכֹּהֵן בְּרֹאשׁוֹ נִגְעוֹ׃
45 As for the person with a leprous affection, his clothes shall be rent, his head shall be left bare, and he shall cover over his upper lip; and he shall call out, “Unclean! Unclean!”
מה וְהַצָּרוּעַ אֲשֶׁר־בּוֹ הַנֶּגַע בְּגָדָיו יִהְיוּ פְרֻמִים וְרֹאשׁוֹ יִהְיֶה פָרוּעַ וְעַל־שָׂפָם יַעְטֶה וְטָמֵא טָמֵא יִקְרָא׃
46 He shall be unclean as long as the disease is on him. Being unclean, he shall dwell apart; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.
מו כָּל־יְמֵי אֲשֶׁר הַנֶּגַע בּוֹ יִטְמָא טָמֵא הוּא בָּדָד יֵשֵׁב מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה מוֹשָׁבוֹ׃
47 When an eruptive affection occurs in a cloth of wool or linen fabric,
מז וְהַבֶּגֶד כִּי־יִהְיֶה בוֹ נֶגַע צָרָעַת בְּבֶגֶד צֶמֶר אוֹ בְּבֶגֶד פִּשְׁתִּים׃
48 in the warp or in the woof of the linen or the wool, or in a skin or in anything made of skin;
מח אוֹ בִשְׁתִי אוֹ בְעֵרֶב לַפִּשְׁתִּים וְלַצָּמֶר אוֹ בְעוֹר אוֹ בְּכָל־מְלֶאכֶת עוֹר׃
49 if the affection in the cloth or the skin, in the warp or the woof, or in any article of skin, is streaky green or red, it is an eruptive affection. It shall be shown to the Kohen;
מט וְהָיָה הַנֶּגַע יְרַקְרַק אוֹ אֲדַמְדָּם בַּבֶּגֶד אוֹ בָעוֹר אוֹ־בַשְּׁתִי אוֹ־בָעֵרֶב אוֹ בְכָל־כְּלִי־עוֹר נֶגַע צָרַעַת הוּא וְהָרְאָה אֶת־הַכֹּהֵן׃
50 and the Kohen, after examining the affection, shall isolate the affected article for seven days.
נ וְרָאָה הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־הַנָּגַע וְהִסְגִּיר אֶת־הַנֶּגַע שִׁבְעַת יָמִים׃
51 On the seventh day he shall examine the affection: if the affection has spread in the cloth—whether in the warp or the woof, or in the skin, for whatever purpose the skin may be used—the affection is a malignant eruption; it is unclean.
נא וְרָאָה אֶת־הַנֶּגַע בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי כִּי־פָשָׂה הַנֶּגַע בַּבֶּגֶד אוֹ־בַשְּׁתִי אוֹ־בָעֵרֶב אוֹ בָעוֹר לְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־יֵעָשֶׂה הָעוֹר לִמְלָאכָה צָרַעַת מַמְאֶרֶת הַנֶּגַע טָמֵא הוּא׃
52 The cloth—whether warp or woof in wool or linen, or any article of skin—in which the affection is found, shall be burned, for it is a malignant eruption; it shall be consumed in fire.
נב וְשָׂרַף אֶת־הַבֶּגֶד אוֹ אֶת־הַשְּׁתִי אוֹ אֶת־הָעֵרֶב בַּצֶּמֶר אוֹ בַפִּשְׁתִּים אוֹ אֶת־כָּל־כְּלִי הָעוֹר אֲשֶׁר־יִהְיֶה בוֹ הַנָּגַע כִּי־צָרַעַת מַמְאֶרֶת הִוא בָּאֵשׁ תִּשָּׂרֵף׃
53 But if the Kohen sees that the affection in the cloth—whether in warp or in woof, or in any article of skin—has not spread,
נג וְאִם יִרְאֶה הַכֹּהֵן וְהִנֵּה לֹא־פָשָׂה הַנֶּגַע בַּבֶּגֶד אוֹ בַשְּׁתִי אוֹ בָעֵרֶב אוֹ בְּכָל־כְּלִי־עוֹר׃
54 the Kohen shall order the affected article washed, and he shall isolate it for another seven days.
נד וְצִוָּה הַכֹּהֵן וְכִבְּסוּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר־בּוֹ הַנָּגַע וְהִסְגִּירוֹ שִׁבְעַת־יָמִים שֵׁנִית׃
55 And if, after the affected article has been washed, the Kohen sees that the affection has not changed color and that it has not spread, it is unclean. It shall be consumed in fire; it is a fret, whether on its inner side or on its outer side.
נה וְרָאָה הַכֹּהֵן אַחֲרֵי הֻכַּבֵּס אֶת־הַנֶּגַע וְהִנֵּה לֹא־הָפַךְ הַנֶּגַע אֶת־עֵינוֹ וְהַנֶּגַע לֹא־פָשָׂה טָמֵא הוּא בָּאֵשׁ תִּשְׂרְפֶנּוּ פְּחֶתֶת הִוא בְּקָרַחְתּוֹ אוֹ בְגַבַּחְתּוֹ׃
56 But if the Kohen sees that the affected part, after it has been washed, is faded, he shall tear it out from the cloth or skin, whether in the warp or in the woof;
נו וְאִם רָאָה הַכֹּהֵן וְהִנֵּה כֵּהָה הַנֶּגַע אַחֲרֵי הֻכַּבֵּס אֹתוֹ וְקָרַע אֹתוֹ מִן־הַבֶּגֶד אוֹ מִן־הָעוֹר אוֹ מִן־הַשְּׁתִי אוֹ מִן־הָעֵרֶב׃
57 and if it occurs again in the cloth—whether in warp or in woof—or in any article of skin, it is a wild growth; the affected article shall be consumed in fire.
נז וְאִם־תֵּרָאֶה עוֹד בַּבֶּגֶד אוֹ־בַשְּׁתִי אוֹ־בָעֵרֶב אוֹ בְכָל־כְּלִי־עוֹר פֹּרַחַת הִוא בָּאֵשׁ תִּשְׂרְפֶנּוּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר־בּוֹ הַנָּגַע׃
58 If, however, the affection disappears from the cloth—warp or woof—or from any article of skin that has been washed, it shall be washed again, and it shall be clean.
נח וְהַבֶּגֶד אוֹ־הַשְּׁתִי אוֹ־הָעֵרֶב אוֹ־כָל־כְּלִי הָעוֹר אֲשֶׁר תְּכַבֵּס וְסָר מֵהֶם הַנָּגַע וְכֻבַּס שֵׁנִית וְטָהֵר׃
59 Such is the procedure for eruptive affections of cloth, woolen or linen, in warp or in woof, or of any article of skin, for pronouncing it clean or unclean.
ZOT to-RAT ne-ga tza-RA-at BE-ged ha-TZE-mer O ha-pish-TEEM O ha-sh’-TEE O ha-AY-rev O kol k’-lee OR l’-ta-ha-RO O l’-ta-m’-O
נט זֹאת תּוֹרַת נֶגַע־צָרַעַת בֶּגֶד הַצֶּמֶר אוֹ הַפִּשְׁתִּים אוֹ הַשְּׁתִי אוֹ הָעֵרֶב אוֹ כָּל־כְּלִי־עוֹר לְטַהֲרוֹ אוֹ לְטַמְּאוֹ׃
13:59 Such is the procedure for eruptive affections
This chapter details with the spiritual disease known as tzaraat (צרעת), similar in presentation to leprosy, and the subsequent process of purification from this ailment. Tzaraat is understood to be a punishment for a number of sins, most famously the sin of lashon hara (לשון הרע), or ‘slander.’ Tzaraat could appear on a person’s skin, clothing or home. Ramban emphasizes that it is absolutely supernatural for inanimate objects to display signs of illness. Although lashon hara is a sin not restricted to the Land of Israel, the miraculous spiritual malady of tzaraat could occur only in the land where God’s presence is manifest so clearly. This demonstrates that the spiritual stakes are higher for those who live in the Holy Land. We must always remember that one is held more accountable, and one’s actions have greater significance, in Eretz Yisrael.2 comments