Leviticus 13:40-41, Bald is Beautiful

When a man has lost his hair and is bald, he is clean. If he has lost his hair from the front of his scalp and has a bald forehead, he is clean.

//In the middle of a long series of chapters about the impurity of—well, about everything—we find this short reprieve. In an era where any hint of disease marks divine displeasure, the Law assures us that losing our hair is okay. Male pattern baldness (at least in front) is okay. This is a welcome relief for all of us fifty-somethings.

I have the sneaking suspicion that these two verses stem from the shiny dome of a bored copyist working his way through a series of tedious rules. Why else would we have this odd interruption to the Leviticus list of bizarre epidemics? Baldness in the Bible is usually a self-inflicted state, meant as a public sign of mourning. Like wearing sackcloth and sitting in ashes. Baldness, you would think, is a quality to be pitied.

My suggestion? Ignore that wayward copyist and hang on to the Rogaine.

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