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Treatise XV. Leprosy Chapter II, The Talmud

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The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, [1878] "If the white spot looked dim in a German, and the dim white in an Æthiopian?" Rabbi Ishmael said, "for the children of Israel I am atoning, they are as boxwood neither black nor white, but intermediate." R. Akiba said, "painters have colours, by which they paint faces black and white and intermediate. One introduces a medium colour, and encircles it outside, and the face appears intermediate." R. Judah said, "the indications of leprosy are for convenience, but not for inconvenience; the German is to be inspected in his flesh for convenience, and the Æthiopian as intermediate for convenience." But the Sages say, "both are intermediate." 2. Lepers are not to be inspected in the early morning nor in the 1 evening; nor inside a house, nor on a cloudy day, lest the dim appear white, nor at noon, lest the white appear dim. "When are they to be inspected?" "In the third, fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth hours." The words of Rabbi Meier. R. Judah said, "in the fourth, fifth, eighth, and ninth hours." 3. The priest blind of one eye, or with the sight of his eyes dim, must not inspect lepers; as is said, "Wheresoever the priest looketh." 2 "Is the house dark?" "Windows are not to be opened in it to inspect its leprosy." 4. "How is the leper 3 to be inspected?" "The man is to be inspected in the attitude of digging and pressing olives. The woman is to be inspected as though kneading and suckling her child, as though weaving in a standing attitude, to the elbow of the right hand." Rabbi Judah said, "even to the left hand as though spinning flax." According to the proportion of leprosy observed is to be the shaving. 5. A man may inspect all leprosy save his own. Rabbi Meier said, "also not the leprosy of his relations." A man may absolve all vows save his own. R. Judah said, "also not the vows of his wife between herself and others." A man may inspect all the firstborn save his own. 270:1 Literally between the evenings. 270:2 Lev. xiii. 12. 270:3 The Rabbis reckoned lepers as persons dead, and they counted with them the blind, and the poor, and those who have no children.

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1 Ahmed M = "According to the Levitical text, the characteristic features of leprosy were: (1) bright white spots or patches on the skin the hair on which also was white; (2) the depression of the patches below the level of the surrounding skin; (3) the existence of "quick raw flesh"; (4) the spreading of the scab or scall."
2 Ahmed M = "In the Bible, the word leprosy is mentioned upwards of 40 times, depending on the Bible version being used. "
3 Ahmed M = "Leprosy was common in Bible times, and the many references to it were well understood by those who lived in unsanitary conditions. "