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Parsha Mitzvot: Tazria: Mitzvah 169 – Concept 449

“And the person with Tzara’at in whom there is the affliction; his garments shall be rent, the hair of his head shall be unshorn, and he shall cloak himself up to his lips; he is to call out, ‘Contaminated, Contaminated!’ (Vayikra 13:45).” The Metzorah must publicize his condition by tearing his graments, allowing his hair to grow and covering his lips (Rambam, Hilchot Tumat Tzara’at – The Laws of Impurity Through Tzara’at)


The Metzorah dresses and acts like a mourner to influence him to grieve and repent the behavior that brought the punishment of Tzara’at. (Ibn Ezra)

Many have derived some Spiritual Practices of Teshuva (Repentance) from this Mitzvah;  specifically that the penitent should go through a process of mourning, and when necessary, to do it publicly.

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