How can biblical leprosy be an expression of God’s love? The message of God’s lovingkindness is woven throughout the Hebrew of this double parshah. We will also discuss why Jewish boys do not get a haircut until their third birthday and how a woman’s monthly cycle is connected to a prophecy concerning Israel. This and much more await in this fascinating passage.
Leviticus 13:3 The priest shall examine the diseased area on the skin of his body…
את הנגע בעור הבשר (et ha’neiga b’or ha’basar)
אהבה (ahavah) = “love”
tzaraat (צרעת) = “leprosy” — (עצרת) atzeret = “to hold back”
netek (נתק) = “leprosy” — (תקן) tikein = “to restore”
neiga (נגע) = “affliction” — (עגן) eigen = “an anchor”
(ענג) oneg = “enjoyment”
“affliction” “to touch”
Leviticus 13:33 Then he shall shave himself, but the netek he shall not shave. And the priest shall shut up the person with the netek for another seven days.
והתגלח ואת הנתק לא יגלח והסגיר
הכהן את הנתק שׁבעת ימים שׁנית׃
ג = 3
There are three who are commanded to shave:
Leviticus 13:45 The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and his head shall be “unruly”, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, “Unclean, unclean.”
וראשו (v’rosho) – 4x in Tanach:
Genesis 11:4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower and its head in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”
Genesis 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and its head reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!
Job 20:5-6 That the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment? Though his height mount up to the heavens, and his head reach to the clouds.
Leviticus 15:26 Every bed on which she lies, all the days of her discharge, shall be to her as the bed of her impurity. And everything on which she sits shall be unclean, as in the uncleanness of her menstrual impurity.
כטמאת (ce’tumat) – 2x in Tanach
Ezekiel 36:17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before Me were as in the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity.” [+ v25]
Genesis 3:3 “But God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch[נגע, naga] it, lest you die.’”
Leviticus 15:10 And whoever touches[נגע, naga] anything that was under him shall be unclean until the evening. And whoever carries such things shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. [+ 15:19, 21, 22]
2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them”, says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing. Then I will welcome you.” [Quoting Isaiah 52:11]
Ezekiel 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
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