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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 1 (Positive) -- Command: 102 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 1 - The 248 Positive Commandments of the Tora

102 - GARMENTS CONTAMINATED BY LEPROSY


Leviticus 13:47-59 -- 47 "Also, if a garment has a leprous plague in it, whether it is a woolen garment or a linen garment, 48 whether it is in the warp or woof of linen or wool, whether in leather or in anything made of leather, 49 and if the plague is greenish or reddish in the garment or in the leather, whether in the warp or in the woof, or in anything made of leather, it is a leprous plague and shall be shown to the priest. 50 The priest shall examine the plague and isolate that which has the plague seven days. 51 And he shall examine the plague on the seventh day. If the plague has spread in the garment, either in the warp or in the woof, in the leather or in anything made of leather, the plague is an active leprosy. It is unclean. 52 He shall therefore burn that garment in which is the plague, whether warp or woof, in wool or in linen, or anything of leather, for it is an active leprosy; the garment shall be burned in the fire. 53 But if the priest examines it and indeed the plague has not spread in the garment, either in the warp or in the woof, or in anything made of leather, 54 then the priest shall command that they wash the thing in which is the plague; and he shall isolate it another seven days. 55 Then the priest shall examine the plague after it has been washed; and indeed if the plague has not changed its color, though the plague has not spread, it is unclean, and you shall burn it in the fire; it continues eating away, whether the damage is outside or inside. 56 If the priest examines it, and indeed the plague has faded after washing it, then he shall tear it out of the garment, whether out of the warp or out of the woof, or out of the leather. 57 But if it appears again in the garment, either in the warp or in the woof, or in anything made of leather, it is a spreading plague; you shall burn with fire that in which is the plague. 58 And if you wash the garment, either warp or woof, or whatever is made of leather, if the plague has disappeared from it, then it shall be washed a second time, and shall be clean. 59 This is the law of the leprous plague in a garment of wool or linen, either in the warp or woof, or in anything made of leather, to pronounce it clean or to pronounce it unclean.”

“All agree that leprosy is a punishment for slander. The disease begins in the walls of the houses. If the sinner repents, the object is attained; if he persists in his disobedience, the disease affects his bed and house furniture; if he still continues to sin, the leprosy attacks his own garments, and then his body. This is a miracle received in our nation by Tradition, in the same manner as the effect of the trial of a faithless wife.”*

* See Pos. Comm. 223; Moreh Nebuchim III, 47

In the Mishneh Torah Maimonides writes: “… Now it is of such offence that He has admonished us in the Torah in the words, "Take heed in an outbreak of leprosy… Remember what the LORD your God did to Miriam on the way when you came out of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 24:8-9). It is as if He had said, ‘Consider what befell Miriam the prophetess, who spoke against her own brother – she who was his senior in years, having fondled him from his childhood upon her knees, and having further exposed herself to danger to accomplish his rescue from the waters of the Nile, (Exodus 2: 4- 7), and who did not speak against him in dispraise, but merely erred by likening him to other prophets (Numbers 12: 2); neither did Moses take umbrage at her words, even as it is said, Now the man Moses was very humble (ibid., 3): notwithstanding all this she was at once stricken with leprosy. How much the more should this be true in the case of wicked, imprudent people who repeatedly presume to speak against that which is great and wondrous.’ It is therefore incumbent upon him who would rectify his ways to shun their assemblies or any converse with them, so that he may thus escape falling into the net of the wicked or of their follies.”*

* Mishneh Torah, Tohorah, Hilchoth Tumath Tzar’ath XVI, 10

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