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Treatise XV. Leprosy Chapter XIII, The Talmud

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The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, [1878] 1. The indications of leprosy in houses are ten. "It was dull in the first week, and it went away?" "It must be scraped off, and it is clean." "It was dull in the second week, and it went away?" "It must be scraped off, but its owner needs the birds." 1 "It was spreading in the first week?" "He takes it out, and scrapes it down, and plasters it, and gives it another week." "If it return?" "It must be broken down." "It did not return?" "He needs the birds." "It stood still in the first week, and spread in the second?" "He takes it out and scrapes it down, and plasters it, and gives it another week." "It returns?" "It must be broken down." "It did not return?" "He needs the birds." 2 "It stood still in the one week and also in the other?" "He must take it out, and scrape it down, and plaster it, and give it another week." "It returns?" "It must be broken down." "It did not return?" "He needs the birds." 2 "Before he is cleansed by the birds the leprosy again appeared in it?" "It must be broken down." "And if after he was cleansed by the birds, the leprosy again appeared in it?" "It must be inspected as in the beginning." 2. The corner stone, when it is to be taken out, must be taken out entirely. "When it is to be broken down?" "A man must break down only his own part, and leave that of his neighbour." It follows that taking out is more difficult than breaking down. R. Eliezer said, "in the case of a house built on the projection of a binding stone, if the leprosy appeared in the projection, he takes it all away, if it appeared in the binding stone, he takes that which belongs to him, and leaves that part which belongs to his neighbour." 3. "A house, in which the leprosy appeared, has an upper storey on it?" "The (priest) concedes the beams to the upper storey." "It appeared in the upper storey?" "He concedes the beams to the house itself." "There was no upper storey on it?" "The stones and timber and mortar are broken down with it. But the concession (of the beams) saves the balconies upon them, and the lattices of the windows." R. Judah said, "a battlement built over it is to be broken down with it, its stones and timbers and mortar cause uncleanness in the measure of an olive." R. Eleazar Hashma said, "however little they be." 4. A house which is shut up, causes uncleanness inside. "But that house which is decided unclean inside and outside?" "Both inside and outside it causes uncleanness by one entering into it." 5. "Suppose stones built into a clean house from one legally shut up, and the leprosy again returned to the house?" "He must take the stones away." "If the leprosy returned to the stones?" "The first house must be broken down, and the stones may serve for the second house with marks." 6. "A house which covers over a leprous house, and also a tree which covers over a leprous house?" "He who entered the outer one is clean." The words of R. Eliezer, son of Azariah. Said R. Eliezer, "what! if one stone of it causes uncleanness by entrance into it, should not the house itself also cause uncleanness by entrance into it?" 7. "One unclean with leprosy stood beneath a tree, and one clean passed by?" "The latter becomes unclean." "One clean stood beneath the tree, and one unclean passed by?" "The former remains clean." "If he stood?" "The one clean becomes unclean." "And if one passed by with a leprous stone?" "He remains clean," "But if he stops?" "The one clean becomes unclean." 8. "A clean person entered with his head and the greater part of his body into an unclean house?" "He becomes unclean." "And an unclean person entered with his head and the greater part of his body into a clean house?" "He renders it unclean." A clean garment, of which three fingers square, entered an unclean house, is rendered unclean, and the unclean garment, which enters even the size of an olive into a clean house, causes legal uncleanness. 9. "He who enters a leprous house, with his garments on his shoulder, and his sandals and rings in his hand?" [paragraph continues] "He and they are instantly unclean. If he be dressed in his clothes and his sandals on his feet, and his rings on his fingers, he is instantly unclean: but they remain clean, whilst he can eat half a loaf 1 of wheaten, but not of barley bread. He may sit and eat it with soup." 10. "If one stood within a leprous house, and stretched his hand outside and his rings were in his hand, or if he remained whilst he could eat half a loaf?" "They are unclean." "If he stood outside and stretched his hand inside the leprous house, and his rings were in his hand?" R. Judah pronounces them "instantly unclean," but the Sages say, "not until he could have time to eat half a loaf." They said to R. Judah "what! if in the time all his body is unclean, no uncleanness is produced in that which is upon him, until he remain whilst he can eat half a loaf—is it not the legal decision that, in the time all his body is clean he does not render that which is upon him unclean till he remain the time for eating half a loaf." 11. "A leper enters a house?" "All the vessels there are unclean, even up to the beams of the house." Rabbi Simon said, "up to four cubits high." Vessels are instantly unclean. R. Judah said, "vessels are rendered unclean if he remain till he can light a candle." 12. If he entered the synagogue, the congregation makes for him a division ten handbreadths high, and in breadth four cubits. He must enter first and go out last. All covering bound 2 saves from legal uncleanness in the tent of the dead. The covering bound also saves from uncleanness in the leprous house. "And everything which saves from uncleanness in the tent of the dead with a cover only, such also saves from uncleanness in a leprous house." The words of R. Meier. R. José said, "every covering bound which saves in the tent of the dead also saves in the leprous house when covered only. And everything which saves from uncleanness when covered in the tent of the dead, even though it be uncovered in the leprous house, is clean." 293:1 Lev. xiv. 4. 293:2 This reply forms a kind of chorus such as is found in the Greek poets. It is used like one in the Thyrsis of Theocritus. 295:1 Half a loaf, some say of the size of three eggs, others of four eggs. 295:2 Numbers xix. 15.

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1 Ahmed M = "There is much reason to believe that the segregation of lepers was regarded, at any rate at certain periods, more in the light of a religious ceremonial than as a hygienic restriction."
2 Ahmed M = "Ẓara'at was looked upon as a disease inflicted by God upon those who transgressed His laws, a divine visitation for evil thoughts and evil deeds."
3 Ahmed M = "Every leper mentioned in the Old Testament was afflicted because of some transgression."