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Bais HaVaad on the Parsha, Parshas Tazria

Plus Ça Change…

Excerpted and adapted from a shiur by Rav Moshe Zev Granek

March 31,  2022

And the kohein shall see him on the seventh day a second time, and behold, the lesion has become dimmer, and the lesion has not spread on the skin, then the kohein shall pronounce him pure. It is a mispachas; he shall immerse his garments and become pure.

Vayikra 13:6

According to this pasuk, one who is in isolation for a week as a metzora musgar (having suspected tzara’as) is declared tahor by the kohein if the color becomes dimmer and it does not spread. Rashi infers that if the color of the nega remains the same, he is tamei, presumably as a metzora muchlat (having definite tzara’as).

The Ramban questions Rashi from the Mishnah (Nega’im 1:3) that seems to indicate that if a metzora musgar’s nega is unchanged after the second week, he is tahor. A second question is that the Mishnah (Nega’im 4:7) indicates that a metzora musgar whose nega became brighter is tahor. According to Rashi, he should be tamei.  

Sefer Mayim Tehorim answers the first question: The Mishnah’s tahor is where the size is unchanged, but Rashi’s tamei is where the color is unchanged.

To answer the second question, some suggest Rashi means that if the nega changes color, even becoming darker, he is tahor. Another answer is that Rashi holds such a person is tamei, but he is still not a metzora muchlat, only a musgar. This can also answer the first question: Perhaps the first Mishnah is only referring to becoming a muchlat, so one whose nega did not spread is not included. But the Mishnah may mean that if the nega stays the same, he remains tamei as a musgar, like Rashi.

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