The laws of tumah, impurity and tahara, purity are intricate and complex. They are
rooted in the Torah. The Torah lists all of the people and things that can become impure and
how this is so.1
There is a list of laws regarding various people who have different types of
discharges. Bodily discharge can create a state of impurity for the person. Tumah also
transfers from a person to other people or items through various means. Purification
processes vary for the different types of bodily discharges and for the tamey person or those
who touch him or her. Immersing in a mikvah, a ritual bath, or bringing karbanot, sacrifices,
are often parts of this purification process. However, after the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed
most of the rules of tumah and tahara are no longer observed as the means of bringing a
sacrifice is no longer possible.
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