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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Metzora 28-7

One affected by tzaraat

Leviticus 15:29-33

Thus you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst.

Lev. 15:31 ESV

Are there different kinds of impurity?

There are three kinds of impurity: moral, ritual and physical. Ritual impurity is the one that affects primarily the relationship to the tabernacle. Even though we can find some relationship between these three kinds of impurity it's good to separate them sometimes in order to prevent confusion.

Laws that speak about separating from uncleanness because of the tabernacle deal with ritual impurity. This means that the prohibition for the sons and daughters of Israel of eating unclean animals is not related to hygienic reasons. It's not because unclean flesh has harmful elements for health that the Eternal forbids it for His priestly nation. It may be that they are unhealthy, but that's not the reason for the prohibition. It's not that the reproductive system's flow is harmful for the health either about which the Torah has regulations, but because that flow produces ritual/ceremonial impurity.

The sons and daughters of Israel had to separate from ritual impurity in order to prevent the danger of its presence in the tabernacle that was among them.

Our Rabbi doesn't speak of ritual impurity but of moral impurity in his speech about food in Mark 7:15-23 where it's written:

There is nothing without a man which, by entering him, can pollute him. But that which cometh out of him, that it is that polluteth a man. Whoever hath ears to hear, let him hear. And when Yeshua had entered the house, apart from the multitude, his disciples asked him about this similitude. And he said to them: Are ye likewise so undiscerning? Do ye not know, that whatever from without entereth into a man, cannot defile him? For it doth not enter into his heart, but into his belly, and is thrown into the digestive process, which carries off all that is eaten. But that which proceedeth from a man, that defileth a man. For from within, from the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adultery, whoredom, theft, murder, avarice, malice, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, reviling, haughtiness, folly. All these evil things come from within, and defile a man. " (Peshitta translated by John Murdock revised)

May the Eternal help us understand the differences between these three forms of impurity.

Shabbat shalom,



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