Part of the purification process of a Metzora is a full haircut (Vayikra 14:9).

וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי יְגַלַּח אֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָרוֹ אֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ וְאֶת־זְקָנוֹ וְאֵת גַּבֹּת עֵינָיו וְאֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָרוֹ יְגַלֵּחַ וְכִבֶּס אֶת־בְּגָדָיו וְרָחַץ אֶת־בְּשָׂרוֹ בַּמַּיִם וְטָהֵר׃ On the seventh day he shall shave off all his hair—of head, beard, and eyebrows. When he has shaved off all his hair, he shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; then he shall be clean.

Although there are plenty other peculiar parts of this purification process (red wool, hyssop, cedar, etc.), why does the Metzora's tahara specifically include a massive haircut? It seems more similar to the inauguration of the Levi'im or the final sacrifice of the Nazir, who seem to stand at the opposite spectrum of this individual who is considered an Av HaTumah.

  • Hair can function as a siman tumah of a nega.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 13:27

1 Answer 1


The Sefer Hachinuch in mitzva 174 writes: משרשי המצוה. קצת מן הטעם שאמרנו למעלה (מצוה קעג) במים כדי שיראה האדם כאלו היום נברא והיום מתחיל שערו לצמח ויחדש מעשיו לטוב, A partial explanation of the root of this mitzva is that as a person emerges from his state of uncleanliness of a metzora, he should view himself as if he is reborn and only today his hair begins to grow and that he should renew his ways for good. In a similar vein the levites shaved upon their inauguration because it’s as if they were being reborn into the service of G-d.

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