hebrew
1)

What exactly does it mean when it writes "v'Se'ar ba'Nega Hafach Lavan"?

1.

Rashi (citing Toras Kohanim): Initially the hair was black, and it turned white in the middle of the Nega. The minimum of 'Se'ar'is two hairs. 1


1

See Sifsei Chachamim.

2)

Why is a Nega deeper than the skin?

1.

Rashi: [It is not actually deeper. Rather,] it appears deeper, since (bright) white always 1 appears deeper than the skin, like the spot on which the sun shines appears deeper than the shade (Shevu'os, 6b).

2.

Ramban: It is deeper only if there are white hairs in it. 2


1

Ramban: Because the brightness deflects one's vision away from it. Rashi could not understand how (in Pasuk 4) sometimes a Nega is not deeper than the skin. Refer to 13:4:1:1-9.

2

Refer to 13:2:4:1.

3)

Why does the Torah refer to the Nega by different names; sometimes it writes "Tzara'as Hu", sometimes "Tzara'as Hi", sometimes "Tzara'as Noshenes Hi" and sometimes "Nega Hu"?

1.

Rashi (on Pasuk 8): "Tzara'as" is feminine, whereas "Nega" is masculine. 1

2.

Seforno: Like all illnesses, Tzara'as comes in stages - the beginning, the middle and the end, and the same applies to when it heals. In the initial stage, it refers to it as "Nega", then as "Nega Tzara'as", later still, as "Tzara'as" and finally, as "Tzara'as Noshenes". And when it has healed, it refers to it first as "Nirpa ha'Nega" and as "Nirpa ha'Nesek". 2


1

Rashi: This is why it says in Pasuk 8 "Tzara'as Hi", and in Pasuk 6 "Nega Tzara'as Hu"

2

See also Ramban (DH 'veha'Torah Ratz'sah') who explains the different expressions used in connection with Tzara'as similarly.

4)

What are the connotations of "v'Timei Oso"?

1.

Rashi and Ramban: The Kohen declares him [Muchlat, i.e. totally] Tamei. 1 It is a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv that two white hairs are a Siman Tum'ah. What this means is that the white hair is a Divine decree. 2


1

Until the Kohen declares him Tamei, he remains Tahor. (EC)

2

Since a black hair is merely a mark on the skin, and not a sign of moist that leads to illness (Ramban).

5)

Why does the period of Hesger (waiting to see whether the Nega will be Muchlat, i.e. totally Tamei) vary? For some Nega'im it is one week, for some two, and for houses it can be three!

1.

Seforno: Since Tzara'as comes to atone for various sins, 1 the Torah presents different time-periods to arouse the sinner to do Teshuvah (Iyov, 36:10). 2


1

As the Gemara explains in B'rachos, 5b (Seforno). See also Erchin, 16a.

2

Presumably the Seforno means that different sinners require different amounts of time, according to the depth of the sin and how quickly they react to the punishment and do Teshuvah. (EC)

QUESTIONS ON RASHI

6)

Rashi writes first that the hair was black, and it turned white in the middle of the Nega, and afterwards he says that the minimum of 'Se'ar'is two. Why did he not explain first 'Se'ar', which is earlier in the verse?

1.

Divrei Eliyahu, Kol Eliyahu: Rashi teaches that "Hafach" means that the Nega made the hair turn color, and not that the hair turned by itself, for the minimum of 'Se'ar'is two. If the verse meant that the hair turned by itself, it would have said "Hafchu".

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