Parsha Mitzvot: Tazria: Mitzvah 170 – Concept 452
“If there shall be a Tzara’at affliction in a garment, in a woolen garment or a linen garment, or in the warp or the woof of the linen or the wool; or in leather or in anything fashioned out of leather (Vayikra 13:47-48) We are commanded to carry out the laws of Tzara’at of clothing (Rambam, Hilchot Tumat Tzara’at – The Laws of Impurity Through Tzara’at).
Afflictions on garments and houses are not natural phenomena. If that did not influence him to repent, he would then suffer an affliction on his body. They appeared only during the time when the Jewish nation was generally in accord with God and was a fitting host to His Presence. When an individual broke ranks with this role and was no longer worthy of this exalted rank, then God would signal this fall by afflicting his possessions with ugly discolorations (Ramban).
It is interesting to note that Eisav, who wore the Coat of Adam, lost his coat when he was intimidated by his potential greatness, when he, in the words of the Ramban, “broke ranks with his role and was no longer worthy of his exalted rank.” The Coat was given to Joseph as the Coat of Many Colors, for his approach was one of royalty.