Leviticus 12:2, Unclean.One may rightly ask why new life begins in tumah or spiritual impurity? Could this have anything to do with David’s statement in Psalms 51:5, “Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” The basic premise of all the false religions and humanistic philosophies of the world is that man is innately good and that any evil attributes he may possess are largely due to his evil environment. Do you believe this? Or have you taken responsibility or ownership of your own sin and the sin nature in you?
Leviticus 12:4, Come into the sanctuary/miqdash. The miqdash referred to the tabernacle or temple and denotes that which has been devoted to the sphere of the sacred. An area was sacred since it was the place where YHVH dwelt among his people (Exod 25:8) and it was not to be profaned (Lev 12:4; 19:30; 20:3; 21:12, 23; q.v. The TWOT). The command that a woman was forbidden from entering the sanctuary when in an impure state begs this question: When then could a woman enter the tabernacle? The ArtScroll Vayikra/Leviticus Commentary doesn’t answer this question nor do Rashi or Hirsch in their commentaries. Keil and Delitzsch suggest that she would have come into the sanctuary to partake of sacrificial meals (e.g. the peach or fellowship offerings (Lev 3:1–17; 7:11–21) although the Torah doesn’t specifically state this. Lev 7:20–21 does state that anyone eating this offering in a ritually impure state would be cut off from Israel, thus implying that this meal might have been eaten within the confines of the tabernacle or temple sanctuary—or at least the outer courtyard where the altar of sacrifice was located. But do we know this for sure? No. For example, in 1 Samuel chapter one, we read that Hannah, after offering her sacrifice, prayed outside the door of the tabernacle where she met Eli the high priest (1 Sam 1:9). Later, in the history of the Jerusalem temple, the Woman’s Court was constructed. This separate court for women, located just outside of the temple itself, was where women prayed and offered their sacrifices, and was, according to Jewish tradition, constructed in the time of King Jehosophat (2 Chron 20:5; Carta’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Temple in Jerusalem, p. 93, by Airel and Richman). Also according to Jewish tradition, women were allowed to go past the Women’s Court and enter the temple sanctuary itself to offer up sacrifices although no scriptures are given to support this assertion (ibid.)
Leviticus 12:5, Two weeks. One may also ask why a woman remains in a state of ritual impurity only seven days for a male child and two weeks for a female child? To some of our minds that may have been “leavened” by the “women’s rights” agenda of the 1960s, this may seem sexist. One thing is certain, YHVH is not a respecter of persons. He does not value one gender above the other. Both male and female were made in his image (Gen 1:27). Therefore, Elohim is both male and female. For Elohim to view women as inferior, he would be showing favoritism to one part of himself over another, and this is not possible.
One explanation the Jewish sages give for the eight-day compared to the 14-day period of ritual impurity is that a male child has to be circumcised on the eighth day. A brit m’lah is to be a joyous occasion. If a woman were still in a state of ritual impurity she would not be able to participate in her son’s circumcision (The ArtScroll Tanach Series Vayikra, p. 187).
Leviticus 12:6, She shall bring. Why did the new mother have to bring a sin offering for her newborn child—after all isn’t childbirth a glorious and joyous event? To answer this question we will ask a question. What was one of the curses Elohim placed on Eve for her part in bringing sin into the world? (Gen 3:16) Labor pains were decreed upon woman for punishment for her part in original sin. The Jewish sages teach that the sin offering Torah demands her to give after giving birth is to atone for that. As believers in Yeshua, we might rather see this offering as pointing to ancient Israel’s need for atonement from sin in the Person of Yeshua the Messiah, who was yet to come. Does this not underscore the seriousness YHVH places on sin and that all have sinned and fallen short of his glory (Rom 3:33), and that we are all in desperate need of a Redeemer who would deliver us from that “certificate of sin debt that was against us” and nail it to his cross (Col 2:14)?
Leviticus 13:2, Leprous sore [Heb. tsaraath]. This was an infectious skin disease and not necessarily leprosy.
Leviticus 13:4, 5, 11, etc., Isolate him. The laws of quarantine are not merely for ritualistic and ceremonial purposes, which are now obsolete having passed away with the Levitical and sacrificial systems. Were people to follow these laws to this day and quarantine themselves when sick, colds, flus viruses and other infectious diseases would not be as rampant as they are. Thousands of years before modern medical science discovered the importance of cleanliness and the communicable nature of many diseases, the YHVH’s Torah prescribed measures to prevent the spread of such diseases.
Leviticus 13:43, 6, 10, 11, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22 etc. The priest shall examine. As it was the duty of the priests of old to keep the camp of Israel free of disease, so it is now the duty of the ministry to keep the infectious disease of sin outside church and to determine who is clean and unclean; who should be quarantined or put out of the camp and when to let them back in. (See Rom 16:17–18; Tit 3:10; 2 Thess 3:6; 2 Tim 3:5; 1 Cor 5:5, 9–11.)
Leviticus 13:45, Cry, “Unclean, unclean/tawmay.” A skin disease was like a red flag, which if a person had it was regarded as a judgment from Elohim for the sin of slander, gossip, murder with the mouth, false oaths and pride as well as sexual immorality, robbery and selfishness. That person was considered to be physically and spiritually contagious and so was put outside the camp of Israel until the disease was gone. According to Samson Hirsch, quarantine was a means of shocking the sinner into recognizing his moral shortcomings and his need to repent (The ArtScroll Chumash, p. 613).
What if each time we sinned with our mouth we were quickly struck with a visible sin disease for all to see resulting in our being quarantined and shunned? Perhaps the incidences of lashon hara (the evil tongue) would greatly diminish. If you received heaven’s judgment each time you misspoke, how would you change your speech habits and heart attitude toward others? Now live your life from this point on as if the next time you spoke evil of someone (without a righteous and biblically justifiable reason) you would be instantly judged by YHVH in a visible and public way.
What is the connection between Leviticus chapters 11 and 13? Both involve the mouth. The former Torah passage deals with uncleanness that goes into the mouth through what we eat. This defiles the man from within. The latter passage deals with what comes out of the mouth and how the man with a defiled heart corrupts society through the wrong use of his mouth. What did Yeshua say about this in Mark 7:14–23? What were the penalties in the Torah for eating unclean meats? (Read Leviticus 11.) Though the Torah calls eating unclean meats an abomination and declares that doing so defiles a person, interestingly there are no stated penalties for doing so. Now what are the penalties for speaking gossip and slander? It is a skin disease and required excommunication from the camp of Israel. Both eating unclean meats and speaking gossip and slander are sins to be sure, but the penalties for the one is much greater than for the other indicating the seriousness YHVH places on the right usage of the mouth. Ponder this for a moment: How easy it is for us to overly focus on what goes into our bellies, while at the same time ignoring the raw sewage spewing out of our mouths at times.
In conclusion, lest anyone think that clean and unclean meats is not a serious issue, YHVH clearly states in Isaiah 66:17 that in the end times during the day of Elohim’s wrath (referred to as the great and terrible day of the YHVH), those who are found to be eating swine’s flesh and other abominable foods will be consumed by the fire and sword of YHVH Elohim. We can infer from this that by then (presumably, the Millennium or Messianic Age) if people still have not repented of their sins and are refusing to turn to YHVH and obey him, they probably will deserve to die because of the perennial rebellious state of their hearts. This all the more underscores the fact that the mouth—what goes in and what comes out of it—are difficult issues for humans to deal with, but YHVH demands that we take personal responsibility for the use of our mouths. Let us not forget the warning admonition of Yeshua,
“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matt 12:36)
Leviticus 13:47, Infectious garments. How does this symbolize robes of righteousness and having garments that are spotted with sin—not being prepared as Yeshua’s bride with the unspotted robes or righteousness?
Leviticus 14:3, Plague of leprosy [Heb. tsaraath]. Some of the English translations of this scripture verse use the word leprosy for the skin disease described in these passages. This is a mistranslation. A better translation would be infectious skin disease. The Jewish sages teach that the skin disease described here is a supernaturally caused ailment. They also teach that this is YHVH’s way of identifying the evil sins of gossip and slander (along with haughtiness, selfishness and jealousy) before this sin spreads throughout the land engulfing it like a forest fire from hell. (Read James 3:5–6!) This disease would cause the sinner’s face to change color becoming like a red flag for all to see. An afflicted person would be forced to live outside the camp until repentance along with atonement and purification rituals had occurred, and all this occurred under the watchful eye of a priest. As you read this, you may be wiping your brow with a sigh of relief thankful that you didn’t live in ancient Israel. Suppose you did, or suppose YHVH suddenly imposed these consequences for the sin of the evil tongue (Heb. lashon hara) upon the country where you live. How would it affect you, your family, what politicians and lawyers say, and how the news media reports the “news”? Is it possible for us as YHVH’s ambassadors for the spiritual nation of Israel and his eternal kingdom—as a royal priesthood and a kingdom of priests (Exod 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9)—to begin acting more righteously with our mouths now as if every evil word we spoke would result in our faces lighting up like a neon sign?
Leviticus 14:1–6, The cleansing ritual of tsaraath. The atonement and purification rituals for the sin of gossip and slander are very interesting. The Jewish sages teach that cedar wood was chosen because the cedar tree grows tall, imposing and wide symbolizing haughtiness. The wood used in the ritual was about the size of a baseball bat (The ArtScroll Tanach Series Vayikra, p. 221). Hyssop may actually be thyme or oregano. Since antiquity, thyme has been known for its cleansing and healing properties. It is an antibiotic and antiseptic and is beneficial against infectious diseases and for healing wounds. Oregano, on the other hand, is a strong antiseptic, antitoxic and antiviral herb.
Why do you think YHVH chose these herbs to be part of the cleansing process for the sinner who was guilty of murdering others with his tongue?
The third ingredient in the cleansing process was a crimson thread. The Jewish sages teach that this was wool dyed with a pigment made from a lowly creature (either an insect or a snail, ibid.). Why wool and why red? How does this relate to sin? (See Isa 1:18.) The wood, “hyssop” and the crimson wool were all tied together to symbolize the fact that the offending party had fallen from a place of pride against his neighbor when he spoke evil of him, and ended up finding himself humiliated and finally ostracized from the camp leaving him feeling very lowly like a snail or insect. Together, these elements symbolized the penitent’s newfound humility (ibid.).
Have you ever gossiped against or slandered someone only to be convicted by your conscience and the Spirit of Elohim? How did it feel? Did you take the next step and repent to the person you spoke evil against? How did you feel then? Like a snail?!
The last components to be used in the cleansing ceremony were two clean birds. What does this signify? Remember, as Renewed Covenant believers on which side of the cross we are now living. We are looking backwards two thousand years. To whom did everything in the ancient sacrificial system look forward prophetically? Why was one bird killed and one allowed to fly away? Let’s not forget that there were two aspects of Yeshua’s ministry at the cross: his death and burial, and then his resurrection. His death and burial relates to our being redeemed of our sins, while his resurrection pictures new spiritual (eternal) life in Yeshua.
Leviticus 14:4–32, Tsaraath, sin and Yeshua. Read this scripture passage and see how many clues you can find that point to Yeshua. We’ll give you hints along the way by providing you with the scriptures verses to look up that will give you the answers. The purpose of this exercise is to show you that all the ceremonies and rituals that were part of the sacrificial system all prophetically pointed to Yeshua the Messiah, who fulfilled them all. This means that if we place our trusting faith in him, we no longer have to do the laborious and involved rituals that our ancient forefathers had to do in order to atone for their sins—we simply have to repent and believe in, love, follow and obey Yeshua and his word.
Now let’s look at the ritual for cleansing a metzora (one with a skin disease—a picture of our sinfulness) who had tsaraath (an infectious skin disease caused by sin).
- Verses 4–7, two birds: One bird (likely a dove or pigeon) was killed in a clay pot over running water. The other bird along with the cedar wood, scarlet cloth and hyssop were dipped into the clay pot containing the blood from the killed bird and the running water. The water blood mixture was then sprinkled on the diseased person (metzora) who was being purified, and the living bird was let loose and allowed to fly away. There is a lot going on here, but it all prophetically pointed to Yeshua’s death, burial and resurrection. Before deciphering this ritual out, perhaps it would help to understand the spiritual meaning of the wood, scarlet and hyssop, which we will explain next.
- Verse 4, cedar wood: What was Yeshua crucified on? (Read John 19:17–18; Acts 5:30.)
- Verse 4, scarlet: Scarlet is the color of blood and in the Bible pictures blood. What did Yeshua’s blood do for our sins? (Read Isa 1:18; Rev 1:5.)
- Verse 4, hyssop: Hyssop (in reality, probably thyme or oregano) represented an essential oil that was known for its healing, cleansing and disease-killing properties. How would this point to Yeshua’s death on the cross? (Read Exod 12:22; Ps 51:7; John 19:29.)
- Verses 7–8, The metzora was sprinkled with the water and blood mixture, he then bathed himself and washed his clothes. What is this a picture of in the redeemed believer’s life? (Read Acts 2:38; Rom 6:3–6.)
- Verses 10–32, Three yearling lambs were offered for a trespass, sin and burnt offering. How does this point to Yeshua? (Read John 1:29, 36; Rev 13:8; 1 Pet 1:19.)
- Now let’s take another look at verses 4–7 and the two birds to see how they pointed to Yeshua. The one bird being sacrificed and his blood being sprinkled as part of the cleansing process for the sinner is an obvious picture of what? But what about the bird that was let loose? What does this picture? Imagine letting a live bird loose out of your hands. What would he immediately do? Fly up and away, right? If the birds represent Yeshua, and the killed bird represents his death on the cross, then what does the live bird flying away represent? (Read Acts 3:15; 4:10; 1 Pet 1:3.)
- What does the blood of the bird in verse 6 represent? How does it point to Yeshua? (Read Lev 17:11; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; 1 Pet 1:18–19; 1 John 1:7; Rev 1:5).
- What does the clay pot in verse 5 represent? How does this point to Yeshua? (Read Gen 2:7; 2 Cor 4:7; 5:1.)
- What does the running or living water in verse 5 represent? (Read Eph 5:26.) Who is the Word of Elohim? (Read John 1:1–14.) Who is the sources of that living water? (Read John 4:10–14; 7:37–39.)
So now let’s connect the dots to form the complete picture. We have before us a picture of a clay pot filled with living water, into which is poured blood from a sacrificed bird. Into all that is dipped hyssop, a piece of wood and some scarlet cloth. This is a perfect picture of Yeshua’s death on the cross and how that death atoned for our sins. But though Yeshua died on the cross, he did not stay dead, but resurrected out of the grave three days later and returned to his Father in heaven. This is pictured by the bird that was let loose to fly away.
Although this was such a simple ceremony, described in a few short verses in Leviticus 14, yet when you look carefully at it, do you notice how rich in meaning it is? Thankfully, we have the Scriptures in the Testimony of Yeshua to help us to understand the meaning of this otherwise mysterious cleansing ritual!
Leviticus 14:8–9, Shave off. What is the significance of shaving the body? The Jewish sage, S. R. Hirsch, teaches that shaving the hair symbolizes the repentant sinner making a clean break from his past demeaning and animalistic behavior and changing his way of living and dealing with others via the use of his mouth. He must come up to the godly level for which he was created and use his mouth accordingly (The ArtScroll Tanach Series Vayikra, p. 223; The Pentateuch-Leviticus, p. 375, by Hirsch, Judaica Press).
Verse nine specifies three areas of facial hair to be shaved. What is the significance of this? What does the hair of the head, eyebrows and beard signify? The sin of speaking evil of others involves pride or haughtiness and jealousy. How do the three areas of this facial hair (the head, eyes and mouth) contribute to gossip, slander and haughtiness? What lesson did the restored sinner learn from having his facial hair shaved? What would others think when they saw him, and how would this visible stigma be an impetus for him to mend his ways and learn some new habits regarding the use of his tongue?
As redeemed believers, we now have the Spirit of YHVH living inside of us to convict us whenever we sin. Do we obey the divine leading or prompting of YHVH’s Spirit? If YHVH says to zip our mouth shut do we obey him, or do we just have to say what we think or feel even though we know we shouldn’t?
Leviticus 14:14, 17, Right ear … thumb of the right hand … toe of his right foot. What is the spiritual significance of the blood being placed on the restored gossip’s right ear, thumb and big toe? The same was done with anointing oil when sanctifying the priests for their service in the tabernacle. How does this speak of the change of life and direction of the repentant sinner? What do all these steps show us about the gravity YHVH places on the sin of gossip and slander, the need to repent of it, the need to be atoned for it, and the need to mend our ways in the future so that we never commit this sin again? Oil signifies what? Olive oil is very healing. How does this speak of YHVH’s grace?
Leviticus 14:23, On the eighth day. If the number seven represents completion or perfection what does eight represent in a spiritual sense? How does this relate to the healing, restoration and a new beginning for the sinner? And what is the responsibility of those of the community of the saints toward those who fall into sin but have since repented? (See 1 Cor 2:3–11; Jas 5:19; Jude 22.)
Leviticus 14:33, I put the leprous plague. This was a divine judgment against sin.
Leviticus 14:34–57, In a house. What happened to people’s skin because of selfishness, gossip, slander, pride and jealousy also happened to their houses? Again, the Jewish sages teach that this was a supernaturally imposed divine judgment. Because of YHVH’s grace, he would gradually afflict the person in an attempt to get their attention in an attempt to bring them to repentance. He would first afflict their houses, then their clothes and if they did not repent, finally their bodies. Does this seem harsh of YHVH? In our modern soft-shoe view of the Messiah as proffered by many in the mainstream church, dealing with sin in this way is not “politically correct.” Sin is too often tolerated and even pandered to. Excuses and justifications are made. The pagans and heathens are referred to now as the “unchurched.” Biblical words like sin, evil, heathen, pagan, wickedness, judgment and repentance are seldom mentioned from the pulpit. Who has changed? Elohim and his Word, or man? Is the modern church conforming to the unchanging Word of Elohim or conforming the Word of Elohim to fit man’s ever changing and devolving mores? YHVH has never been soft on sin. He sent his Son to die a hideous death on a cross because of sin. Those who refuse to accept Yeshua’s sin sacrifice will perish in the lake of fire. We experience more grace now than the ancient Israelites did, thanks to Yeshua’s death on the cross, but ultimately the sinner will pay the price for unrepented of sin, like gossip, slander, haughtiness, jealousy and selfishness with his own life resulting in eternal damnation.
Leviticus 14:51, Blood…sprinkle…seven times. There are numerous examples in the sacrificial system of the priest sprinkling blood on various things seven times as part of the purification ritual (also Lev 14:6,17; 16:14,19; 19:4). Everything in the sacrificial system points to Yeshua, who fulfilled it all by his death. Interestingly, Yeshua bled from seven spots on his body while hanging on the cross (his head, back, two hands, two feet, and side).
Leviticus 14:52, Hyssop and with scarlet. Notice the crimson (or scarlet) thread and hyssop? What do these symbolize? What are other scriptures where reference to a crimson thread is made? (Read Josh 2:17–18,21 cp. Exod 12:7,13; Rev 13:8.)
Leviticus 15 Family purity laws. This chapter discusses the family purity laws. This is a tough subject that spouses should discuss with each other and ask YHVH for wisdom on how to implement them. Holiness and purity is very important to YHVH in all situations. Men, at the very least, are to refrain from all physical relations with their wives during her monthly flow. Any man who has a problem with this needs to repent of selfishness, uncontrolled passions and failing to give his wife space during a difficult time in her life. Sin has consequences, whether we understand what they are or not, so why risk it? YHVH takes his laws seriously and blessings or curses befall us vis-à-vis our relationship to them. Check your heart attitude here. Are you serious about obeying YHVH? Or at this point, are you content to ignore his Word and, in effect, rip pages out of the Scriptures arrogantly saying, “It doesn’t apply to me”? Didn’t the serpent say something like this to Adam and Eve at the Tree of Knowledge about the Word of Elohim?
Did Yeshua fulfill the family purity laws? Let’s first establish one thing. When we say “fulfill” as per Matthew 5:17, we don’t mean “to do away with” or “destroy” as the mainstream church de facto infers from this passage. The Greek word behind the word fulfill means “to bring to its fullest completion” or “to make full.” This is the opposite of rendering the laws of the Torah obsolete and irrelevant to the redeemed believer’s life. Yeshua then goes on to explain in the rest of the Sermon on the Mount how both the letter and the spirit of the law are fully applicable to the life of his disciples. Curiously, the Jewish elite of Yeshua’s day focused more on the letter of the law obedience and often missed the spirit of the law, whereas in mainstream Christianity today, the focus is often more on the spirit rather than on the letter. Men just can’t seem to get the right balance! Yet Yeshua was perfectly balanced and presented a full and complete understanding of the Torah and urged his followers to walk out both the letter and the spirit, and declared that those who do both are the most pleasing to the Father (e.g. see John 4:23–24).
Now with regard specifically to the family purity laws, Yeshua didn’t come to abolish them or any other laws. Having said that, to keep any of the laws of the Torah exactly as the Israelites kept them (in a letter of the law manner) all conditions that existed then when the laws were given must be exactly the same today. What are these conditions? Women still go through their menstrual cycles. That hasn’t changed. Husbands need to refrain from physical relation with their wives during this time. This hasn’t changed. With regard to the blood touching things such as the woman, bedding, couches, or other people, some things in this arena have changed. We now have feminine hygiene products that keep the flow contained. These things didn’t exist in antiquity, so others touching the blood is no longer an issue today. We have running water, and flush toilets and lots of paper products to keep us clean. Beyond that, it’s probably a good thing for a woman to be alone during the time of her cycle due to physical and emotional issues that can make being around her rather difficult. However, with women now in the work force, it may not be possible for her to sequester herself “outside the camp” for a week or more. At the very least, her family needs to be more understanding at these times when life and death are occurring in her body, and they need to “give her space.” The caring and loving husband needs to lead by his good example in this.
There are other aspects to the family purity laws that I haven’t touched on in this brief discussion, but I hope this gives you a good basis to understand the overall subject. In brief, we do the best we can to observe these laws by maintaining good hygienic practices,husbands keeping their distance sexually from their wives during this time. The Torah teaches that blood, human and animal, needs to be respected and properly disposed of. Excellent hygienic practices is a big step in fulfilling these Torah requirements. This is my quick answer to a complex issue.
Leviticus 15:1–33, Dealing With Bodily Emissions—Overview. Regrading Lev 15 and laws concerning bodily discharges, it is all about good hygiene and cleanliness. Women now have feminine hygiene products that keep their blood flow contained so that it doesn’t come into contact with anyone else, so, in my estimation, this fulfills the Lev 15 requirements pertaining to that subject. If men become unclean because of a nocturnal emission, they now have quick access to showers with which to clean themselves. I don’t see that ritual uncleanness is any longer an issue as it was in the days of the tabernacle and temple. These institutions no longer exist. Now we are the temple of the Spirit of Elohim who lives in us continually because of our spiritual rebirth, cleansing of our sins by Yeshua’s blood and our continual relationship with him. The Bible in many places instructs us to be holy or set-apart as Elohim is, and that without holiness no one will see him. What is holiness? It is acting holy as Elohim is. It is following the example of Yeshua about living cleanly—especially spiritually. This mostly has to do with the heart and mind as Yeshua teaches in Matt 15:1–20. There he instructs his disciples and us about worrying less about eating with unwashed hands and more about the filth that come out of our mouths through unholy words. That is not to say that we aren’t to be concerned about physical cleanliness. The Torah has a lot to say about this when it comes to disease detection and prevention, diet, washing and cleanliness and burying bodily waste for example. The phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness” may not be in the Bible, but it’s a biblical concept. Overall, however, the Bible focuses more on inner spiritual cleanliness that outward, but we need to follow both the letter and the spirit of the law in this regard as best we can as Yeshua clearly teachings throughout his Sermon on the Mount teaching (Matt 5–7). We will be blessed in all respects in this life and the next life if we do.
Leviticus 15:19–24, Female menstruation. The laws of niddah apply to a women in her menstrual cycle. This is an area that many take for granted, but not YHVH in his Torah. A woman’s body produces life or death depending on whether an egg has been fertilized or not during her monthly cycle. There are many spiritual ramifications to this, and YHVH does not treat this matter lightly. While her egg is passing from her body she is in a state of impurity since, in a sense, death is occurring (an unfertilized egg is passing out). It is a time of grieving and emotional turmoil for the woman. This is NOT the time for a man to approach his wife sexually. To do so, as already noted, is strictly forbidden (Lev 18:19).
Consider the benefits to the marriage of the husband and wife separating themselves sexually and emotionally at this time each month, and how it can benefit and enrich a marriage. The man learns self control and selflessness in that he is given the opportunity to be extra solicitous of his wife’s needs without expecting anything in return. What’s more, how much sweeter their time of intimacy will be when the do come back together intimately. The old adage, absence makes the heart grow fonder, could apply here.
The Torah considers a woman to be unclean for at least seven days, even if her flow lasted only one day. So at the minimum a man is to be separated from his wife (giving her an emotional break) for at least seven days, if not longer. On the eighth day (at the minimum) or the next day after her flow has stopped, she is no longer considered unclean (The ArtScroll Tanach Series Vayikra, p. 247). Eight is the biblical number signifying new beginnings. In this case, eight relates to the new cycle of life that begins as the woman’s body begins to produce a new egg with the potential for new life to occur.