אל משה ואל אהרן בעבור כי על פי הכהן יהיה כל ריב וכל נגע (דברים כא ה) היה הדבור גם אל אהרן או למשה שיאמר לאהרן על דעת רבותינו (ריש מכילתא) ולא אמר בכאן "דבר אל בני ישראל" כי הכהנים בראותם הטמאים יכריחום להסגר ולהטהר ואמר בפרשת הטהרה (להלן יד א ב) אל משה לאמר זאת תהיה תורת המצורע כי אין צריך להזהיר ישראל בטהרה וגם לא לכהן להקריב הקרבנות כי ברצון יעשו כן ובפרשת הזב אמר (שם טו ב) דברו אל בני ישראל ואמרתם אליהם בעבור שהוא דבר סתר ואין מכיר בו יזהירם שיודיע כל אחד חליו לכהן: AND THE ETERNAL SPOKE UNTO MOSES AND UNTO AARON. Because it is according to the word of the priest that every strife and every plague shall be,46Deuteronomy 21:5. The following is the law of plagues or leprosy, which is the subject of the coming sections: “All are qualified to inspect the leprosy-signs, but only a priest may pronounce them impure or pure” (Negaim 3:1). If the priest was unskilled in these laws, a learned person would tell him to say “pure” or “impure” (ibid.). — It should also be pointed out that while tzara’ath is generally translated as “leprosy” and as such represents a physical disarray in the body of the person, in Jewish tradition it also carries with it a moral and spiritual meaning as illumined further on by Ramban in Verse 47. therefore this communication came also to Aaron. Or it may mean that G-d spoke to Moses that he should tell it to Aaron, as our Rabbis have explained.47Mechilta, at beginning. It does not state here, “speak unto the children of Israel,”48As it says in the case of the offerings (above, 1:2, and elsewhere). because it is the priests [who have the duty] when they see the impure [with leprosy] to force them to be quarantined and be cleansed. Now in the section dealing with cleansing of the leper it says, And the Eternal spoke unto Moses, saying: This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing,49Further, 14:1-2. [and there it mentions neither “speak to the children of Israel,” nor to the priests], because there is no need to urge the Israelite to become cleansed [when his plague of leprosy is healed], nor to urge the priest to perform the rites of the offerings, as they do so willingly. In the section dealing with a person suffering from an issue it does say, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them,50Ibid., 15:2. because since the matter is of an intimate nature, unknown to others, He admonished them that they should each inform the priest of their sickness.51In view of the fact that decisions of purity and impurity in cases where a man or woman saw a flux was not dependent upon the pronouncement of the priest, unlike the law in cases of leprosy (see Note 46 above), Ramban’s words must be understood in the following sense: Since the priest has occasion to perform the Service in the Sanctuary, and even when he is outside it, he may eat terumah (the heave-offering), which he is forbidden to eat when impure, therefore the Israelite who is suffering from a flux and thus rendered impure must let the priest know of his condition, so that he should not be defiled on account of him. See my Hebrew commentary, Vol. II, p. 534 (beginning with the fifth edition).