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Parashat Metzora

April 16, 2016/8 Nissan 5776

Congregation Rodeph Sholom

Source Sheet by Rabbi Sari Laufer

  1. (מה) וְהַצָּר֜וּעַ אֲשֶׁר־בּ֣וֹ הַנֶּ֗גַע בְּגָדָ֞יו יִהְי֤וּ פְרֻמִים֙ וְרֹאשׁוֹ֙ יִהְיֶ֣ה פָר֔וּעַ וְעַל־שָׂפָ֖ם יַעְטֶ֑ה וְטָמֵ֥א ׀ טָמֵ֖א יִקְרָֽא׃ (מו) כָּל־יְמֵ֞י אֲשֶׁ֨ר הַנֶּ֥גַע בּ֛וֹ יִטְמָ֖א טָמֵ֣א ה֑וּא בָּדָ֣ד יֵשֵׁ֔ב מִח֥וּץ לַֽמַּחֲנֶ֖ה מוֹשָׁבֽוֹ׃ (ס) 

    (45) And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and the hair of his head shall go loose, and he shall cover his upper lip, and shall cry: ‘Unclean, unclean.’ (46) All the days wherein the plague is in him he shall be unclean; he is unclean; he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his dwelling be. 

  2. מועד קטן ה׳ א:מ״ז-נ״ד
    (ויקרא יג, מה) וטמא טמא יקרא טומאה קוראה לו ואומרת לו פרוש וכן אמר רבי עוזיאל בר בריה דרבי עוזיאל רבה טומאה קוראה לו ואומרת לו פרוש והאי להכי הוא דאתא ההוא מיבעי ליה לכדתניא וטמא טמא יקרא צריך להודיע צערו לרבים ורבים מבקשין עליו רחמים

    And he shall cry, Unclean! Unclean! [That is], impurity cries out [to the passer-by] and tells him: Keep off! And R. Uzziel, the grandson of the elder Rav Uzziel, said the same, [that] impurity cries out [to the passer-by] and tells him: Keep off!


    But, was this [text] intended for this lesson? It is required for what has been taught: And he shall cry, Unclean! Unclean! [This teaches that] one must make his distress known to many, that many pray for mercy on his behalf.


  3. (ב) זֹ֤את תִּֽהְיֶה֙ תּוֹרַ֣ת הַמְּצֹרָ֔ע בְּי֖וֹם טָהֳרָת֑וֹ וְהוּבָ֖א אֶל־הַכֹּהֵֽן׃ (ג) וְיָצָא֙ הַכֹּהֵ֔ן אֶל־מִח֖וּץ לַֽמַּחֲנֶ֑ה וְרָאָה֙ הַכֹּהֵ֔ן וְהִנֵּ֛ה נִרְפָּ֥א נֶֽגַע־הַצָּרַ֖עַת מִן־הַצָּרֽוּעַ׃ (ד) וְצִוָּה֙ הַכֹּהֵ֔ן וְלָקַ֧ח לַמִּטַּהֵ֛ר שְׁתֵּֽי־צִפֳּרִ֥ים חַיּ֖וֹת טְהֹר֑וֹת וְעֵ֣ץ אֶ֔רֶז וּשְׁנִ֥י תוֹלַ֖עַת וְאֵזֹֽב׃ (ה) וְצִוָּה֙ הַכֹּהֵ֔ן וְשָׁחַ֖ט אֶת־הַצִּפּ֣וֹר הָאֶחָ֑ת אֶל־כְּלִי־חֶ֖רֶשׂ עַל־מַ֥יִם חַיִּֽים׃ (ו) אֶת־הַצִּפֹּ֤ר הַֽחַיָּה֙ יִקַּ֣ח אֹתָ֔הּ וְאֶת־עֵ֥ץ הָאֶ֛רֶז וְאֶת־שְׁנִ֥י הַתּוֹלַ֖עַת וְאֶת־הָאֵזֹ֑ב וְטָבַ֨ל אוֹתָ֜ם וְאֵ֣ת ׀ הַצִּפֹּ֣ר הַֽחַיָּ֗ה בְּדַם֙ הַצִּפֹּ֣ר הַשְּׁחֻטָ֔ה עַ֖ל הַמַּ֥יִם הַֽחַיִּֽים׃ (ז) וְהִזָּ֗ה עַ֧ל הַמִּטַּהֵ֛ר מִן־הַצָּרַ֖עַת שֶׁ֣בַע פְּעָמִ֑ים וְטִ֣הֲר֔וֹ וְשִׁלַּ֛ח אֶת־הַצִּפֹּ֥ר הַֽחַיָּ֖ה עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַשָּׂדֶֽה׃ (ח) וְכִבֶּס֩ הַמִּטַּהֵ֨ר אֶת־בְּגָדָ֜יו וְגִלַּ֣ח אֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָר֗וֹ וְרָחַ֤ץ בַּמַּ֙יִם֙ וְטָהֵ֔ר וְאַחַ֖ר יָב֣וֹא אֶל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֑ה וְיָשַׁ֛ב מִח֥וּץ לְאָהֳל֖וֹ שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִֽים׃ (ט) וְהָיָה֩ בַיּ֨וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֜י יְגַלַּ֣ח אֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָר֗וֹ אֶת־רֹאשׁ֤וֹ וְאֶת־זְקָנוֹ֙ וְאֵת֙ גַּבֹּ֣ת עֵינָ֔יו וְאֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָר֖וֹ יְגַלֵּ֑חַ וְכִבֶּ֣ס אֶת־בְּגָדָ֗יו וְרָחַ֧ץ אֶת־בְּשָׂר֛וֹ בַּמַּ֖יִם וְטָהֵֽר׃ (י) וּבַיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁמִינִ֗י יִקַּ֤ח שְׁנֵֽי־כְבָשִׂים֙ תְּמִימִ֔ים וְכַבְשָׂ֥ה אַחַ֛ת בַּת־שְׁנָתָ֖הּ תְּמִימָ֑ה וּשְׁלֹשָׁ֣ה עֶשְׂרֹנִ֗ים סֹ֤לֶת מִנְחָה֙ בְּלוּלָ֣ה בַשֶּׁ֔מֶן וְלֹ֥ג אֶחָ֖ד שָֽׁמֶן׃ (יא) וְהֶעֱמִ֞יד הַכֹּהֵ֣ן הַֽמְטַהֵ֗ר אֵ֛ת הָאִ֥ישׁ הַמִּטַּהֵ֖ר וְאֹתָ֑ם לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה פֶּ֖תַח אֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד׃

    (2) This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: he shall be brought unto the priest. (3) And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; (4) then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two living clean birds, and cedar-wood, and scarlet, and hyssop. (5) And the priest shall command to kill one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water. (6) As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar-wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. (7) And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let go the living bird into the open field. (8) And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and bathe himself in water, and he shall be clean; and after that he may come into the camp, but shall dwell outside his tent seven days. (9) And it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off; and he shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and he shall be clean. (10) And on the eighth day he shall take two he-lambs without blemish, and one ewe-lamb of the first year without blemish, and three tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour for a meal-offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil. (11) And the priest that cleanseth him shall set the man that is to be cleansed, and those things, before the LORD, at the door of the tent of meeting.

  4. יבמות כ״ב א:ל״ה

    ערוה לכל מסורה עדות לבית דין מסורה וגר שנתגייר כקטן שנולד דמי:

    Matters such as these are handed over to the Beit Din, who knows that one who converts is as a newborn child.

  5. Etz Hayim Torah Commentary

    Bathe his body in water: This was not simply to cleanse oneself. It symbolized rebith and recreation--just as an infant is born out of water, just as a convert emerges out of water to a new life and a new identity, just as the world was created out of water (Gen. 1:2). The experience of illness and recovery has made the leper a new person--that is, someone who now looks at life differently (Sefer HaChinuch).

  6. The Torah: A Women's Commentary

    Dr. Rachel Havrelock


    By moving from a state of ritual impurity to one of ritual purity, the ever-changing human body serves as the index for the transformation of identity...As the body undergoes the permutations of ritual purity and impurity, the impure body is sometimes exiled--but not abandoned to its exile. The appearance of a priest outside the camp (14:3) signals that exile is ephemeral and that restoration will begin.,,,


    Focus on the body emphasizes the changes undergone by the self in the process of becoming another self. Signs on the body gauge identity and mark transformation. When the sick are healed, their bodies bear the proof. Yet one's body is not only an indicator of change but also a vessel of memory...The body attests to change as well as to the indelibility of experience. Therefore descriptions of identity, predicated as they are on the language of body, convey the tension between the possibility of change and the integrity of forms.

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