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Megillah, Daf Het, Part 5

 

Introduction

Another new mishnah!

 

 

1)        משנה. אין בין מצורע מוסגר למצורע מוחלט אלא פריעה ופרימה.

2)        אין בין טהור מתוך הסגר לטהור מתוך החלט אלא תגלחת וצפרים.

 

1)        There is no difference between a metzora who is under observation and one declared to be a definite metzora except the disheveling of hair and tearing the clothes.

2)        There is no difference between a metzora who has been declared clean after being under observation and one who has been declared clean after having been a definite metzorah except shaving and [sacrificing] the birds.

 

Section one: A metzora is a person with some sort of skin affliction. After his skin affliction is identified he is set aside for seven days for observation by a priest. If the skin affliction spreads, then the priest declares him to be a definite metzora. There is no difference between the two stages except that one who has been declared to be a definite metzora has to have his hair disheveled and his clothes torn, as prescribed in Leviticus 13:45. [I should note that some interpret the Hebrew for disheveling the hair to mean that he has to let his hair grow long.] Other than these differences, the two types of metzora are equal in their impurity.

Section two: If the priest declares a metzora who had been under observation to be pure, he does not bring a sacrifice nor does he have to shave his hair. If the metzora had been definite then he must bring two birds as a sacrifice and shave his hair. See Leviticus 14. The two different types of metzora are the same in that at the end of their period of impurity they both must immerse in the mikveh and purify their clothes (see Lev. 13:6, 34).

 

גמרא. הא לענין שילוח [וטומאה] – זה וזה שוין.

 

GEMARA. Behold in the matter of being sent outside [the camp] and uncleanness they are the same.

 

Both types of metzora are unclean and must be sent outside of the camp.

 

מנהני מילי? דתני רב שמואל בר יצחק קמיה דרב הונא: +ויקרא י"ג+ וטהרו הכהן מספחת היא וכבס בגדיו וטהרטהור מפריעה ופרימה דמעיקרא.

 

From where is this derived? As R. Shmuel b. Yitzchak taught in front of R. Huna: "Then the priest shall pronounce him clean; it is a scab; and he shall wash his clothes and be clean" (Leviticus 13:6); he is clean at the outset from having been liable to rend garments and loosen the hair.

 

R. Shmuel b. Yitzchak picks up on the double usage of "clean" in the verse. How can the priest pronounce him clean before he becomes clean at the end of the verse only after washing his clothes? The answer is that the first "clean" demonstrates that he is clean from rending his garments and loosening his hair. Only a definite metzora is obligated for these.

 

אמר ליה רבא: אלא מעתה, גבי זב דכתיב +ויקרא ט"ו+ וכבס בגדיו וטהר התם מאי וטהר מעיקרא איכא?

אלא: טהור השתא מלטמא כלי חרס בהיסט. אף על גב דהדר חזי לא מטמא למפרעהכא נמי טהור [השתא מלטמא בביאה למפרע]!

 

Rava said to him. If that is so, then in regard to a zav of whom it is written, "And he shall wash his garments and be clean", how is it possible to say that he shall have been clean from the outset?

Rather it means that he is clean now so far as not to defile earthenware vessels by moving them; and even if he observes [an issue] again, he does not defile them retrospectively. So too here, [the meaning is that] the metzora is clean now to the extent of not defiling retrospectively by his entrance.

 

Rava raises a difficulty on the above midrash. The same construct appears in a verse about a "zav" one who has had unnatural genital discharge. There too the word "clean" appears twice in the verse. In that case the extra "clean" is interpreted to mean that if after he goes to the mikveh but before the sun sets and he has become fully pure he sees another issue of discharge, he does not defile earthenware vessels by moving them. In that sense his immersion in the mikveh has purified him. So too in the case of the metzora we could interpret that after being pronounced clean he is already pure in that he doesn’t defile the contents of a house by entering a house. But if we interpreted this way, we would have no source for how we know that a metzora under observation is not liable for rending his garment or loosening his hair.

אלא אמר רבא: מהכא +ויקרא י"ג+ והצרוע אשר בו הנגעמי שצרעתו תלויה בגופו, יצא זה שאין צרעתו תלויה בגופו אלא בימים.

 

Rather Rava said: From here: "And the metzora in whom the plague is" (Leviticus 13:45) [that means] one whose scale disease is due to the state of his body, excluding this one whose scale disease is due to days.

 

Rava derives the mishnah’s halakhah from elsewhere. The Torah says that the "metzora in whom the plague is" has to rend his clothes and loosen his hair. Rava reads the word "in whom" as limiting this rule to one whose impurity is due to the state of his body. He won’t become pure until he is physically cured. The metzora under observation’s impurity is limited to seven days. After that time he either becomes fully a metzora or he becomes pure.

אמר ליה אביי: אלא מעתה +ויקרא י"ג+ כל ימי אשר הנגע בו יטמא, מי שצרעתו תלויה בגופו הוא דטעון שילוח, ושאין צרעתו תלויה בגופואין טעון שילוח. וכי תימא הכי נמיוהא קתני: אין בין מצורע מוסגר למצורע מוחלט אלא פריעה ופרימה, הא לענין שילוח ולטמויי בביאהזה וזה שוין!

 

Abaye said to him: If that is so, then when it says, "All the days during which the plague is in him he shall be unclean" (Leviticus 13:46), are we to say that one whose scale disease is due to his state of body is required to be sent out of the camp, but one whose scale disease is not due to his state of body is not to be sent out of the camp? And should you reply that that is so, [how can this be] seeing that it states, There is no difference between a metzora who is under observation and one declared to be a definite metzora except the disheveling of hair and tearing the clothes., from which it may be inferred that in the matter of being sent out [of the camp] and defiling by entrance they are on the same footing?

 

Abaye points out that the same phrasing "in him" is used in Leviticus 13:46, which mentions being sent out of the camp. Were we to read this word the way Rava reads it above it refers only to one whose impurity is due to his body we would conclude that only a definite metzora is sent out of the camp. But this contradicts the mishnah which implies that every type of metzora is sent out of the camp!

 

אמר ליה: ימי כל ימילרבות מצורע מוסגר לשילוח.

 

He said to him "the days" "All the days" this includes a metzora under observation within the rule of sending out [of the camp].

 

Rava responds that his midrash is from the word "all." All types of metzoras are sent out from the camp. The midrash is not based on the word "in him" as Rava had previously stated.

 

אי הכי תגלחת וצפרים מאי טעמא לא? דקתני: אין בין טהור מתוך הסגר לטהור מתוך החלט אלא תגלחת וצפרים!

אמר אביי: אמר קרא +ויקרא י"ד+ ויצא הכהן אל מחוץ למחנה והנה נרפא נגע הצרעת, מי שצרעתו תלויה ברפואות, יצא זה שאין צרעתו תלויה ברפואות אלא בימים.

 

If that is the case, what is the reason that he is not required to shave and offer birds, as it states: There is no difference between a metzora who has been declared clean after being under observation and one who has been declared clean after having been a definite metzora except shaving and [sacrificing] the birds.

Abaye replied: The verse says: "And the priest shall go forth out of the camp, and behold the plague of scale disease is healed in the metzora" (Leviticus 14:3); one whose scale disease is dependent upon healing, and excludes one whose scale disease is not dependent on healing but on days [of isolation].

 

The Talmud now asks why a metzora under observation does not have to shave or offer bird sacrifices after being cleansed. After all, he should be included in these obligations due to the word "all." But the mishnah again clearly states the opposite only a definite metzora must shave and offer sacrifices.

Abaye derives this halakha from Leviticus 14:3, which begins to discuss the purification which is accompanied by sacrifices and shaving. These are obligatory only if his purification depends on his healing, and not a simple counting of days, as it does for the metzora under observation.