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The book explains clearly the ritual purity system of the Hebrew Bible. Maccoby focuses on the various human conditions (corpse impurity, menstruation, childbirth, sexual intercourse, and certain diseases), which are not sinful, but which disqualify Israelites from entering the Temple unless they have been purified. Various recent theories of the origin and meaning of the rules of ritual purity are discussed, and common misconceptions are corrected. New solutions are proposed for various problems. This is the first book on the subject that is accessible to the specialist and nonspecialist reader alike.
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