Reference in Gemora Shabbos 133a Daf Yomi recently to tzaraas (skin disease see Leviticus 13) on the foreskin regarding mila (circumcission). This implies babies can have tzaraas.

If tzaraas is not a physical affliction, when did the baby sin in-order to be afflicted?
Surely he should have been warned -- on walls, clothes prior to body affliction?
How would a baby atone for tzaraas per instructions in Torah?

  • 3
    Suppose, for whatever reason, he never got a Bris Milah until he grew up. Maybe he’s a Baal Teshuvah.
    – DonielF
    Apr 2 '20 at 15:05
  • 3
    @doniel no, the gemara explicitly says מילה דוחה את הצרעת בין בזמנה בין שלא בזמנה
    – Double AA
    Apr 2 '20 at 15:39
  • 3
    How is this different from "why do babies die and get sick?"
    – Double AA
    Apr 2 '20 at 16:48

Negaim i.e Tzaraas skin disease - takes effect against our will whether we sin or not even without prior warning (despite the fact that sometimes one is warned as questioner assumes)Yalkut Shimoni Vayikra 247*

ומה נגעים שטמא בהן אנוסין*

Indeed the Gemara Nedarim 35b states that all under-aged mechusrei Kapara (those who need to bring a Korban inorder to enter the Beit Hamikdash), their father brings the atonement Korban Chatos on their behalf:

א"ר יוחנן הכל צריכין דעת חוץ ממחוסרי כפרה שהרי אדם מביא קרבן על בניו ועל בנותיו הקטנים שנאמר (ויקרא טו, לב) זאת תורת הזב בין גדול בין קטן

Ran explains that the father brings the Korban on behalf of his son who is a Metzora (leper) because he does not need daas i.e intention to become pure again:

מחוסרי כפרה - זב וזבה ומצורע ומצורעת ויולדת ובכולהו כתיב תורת וקרי להו מחוסרי כפרה משום שאסורין ליכנס למקדש ולאכול בקדשים עד שיביאו כפרתן והני כיון דאין קרבנן בא לכפרה אין צריכין דעת

*It seems that the Bavli Shabbos 133a and Nedarim 35b seem to Pasken like Rabbi Yehuda who says Tzaraas will happen whatever people do in Sifra Metzora: 5,4:
"ונתתי נגע צרעת" – אמר ר' יהודה בשורה הוא להם שבאים עליהם נגעים. ר' שמעון אומר "ונתתי נגע צרעת" – פרט לנגעי אנסים
But Rabbi Shimon says it doesn't just happen against peoples will. This could mean that they only get it as punishment e.g for Lashon Hara or Gasus Ruach Like Rabbi Meir goes on to say 5,12:
וכי מה מטמא בנגעים? הרשעים או הצדיקים? הוי אומר הרשעים
Or it could be that even Rabbi Shimon would agree Children are punished because of parents wickedness Like Gechazi's sons who were stricken because of his sin.

  • 2
    I don't see how this answers the question
    – Double AA
    Apr 2 '20 at 20:59
  • 2
    The OP presupposes since it’s not a physical affliction, the baby can’t get afflicted. Comes the Yalkut Shimoni and says it afflicts regardless. Apr 3 '20 at 2:06
  • Is it a punishment or warning to the parents Apr 3 '20 at 2:20
  • 1
    @AdrianMuller i think that considering the father has to pay for the Korban it probably is a punishment for the father until the kid is Bar mitzva when he is responsible for his own sins. By the way Welcome to Mi Yodeya, if you feel the post answers your question you can tick the post or you can even upvote just for the information. One does not require warning for divine Punishment rather only for death penalty and lashes see judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/105308/…
    – user15464
    Apr 3 '20 at 13:03
  • 1
    @Yaakov that doesn't answer the question. The OP knew the baby could get it regardless. The question is why?
    – Double AA
    Apr 3 '20 at 13:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .