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M'tzora

English Translation

M'tzora

A Leper
Leviticus
14:1-15:33

Translation from The Torah: A Modern Commentary (CCAR Press)

Mtzora Leviticus English Translation of the Torah portion14:1] The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: 2] This shall be the ritual for a leper at the time of being purified. When it has been reported to the priest, 3] the priest shall go outside the camp. If the priest sees that the leper has been healed of the scaly affection, 4] the priest shall order two live pure birds, cedar wood, crimson stuff, and hyssop to be brought for the one to be purified. 5] The priest shall order one of the birds slaughtered over fresh water in an earthen vessel; 6] and he shall take the live bird, along with the cedar wood, the crimson stuff, and the hyssop, and dip them together with the live bird in the blood of the bird that was slaughtered over the fresh water. 7] He shall then sprinkle it seven times on the one to be purified of the eruption and effect the purification; and he shall set the live bird free in the open country. 8] The one to be purified shall wash those clothes, shave off all hair, and bathe in water—and then shall be pure. After that, the camp may be entered but one must remain outside one’s tent seven days. 9] On the seventh day all hair shall be shaved off—of head, beard [if any], and eyebrows. Having shaved off all hair, the person shall wash those clothes and bathe the body in water—and then shall be pure. 10] On the eighth day that person shall take two male lambs without blemish, one ewe lamb in its first year without blemish, three-tenths of a measure of choice flour with oil mixed in for a meal offering, and one log of oil. 11] These shall be presented before the Eternal, with the party to be purified, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, by the priest who performs the purification.

12] The priest shall take one of the male lambs and offer it with the log of oil as a reparation offering, and he shall elevate them as an elevation offering before the Eternal. 13] The lamb shall be slaughtered at the spot in the sacred area where the purgation offering and the burnt offering are slaughtered. For the reparation offering, like the purgation offering, goes to the priest; it is most holy. 14] The priest shall take some of the blood of the reparation offering, and the priest shall put it on the ridge of the right ear of the one who is being purified, and on the thumb of the right hand, and on the big toe of the right foot. 15] The priest shall then take some of the log of oil and pour it into the palm of his own left hand. 16] And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in the palm of his left hand and sprinkle some of the oil with his finger seven times before the Eternal. 17] Some of the oil left in his palm shall be put by the priest on the ridge of the right ear of the one being purified, on the thumb of the right hand, and on the big toe of the right foot—over the blood of the reparation offering. 18] The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one being purified. Thus the priest shall make expiation for that person before the Eternal. 19] The priest shall then offer the purgation offering and make expiation for the one being purified of defilement. Last, the burnt offering shall be slaughtered, 20] and the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meal offering on the altar; the priest shall make expiation for that person, who shall then be pure.

21] If, however, one is poor and without sufficient means, that person shall take one male lamb for a reparation offering, to be elevated in expiation, one-tenth of a measure of choice flour with oil mixed in for a meal offering, and a log of oil; 22] and two turtledoves or two pigeons—depending on that person’s means—the one to be the purgation offering and the other the burnt offering. 23] On the eighth day of purification, the person shall bring them to the priest at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, before the Eternal. 24] The priest shall take the lamb of reparation offering and the log of oil, and elevate them as an elevation offering before the Eternal. 25] When the lamb of reparation offering has been slaughtered, the priest shall take some of the blood of the reparation offering and put it on the ridge of the right ear of the one being purified, on the thumb of the right hand, and on the big toe of the right foot. 26] The priest shall then pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand, 27] and with the finger of his right hand the priest shall sprinkle some of the oil that is in the palm of his left hand seven times before the Eternal. 28] Some of the oil in his palm shall be put by the priest on the ridge of the right ear of the one being purified, on the thumb of the right hand, and on the big toe of the right foot, over the same places as the blood of the reparation offering; 29] and what is left of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one being purified, to make expiation for that person before the Eternal. 30] That person shall then offer one of the turtledoves or pigeons, depending on the person’s means— 31] whichever that person can afford—the one as a purgation offering and the other as a burnt offering, together with the meal offering. Thus the priest shall make expiation before the Eternal for the one being purified. 32] Such is the ritual for one who has a scaly affection and whose means for purification are limited.

33] The Eternal One spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:

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, 35] the owner of the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, “Something like a plague has appeared upon my house.” 36] The priest shall order the house cleared before the priest enters to examine the plague, so that nothing in the house may become impure; after that the priest shall enter to examine the house. 37] 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, 38] the priest shall come out of the house to the entrance of the house, and close up the house for seven days. 39] On the seventh day the priest shall return. If he sees that the plague has spread on the walls of the house, 40] the priest shall order the stones with the plague in them to be pulled out and cast outside the city into an impure place. 41] The house shall be scraped inside all around, and the coating that is scraped off shall be dumped outside the city in an impure place. 42] They shall take other stones and replace those stones with them, and take other coating and plaster the house.

43] 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, 44] the priest shall come to examine: if the plague has spread in the house, it is a malignant eruption in the house; it is impure. 45] The house shall be torn down—its stones and timber and all the coating on the house—and taken to an impure place outside the city.

46] Whoever enters the house while it is closed up shall be impure until evening. 47] Whoever sleeps in the house must wash those clothes, and whoever eats in the house must wash those clothes.

48] 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 pure, for the plague has healed. 49] To purge the house, he shall take two birds, cedar wood, crimson stuff, and hyssop. 50] He shall slaughter the one bird over fresh water in an earthen vessel. 51] 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. 52] 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, 53] 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 pure.

54] Such is the ritual for every eruptive affection—for scalls, 55] for an eruption on a cloth or a house, 56] for swellings, for rashes, or for discolorations— 57] to determine when they are impure and when they are pure. Such is the ritual concerning eruptions.

15:1] The Eternal One spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: 2] Speak to the Israelite people and say to them:

When any man has a discharge issuing from his member, he is impure. 3] The impurity 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 impurity means this: 4] Any bedding on which the one with the discharge lies shall be impure, and every object on which he sits shall be impure. 5] All those who touch his bedding shall wash their clothes, bathe in water, and remain impure until evening. 6] All those who sit on an object on which the one with the discharge has sat shall wash their clothes, bathe in water, and remain impure until evening. 7] All those who touch the body of the one with the discharge shall wash their clothes, bathe in water, and remain impure until evening. 8] If the one with a discharge spits on someone who is pure, the latter shall wash those clothes, bathe in water, and remain impure until evening. 9] Any means for riding that the one with a discharge has mounted shall be impure; 10] all those who touch anything that was under him shall be impure until evening; and all those who carry such things shall wash their clothes, bathe in water, and remain impure until evening. 11] All those whom the one with a discharge touches, without having rinsed his hands in water, shall wash their clothes, bathe in water, and remain impure until evening. 12] An earthen vessel that the one with a discharge touches shall be broken; and any wooden implement shall be rinsed with water.

13] When the one with a discharge becomes purified of his discharge, he shall count off seven days for his purification, wash those clothes, and bathe his body in fresh water; then he shall be pure. 14] On the eighth day he shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons and come before the Eternal at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and give them to the priest. 15] The priest shall offer them, the one as a purgation offering and the other as a burnt offering. Thus the priest shall make expiation on his behalf, for his discharge, before the Eternal.

16] When a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water and remain impure until evening. 17] All cloth or leather on which semen falls shall be washed in water and remain impure until evening. 18] Likewise for a woman: when a man has carnal relations with her, both shall bathe in water and remain impure until evening.

19] When a woman has a discharge, her discharge being blood from her body, she shall remain in her menstrual separation seven days; whoever touches her shall be impure until evening. 20] Anything that she lies on during her menstrual separation shall be impure; and anything that she sits on shall be impure. 21] All those who touch her bedding shall wash their clothes, bathe in water, and remain impure until evening; 22] and all those who touch any object on which she has sat shall wash their clothes, bathe in water, and remain impure until evening. 23] Be it the bedding or be it the object on which she has sat, on touching it one shall be impure until evening. 24] And if a man lies with her, her menstrual separation applies to him; he shall be impure seven days, and any bedding on which he lies shall become impure.

25] When a woman has had a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual separation, or when she has a discharge beyond her period of menstrual separation, she shall be impure, as though at the time of her menstrual separation, as long as her discharge lasts. 26] Any bedding on which she lies while her discharge lasts shall be for her like bedding during her menstrual separation; and any object on which she sits shall become impure, as it does during her menstrual separation: 27] All those who touch them shall be impure—and shall wash their clothes, bathe in water, and remain impure until evening.

28] When she becomes purified of her discharge, she shall count off seven days, and after that she shall be pure. 29] On the eighth day she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, and bring them to the priest at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. 30] The priest shall offer the one as a purgation offering and the other as a burnt offering; and the priest shall make expiation on her behalf, for her impure discharge, before the Eternal.

31] You shall put the Israelites on guard against their impurity, lest they die through their impurity by defiling My Tabernacle which is among them.

32] Such is the ritual concerning one who has a discharge: concerning him who has an emission of semen and becomes impure thereby; 33] and concerning her whose condition is that of menstrual separation; and concerning anyone, male or female, who has a discharge; and concerning a man who lies with an impure woman.

Translation copyright (c) 2016 by CCAR Press. All rights reserved. No part of this translation may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, distributed, or be transmitted without express written permission from the Central Conference of American Rabbis. For permission, please contact CCAR Press.