Moed Katan 7b:

Have you not taught us, our teacher, that King Jotham was only born to Uzziah, the king of Judah, during the days of his confirmed leprosy? This would indicate that a confirmed leper is permitted to engage in conjugal relations.

How can halachah be derived from Uzziah's behavior?

While he was a metzorah, he was, apparently, not a tzadik gamur.

  • 1
    The pesukim say about Uzziah that ויעש הישר בעיני ה. It seems like he made one mistake for which he was punished with tzaraat - I don't know that I would call him "not a tzadik".
    – Joel K
    Jan 19, 2022 at 8:07
  • מרים was metsora, the hand of moshe was metsora,
    – kouty
    Jan 20, 2022 at 15:20
  • @kouty: yes, and we do not learn anything from their behavior while they were metzoraim.
    – sds
    Jan 20, 2022 at 15:42
  • They never were reshayim
    – kouty
    Jan 20, 2022 at 16:20
  • @kouty: I am not calling anyone a rasha. All I am saying is that I find it strange to learn from the behavior of a metzora.
    – sds
    Jan 20, 2022 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


The Ritv”a on that sugya (addressing a different point) mentions that if Jotham would’ve been born through an improper manner, they would never have allowed him to become king:

ולרבי יוסי בר יהודה דאמר מוחלט אסור בתשמיש המטה ודאי לא ניחא לן למימר דס"ל שהיתה הורתו באיסור עשה ובפסול יוחסין שאם לא כן לא היו ממליכין אותו

  • A cursory glance through our history does not give much credence to the notion that "they" had much influence on who becomes king ;-(
    – sds
    Jan 19, 2022 at 3:55

He was a great tzadik, even though he was a metzorah. Read the chapters about him (2. Chronicles 26.).

We definitely can learn halacha from him since he was not establishing the halacha rather know what the halacha was and always followed it.

Even if he would have been an average person (בינוני) still, the mere fact that he got tzaraat as a punishment for a certain sin would not render him so bad as to we should suspect him of transgressing such grave sin.

Because in the mentioned sugya the topic is: is a metzorah allowed to be with his wife. If not, it is like issur niddah. How could we suspect an otherwise normal, religious Jew of such a transgression just because we happen to know that he made once a mistake?


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