On Discharge

Leviticus 15: More rules about discharge than you ever thought you’d need.

Discharge. The very word conjures up images of gooey yellowish puddles on crumpled up tissues, brown mucus caked under long fingernails, and expired cottage cheese. So important is unusual bodily discharge that the Lord Himself saw fit to dedicate a whole chapter on how to deal with it.

For your average irregular discharge (and/or menstrual flow):

  • Anything you sit or lay on becomes unclean.
  • Anyone who touches anything you sit or lay on becomes unclean.
  • Anyone who touches you becomes unclean.
  • Anyone you spit on becomes unclean
  • Any clay pots you touch must be broken
  • Any wooden things you touch must be rinsed off

For the more ‘intimate’ discharge:

  • An emission of semen makes you unclean until sundown. Similarly, any clothing or leather that has had semen on it needs to be rinsed off, and is unclean until sundown. Plan accordingly!
  • Be sure to rinse off after sex. Pro-tip: if you do it just before sundown, you minimize your unclean time!
  • Keep away from menstruating women, and especially don’t have sex with them. Otherwise you’ll be unclean for seven whole days.

When you’re done discharging or sexing, or whatever you get up to, you need to wait seven days for your ceremonial cleansing. Fortunately this is a simple process of sacrificing two pigeons. Easy peasy, and cleanup is a snap!

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