Negaim, Chapter Thirteen, Mishnah One

 

Introduction

I bet you are excited to learn that chapter thirteen continues to discuss negaim that afflict houses!

 

Mishnah One

There are ten [laws concerning the negaim in] houses:

1)      (1 + 2) If during the first week a nega became faint or disappeared, it must be scraped and is then clean.

2)      (3 + 4) If during the second week it became faint or disappeared, it must be scraped and the owner must bring the birds. 

3)      If it spread during the first week, the stones must be taken out and the wall scraped and plastered, and another week must be allowed. 

(5) If it then returned the entire house must be pulled down;

(6)If it did not return, the birds must be brought. 

4)      If it remained unchanged during the first week but spread during the second week, the stones must be taken out and the wall scraped and plastered, and another week must be allowed. 

(7) If it then returned, the house must be pulled down;

(8) If it did not return the birds  must be brought. 

5)      If it remained unchanged in both weeks, the stones must be taken out, and the wall scraped and plastered, and a week must be allowed. 

(9) If it then returned the house  must be pulled down;

(10) If it did not return, the birds  must be brought. 

6)      If before cleanness was attained through the birds a new nega appeared, the house must be pulled down;

a)      But if it appeared after cleanness through the birds had been attained, it must be inspected as if it had appeared for the first time.

 

Explanation

This mishnah goes through the entire procedure of inspecting houses for a nega and categorizes them into ten different situations.

Section one: These are the first two laws concerning affected houses. If the nega grows fainter or disappears entirely during the first week, then all he must do is scrape the place where the nega was and the house is clean.

Section two: If it grows faint or disappears after the second week, he needs to scrape the stones, but in this case he also has to bring bird sacrifice (see Leviticus 14:49).

Section three: If it spread during the first week, he must remove the affected stones as we learned in yesterday’s mishnah. If the nega returns, then the house must be torn down. This is situation 5. If it doesn’t return, then he must still bring the bird sacrifices (situation 6).

Section four: This section addresses a scenario we have not yet talked about. If the nega doesn’t spread during the first week, then he doesn’t need to scrape the stones clean at the end of that week. The isolation continues and then it spreads during the second week. In this case, another week is given. Otherwise, this is the same as section three. We are now through 8 types.

Section five: Now we learn the rule if the nega remains unchanged through two full weeks. Although it did not spread, since it still remained, the affected stones are removed. Following this, the procedure is the same as above. If it returns, the house is torn down, if not only sacrificial birds must be brought.

Section six:  If the house is clean but before sacrificial birds are brought a new nega appears, it counts as a return of the old nega and the house must be torn down. If however, the birds are sacrificed and then the nega appears, it counts as a new nega, and the whole procedure begins again.

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