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Treatise XV. Leprosy Chapter I, The Talmud

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The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, [1878]  1 Indications of Leprosy—Inspection—Uncleanness—Boils—Burnings—Scalls—Time—White Hair—Quickflesh—Black Hair—Spots—Pronouncing—Inclosing—Cleanness and Uncleanness—Yellow Hair—Shaving—The Beard—Garments—Buildings—Warp—Woof—Bobbins—Webs—Articles liable to Leprosy—Houses—Stones, Wood, and Mud—Inspection—Plaster—Breaking down—Causing Uncleanness—Cleansing—The Birds—The Cedar—Sacrifices—Bathing—Applying the Blood—The Offering. 1. The indications of leprosy are two, and these again (contain) four. "First, there is a spot white as snow; 2 next to it one like the lime of the temple, and its swelling like the shell of an egg; next to it one like white wool." The words of Rabbi Meier. But the Sages say, "the swelling is like white wool, and second to it a spot like the shell of an egg." 2. "What of the mixture in the snow?" "Its colour is like wine mingled in snow." "What of the mixture in lime?" "Its colour is like blood mingled with milk." The words of Rabbi Ishmael. R. Akiba said, "that which is reddish in each is like wine mingled in water, save that in the snow is bright, but that in the lime is duller than it." 3. These four indications are reckoned together in pronouncing "clean," in pronouncing "fretting," and in "inclosing." 3 They are reckoned together for inclosing that which is stationary at the close of the first week; in pronouncing clean that which is stationary at the close of the second week; in pronouncing unclean, that in which there is produced quickflesh or white hair at once, or at the close of the first week, or at the close of the second week, even after the pronouncing clean. They are reckoned together for pronouncing unclean, when the spreading is produced, at the close of the first week, or at the close of the second week, even after the pronouncing clean; in pronouncing unclean that which has turned all white, after being pronounced clean; in pronouncing clean that which has turned all white, after being pronounced unclean, or after being inclosed. These are the indications of leprosy on which all leprosy depends. 4. Rabbi Chanina, the suffragan of the priests, said, "the indications of leprosy are sixteen." R. Dosa the son of Harcinus, said, "the indications of leprosy are thirty-six." Akabia, the son of Mahallalel, said, "seventy-two." Rabbi Chanina, the suffragan of the priests, said, "priests do not examine lepers on the day after the Sabbath, lest their week fall on the Sabbath, nor on the second day, lest their second week fall on the Sabbath. And buildings are not examined on the third day, lest their third week fall on the Sabbath." Rabbi Akiba said, "they must examine at all times." Should the day for examination fall on the Sabbath, they can postpone it till after the Sabbath, and so it may be more convenient, or more inconvenient. 5. "How more convenient?" "In the leprosy there was white hair, and the white hair went away. The hairs were white and became black; one was white and one black; both became black. They were long and became short, one was long and one short, and both became short. A boil has come close to both or to one of them, a boil has encompassed both or one of them, or the boil has divided them, or the quickflesh of the boil, or a burning, or the quickflesh of a burning, or a freckled spot, or there was in it quickflesh, and the quickflesh went away. It was square and became round or elongated. It was inclosed and it became one-sided, it was contracted and it became dispersed, and the boil came and entered into its midst, it encompassed it, it divided it, or the boil diminished it, or the quickflesh of the boil, or the burning, or the quickflesh of the burning, or the freckled spot. It was spreading, and the spreading went away, or its source went away, or it began to diminish, and there is not left in both of them a measure of three lentils square. 1 The boil and the quickflesh of the boil, and the burning and the quickflesh of the burning, and the freckled spot dividing between the source and the place of spreading disappeared; these symptoms are convenient." 6. "How more inconvenient?" "The leprosy had no white hair, and white hair sprang up; the hairs were black and became white; one was black and one was white, and both became white; they were short and became long; one was short and one was long, and both became long; a boil has come close to both, or to one of them; a boil has encompassed both, or one of them; or the boil has divided it, or the quickflesh of the boil; or the burning, or the quick-flesh of the burning; and the freckled spot; and they went away; there was no quickflesh, and quickflesh was produced; it was round or elongated, and it became square; it was one-sided, and it filled up the inclosure; it was dispersed and became contracted; and the boil came and entered into its midst; it encompassed it, it divided it, or the boil diminished it, or the quickflesh of the boil; the burning or the quickflesh of the burning; and the freckled spot; and they went away; there was no spreading of the leprosy, and spreading was produced in it; the boil and the quickflesh of the boil, the burning and the quickflesh of the burning; and the freckled spot dividing between the source and the place of its spreading disappeared; these symptoms are inconvenient." 267:1 This treatise on leprosy (the divine stroke) is held in the highest estimation by the Jews, and is considered one of the most important in the Talmud. 267:2 This is explained to mean "deeper in appearance than the skin, like the sunshine near the shade." I have seen a case of leprosy in Jerusalem precisely answering to this description. 267:3 i.e. with a mark round the affected spot. 269:1 The gris, the measure mentioned in the original, equals three lentils square, or thirty-six hairs in breadth.

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1 Ahmed M = "Blood Libel the allegation that Jews murder non-Jews, especially Christian children, in order to obtain blood for the Passover or other rituals."
2 Ahmed M = "Most blood libels occurred close to Passover."
3 Ahmed M = "Blood sacrifices, practiced by many pagan religions, are expressly forbidden by the Torah. "