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5 Facts About Parshat Tazria-Metzora that You (Maybe) Didn’t Know

Published on Wednesday April 18th, 2018

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parshah that you can share at your Shabbos table.


וְאִם־פָּר֨וֹחַ תִּפְרַ֤ח הַצָּרַ֙עַת֙ בָּע֔וֹר וְכִסְּתָ֣ה הַצָּרַ֗עַת אֵ֚ת כָּל־ע֣וֹר הַנֶּ֔גַע מֵרֹאשׁ֖וֹ וְעַד־רַגְלָ֑יו לְכָל־מַרְאֵ֖ה עֵינֵ֥י הַכֹּהֵֽן׃ (13:12)

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 priest can see.

1.     What type of Cohen can’t issue a ruling regarding tzaraat?

  • According to one opinion in the Talmud we learn from here that a Cohen who is blind or even only blind in one eye, cannot issue a ruling regarding tzaraat. (Sanhedrin 34b, Rashi in Niddah 5a)


כָּל־יְמֵ֞י אֲשֶׁ֨ר הַנֶּ֥גַע בּ֛וֹ יִטְמָ֖א טָמֵ֣א ה֑וּא בָּדָ֣ד יֵשֵׁ֔ב מִח֥וּץ לַֽמַּחֲנֶ֖ה מוֹשָׁבֽוֹ׃ (ס) (13:46)

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.

2.     What are the 7 sins that cause tzaraat?

  • These are the 7 sins that cause tzaraat: malicious speech, bloodshed, unnecessary or vain oaths, sexual crimes, pride and haughtiness, robbery, stinginess and avoiding charity. The seven sins are alluded to by the Torah having 7 chapters that discuss these laws. So too, the words “negah tzaraat/leprosy mark” appear 7 times. (Siftei Cohen)


זֹ֤את תִּֽהְיֶה֙ תּוֹרַ֣ת הַמְּצֹרָ֔ע בְּי֖וֹם טָהֳרָת֑וֹ וְהוּבָ֖א אֶל־הַכֹּהֵֽן׃ (14:2)

This shall be the ritual for a leper at the time that he is to be cleansed. When it has been reported to the priest.

3.     What are the 7 sins that cause one to become a metzora?

  • There are 7 transgressions that can cause one to become a Metzora: Lashon hara, murder, false testimony, immorality, haughtiness, stealing, poor business practices. (Erkin 16a)


4.     What happens to a person who doesn't repent before his death?

  • One who does not repent before one’s death is left alone in the next world, as all the righteous souls flee from such a person. His soul is sent to the “fourth chamber”, known as “Tit Hayaven/quicksand” in a place called “Nega Tzaraat”, where souls suffer tremendously. (Meam Loez: Reshit Chochma, Yad Yosef)


כִּ֤י תָבֹ֙אוּ֙ אֶל־אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲנִ֛י נֹתֵ֥ן לָכֶ֖ם לַאֲחֻזָּ֑ה וְנָתַתִּי֙ נֶ֣גַע צָרַ֔עַת בְּבֵ֖ית אֶ֥רֶץ אֲחֻזַּתְכֶֽם׃ (14:34)

When you enter the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, and I inflict an eruptive plague upon a house in the land you possess.

5.     How many houses in history were afflicted with tzaraat?

  • The Talmud teaches that there has never been a house afflicted with tzaraat nor will there ever be one in the future. We see from here that the mitzvot are for us to study, and we are rewarded for doing so, even if, for whatever reason, they won’t be practiced. (Sanhedrin 71a)
Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box Account

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