Tzaraat of the House- Only in the Land of Israel!

In Parshat Metzora 14:33-34 we read about Tzaraat of the house: “God spoke to Moshe and Aharon saying: When you arrive in the Land of C’naan that I give to you as a possession (achuza) I will place a Tzaraat affliction upon a house in the Land of your possession (achuzatchem)…”

Many questions arise from these psukim:

  1. Why are Moshe and Aharon being commanded (not B’nai Yisrael) if they will never make it into the Land of Israel?
  2. How can a house get tzaraat?
  3. Why is the tzaraat of the homes only in effect in the Land of Israel, Land of your possession?


  1. Ramban (Vayikra 14:34) answers that these laws only needed to be taught to those who would be entering the land of Israel as opposed to the entire nation. God taught these laws to Moshe and Aharon first so that they could later serve as instructors (even though for Moshe and Aharon it would not be Halacha L’Maaseh, they personally would not be entering the Land). Moshe and Aharon would then teach these to the members of the nation who would be entering the Land of Israel.
  2. A house getting tzaraat is a supernatural occurrence which God imposed in order to teach a lesson.  Ramban (Vayikra 13:47) points out that when Israel is fully devoted to God, then His spirit is upon them always to maintain their bodies, clothing and houses in a good appearance. As soon as one of them commits a sin or transgression, a deformity appears in his flesh or on his garment or in his house, revealing that God has turned aside from him.
  3. Ramban adds that the law only applies inside of the Land of Israel since Israel is the chosen land and that is where God dwells. He adds that a house will only contract impurity after the conquest and division of the land and until each individual knows his portion. It will only be after the Land is conquered and divided that they will have ease of mind that God is with them.

The State of Israel is looked at by Religious Zionists as the first flowerings of our redemption. Although we possess the Land, we are still not at the level of conquest and division and therefore these laws concerning tzaraat are not in effect at this time.

May we speedily reach the level where the Jewish people are fully devoted to God where His spirit is always upon them.