Daily Torah Reading
The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: 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, the owner of the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, "Something like a plague has appeared upon my house." The priest shall order the house cleared before the priest enters to examine the plague, so that nothing in the house may become unclean; after that the priest shall enter to examine the house. If, when he examines the plague, the plague in the walls of the house is found to consist of greenish or reddish streaks that appear to go deep into the wall, the priest shall come out of the house to the entrance of the house, and close up the house for seven days. On the seventh day the priest shall return. If he sees that the plague has spread on the walls of the house, the priest shall order the stones with the plague in them to be pulled out and cast outside the city into an unclean place. The house shall be scraped inside all around, and the coating that is scraped off shall be dumped outside the city in an unclean place. They shall take other stones and replace those stones with them, and take other coating and plaster the house.
If the plague again breaks out in the house, after the stones have been pulled out and after the house has been scraped and replastered, the priest shall come to examine: if the plague has spread in the house, it is a malignant eruption in the house; it is unclean. The house shall be torn down--its stones and timber and all the coating on the house--and taken to an unclean place outside the city.
Whoever enters the house while it is closed up shall be unclean until evening. Whoever sleeps in the house must wash his clothes, and whoever eats in the house must wash his clothes.
If, however, the priest comes and sees that the plague has not spread in the house after the house was replastered, the priest shall pronounce the house clean, for the plague has healed. To purge the house, he shall take two birds, cedar wood, crimson stuff, and hyssop. He shall slaughter the one bird over fresh water in an earthen vessel. He shall take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the crimson stuff, and the live bird, and dip them in the blood of the slaughtered bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle on the house seven times. Having purged the house with the blood of the bird, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the crimson stuff, he shall set the live bird free outside the city in the open country. Thus he shall make expiation for the house, and it shall be clean.
Such is the ritual for every eruptive affection--for scalls, for an eruption on a cloth or a house, for swellings, for rashes, or for discolorations--to determine when they are unclean and when they are clean. Such is the ritual concerning eruptions.
The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: When any man has a discharge issuing from his member, he is unclean. The uncleanness from his discharge shall mean the following--whether his member runs with the discharge or is stopped up so that there is no discharge, his uncleanness means this: Any bedding on which the one with the discharge lies shall be unclean, and every object on which he sits shall be unclean. Anyone who touches his bedding shall wash his clothes, bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening. Whoever sits on an object on which the one with the discharge has sat shall wash his clothes, bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening. Whoever touches the body of the one with the discharge shall wash his clothes, bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening. If one with a discharge spits on one who is clean, the latter shall wash his clothes, bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening. Any means for riding that one with a discharge has mounted shall be unclean; whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until evening; and whoever carries such things shall wash his clothes, bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening. If one with a discharge, without having rinsed his hands in water, touches another person, that person shall wash his clothes, bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening. An earthen vessel that one with a discharge touches shall be broken; and any wooden implement shall be rinsed with water.
When one with a discharge becomes clean of his discharge, he shall count off seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe his body in fresh water; then he shall be clean. On the eighth day he shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons and come before the Lord at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and give them to the priest. The priest shall offer them, the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering. Thus the priest shall make expiation on his behalf, for his discharge, before the Lord.
From Parshat Tazria-Metsora. From THE TANAKH: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society. Used by permission.
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