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Leviticus Chapter 15
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Exodus
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Deuteronomy

Male Discharges
15:1 God spoke to Moses and Aaron, telling them
15:2 to speak to the Israelites and tell them [as follows]:

When a man has a discharge from his organ, this discharge can render him unclean.

15:3 He becomes unclean through a discharge if his organ dribbles with the discharge or if he has [some of it] stuck to his organ.

This makes him unclean [so that]

15:4 any bed upon which the man with the discharge lies is unclean, and any object upon which he sits is [also] unclean.
15:5 Any person who touches [the man's] bed must immerse his clothing and his body in a mikvah and [then] remain unclean until evening.
15:6 [Similarly,] anyone who sits on an object upon which the man with a discharge has been sitting must [also] immerse his clothing and his body in a mikvah, and [then] remain unclean until evening.
15:7 If anyone touches the body of the person with the discharge, he must [similarly] immerse his clothing and his body, and [then] remain unclean until evening.
15:8 If the saliva of the man with a discharge comes in contact with a ritually clean person, [the latter] must immerse his clothing and his body, and [then] remain unclean until evening.
15:9 Every saddle upon which the person with the discharge rides shall be unclean.
15:10 [Thus] anyone who touches something that has been under [the man with a discharge] shall be unclean until evening. One who lifts [such an object] must immerse both his clothing and his body, and [then] remain unclean until evening.
15:11 If anyone touches a man with a discharge who has not immersed [even] his hands in a mikvah, then [that person] must immerse his clothing and his body in a mikvah, and [then] remain unclean until evening.
15:12 If the man with a discharge touches the inside of a clay vessel, it must be broken. If it is a wooden vessel, it must be immersed in a mikvah.
15:13 When the man is healed of his discharge, he must count seven days for his purification. He shall then immerse his clothing and his body in a mikvah of running spring water.
15:14 On the eighth day, he shall take two turtle doves or two young common doves, and coming before God to the Communion Tent entrance, he shall give them to the priest.
15:15 The priest shall prepare one [bird] as a sin offering, and one as a burnt offering. The priest shall thus make atonement before God for the person, [thus purifying him] of his discharge.

Seminal Discharges
15:16 When a man discharges semen, he must immerse his entire body in a mikvah, and [then] remain unclean until evening.
15:17 If any cloth or leather gets any semen on it, it must be immersed in a mikvah and [then] remain unclean until evening.
15:18 If a woman has intercourse with a man, and he has a seminal discharge, [both of] them shall immerse in a mikvah and [then] remain unclean until evening.

Menstruation
15:19 When a woman has a discharge, [it can consist] of [any] blood that emerges from her body. For seven days she is then [ritually unclean] because of her menstruation, and anyone touching her shall be unclean until evening.
15:20 As long as she is in her menstrual state, anything upon which she lies shall be unclean, and anyone sitting on it is [likewise] unclean.
15:21 Whoever touches her bed must immerse his clothing and his body in a mikvah, and [then] remain unclean until evening.
15:22 [Similarly], anyone who sits on any article upon which she has sat must immerse his clothing and his body in a mikvah and [then] remain unclean until evening.
15:23 Thus, if he is on the bed or any other article upon which she sat, whether he touches it [or not], he is unclean until evening.
15:24 If a man has intercourse with [such a woman], her menstrual impurity is transferred to him, and he shall be unclean for seven days. Any bed upon which he lies shall be unclean.

Female Discharges
15:25 If a woman has a discharge of blood for a number of days when it is not time for her menstrual period, or if she has such a discharge right after her period, then as long as she has this discharge she is unclean, just as she is when she has her period.
15:26 [Thus], as long as she has the discharge, any bed upon which she lies shall have the same status as it has while she is menstruating. Similarly, any article upon which she sits shall be unclean, just as it is unclean when she is menstruating.
15:27 Anyone touching [these articles] must [similarly] immerse his clothing and his body in a mikvah, and [then] remain unclean until evening.
15:28 When [the woman] is rid of her discharge, she must count seven days for herself, and only then can she undergo purification.
15:29 On the eighth day, she shall take for herself two turtle doves or two young common doves, and bring them to the priest, to the Communion Tent entrance.
15:30 The priest shall prepare one as a sin offering and one as a burnt offering, and the priest shall thus make atonement for her before God, [purifying her] from her unclean discharge.
15:31 You [Moses and Aaron] must warn the Israelites about their impurity, so that their impurity not cause them to die if they defile the tabernacle that I have placed among them.
15:32 This then is the [entire] law concerning the man who is unclean because of a discharge or seminal emission,
15:33 as well as the woman who has her monthly period, the man or woman who has a [genital] discharge, and the man who lies with a ritually unclean woman.



Commentary:

organ
  Male sex organ (Sifra; Rashi; Saadia).

dribbles
  With clear liquid (Rashi), like saliva (Saadia), baba in Spanish (Radak, Sherashim). It can have the appearance of the egg white of a sterile (Niddah 35b, Rashi ad loc.; cf. Chullin 140b) or spoiled (Arukh s.v. Zamar) egg, in contrast with semen, which has the consistency of fresh egg white. It can also be a pus-like discharge, resembling the liquid from barley dough (Niddah 35b) or soft barley batter (Yad, MeChuserey Kapparah 2:1).

In order to render the man unclean, the discharge must continue running long enough for the man to immerse and then towel himself off (Zavim 1:4, Yad, Mechuserey Kapparah 2:10). If he discharges for a shorter time than this, then in order to become unclean, he must experience a second discharge on the same or the next day (Zavim 1:1, 1:3; Yad, Mechuserey Kapparah 2:6,8). He is, however, unclean to the same degree as one who experienced a seminal emission.

stuck
  (Rashbam). This teaches that the discharge renders the man unclean no matter how little there is, even if there is not enough to run, but only to adhere to the organ (Sifra; Yad, Mechuserey Kapparah 2:9; Rambam on Zavim 1:4).

According to others, this teaches that a thick discharge renders the man unclean just like a thin one (Radak, Sherashim; cf. Saadia). Some say that if the discharge stops up the organ, it also renders the man unclean (Rashi; cf. Niddah 43b; Ibn Janach).

bed
  Literally, 'something upon which he lies', mishkav in Hebrew (see Rambam on Kelim 1:3).

Thus
  (cf. Rashi).

the man...
  (Sifra; Rashi).

even
  (Sifra; Yad, Mikvaoth 1:2). As long as the man who had the discharge does not immerse, he remains unclean, even many years later (Sifra). This is true of all other cases of defilement as well. See Leviticus 15:13. The Torah specifies that even the person's hands must be immersed to teach that if any part of the body, even a hand, is not totally immersed, the entire person remains unclean (cf. Ralbag). He must also wash his hands and the rest of his body before immersing (Rashbam).

inside
  (cf. Sifra). See Leviticus 11:33. If he moves the vessel, it becomes unclean even if he touches it only on the outside (Ibid.; Yad, Mishkav 8:3; see Rambam on Kelim 1:2).

broken
  See Leviticus 6:21, 11:33.

immersed
  (Ralbag). Shataf in Hebrew, literally 'rinsed' (cf. 6:21). This teaches that any dirt must be washed off the vessel before it is immersed (Rashbam).

healed
  (Megillah 8a) Literally, 'cleansed.'

running spring water
  Literally, 'living water' (Yad, Mikvaoth 1:5; see Rambam on Mikvaoth 1:8). Spring water can be brought from a distance through a canal (cf. Parah 8:11; Yad, Parah Adumah 6:16).

his entire body
  This is a general rule, see Leviticus 15:11. This also teaches that the mikvah must be large enough for him to immerse his entire body, namely 40 sa'ah or 80 gallons of water (Eruvin 4b). See Exodus 29:4.

any
  (Yad, Issurey Biyah 5:1).

body
  That is, from her womb.

menstruation
  This section is speaking of menstruation (Torah Temimah; cf. Niddah 44a). The word niddah here, means 'separation' (Rashi).

As long as she is...
  That is, until she immerses (Yad, Issurey Biyah 4:3).

Thus
  (cf. Rashi).

number of days
  That is, 3 days (Sifra; Yad, Issurey Biyah 6:2,3, Mechuserey Kapparah 1:6).

right after...
  (cf.Yad, Issurey Biyah 6:2; Niddah 73a).

undergo purification
  By immersing.

not....die
  This is why the section from Leviticus 11:1 to here is placed after the death of Aaron's sons (Ibn Ezra on Leviticus 16:1).

if they defile...
  The laws of purity thus deal with the Tabernacle and the Holy Temple. That is why today, when the Temple no longer stands, we are not careful regarding these rules. However, it is still forbidden to enter the area of the Temple Mount if one is ritually unclean. (Shaarey Teshuvah, Orach Chaim 561:1; cf. Teshuvoth Radbaz 691).





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