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Study Guide for Parashat Emor

Physical Deformity in the Torah

There are 2 lists of disqualifying physical deformities in Parashat Emor -- one is for priests, the other is for sacrificial animals. The priestly disqualifications are listed in Lev. 21:16-24 (Hertz p.514). The animal disqualifications are listed in Lev. 22:17-25 (Hertz p.517). Hebrew words are shown in transliteration. Asterisks indicate that the word is a hapax legomenon.

Word

Priest

Animal

Comments

moom - blemish, defect

21:17

22:19

Generic category introducing both lists

ivver - blind

21:18

22:22

Animal usage is variant: avveret

pi'sseach - lame, thigh injury

21:18

 

 

charum* - maimed, mutilated

21:18

 

Rashi - nose sunk bet. eyes. Ibn Ezra - limbs too short

sa'rua - anything too long

21:18

22:23

[note 1]

shever regel - broken leg/foot

21:19

22:22

Animal usage is only shever.

shever yad - broken arm/hand

21:19

22:22

Animal usage is only shever.

gi'bben* - hunchback

21:20

 

Rashi - eyebrows hang over eyes.

dak - dwarf, deformed foot, hand

21:20

 

Rashi - skin hanging over cornea of eye

tevalul* - spot in eyes

21:20

 

cataracts

garav - scabbed

21:20

22:22

unknown skin disease I

yalefet - scurvy, eruptions

21:20

22:22

unknown skin disease II

meroach ashach* - crushed testes

21:20

 

 

charutz* - maimed, mutilated

 

22:22

Rashi - split lip or eyelid. Others - wounded w/ sharp instrument

yabbelet* - wen

 

22:22

Rashi - wart. Others - large swelling

kalut* - stunted, too short

 

22:23

Rashi - club foot, one hoof not cloven.

[note 1]

ma'ooch - bruised

 

22:24

testes damaged by hand

cha'toot - smashed, crushed

 

22:24

testes severely damaged

natuk - torn (up)

 

22:24

testes torn w/ pincers or cord

charut - cut (out)

 

22:24

Rashi - testes cut w/ an implement. Others - castrated

Note 1 - Animal with this defect can be accepted only as a free-will (nedava) offering (22:23). It was still not acceptable to be sacrificed -- it would be sold and the money donated to Temple (Talmud)

These topics are treated extensively in the Talmud, with many more sub-categories:

 

Discussion topics:

 

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