Seven Day Cleansing Process

Question

Parasha CHUKAT NUMBERS 19:11-12
The person who touches a corpse is unclean for 7 days.
Therefore, cleansing on the 7th day makes sense to me.

Do the days represent the number of days after touching the corpse or the days of the week (3rd day would be Tuesday, 7th day would be Saturday)?

Main Question: What is the significance of the third day?

Thanks.

5 days

Answers

  1. The days represent the days after touching the corpse. That means that day one is the first day after the cleansing process begins and day seven is a week later.

    The reason is rather esoteric! The Ramban, Nachmanides at the beginning of chapter two in Bereshit, writes that the six days of creation correspond to the six millennia. On the third day, that is, in the third millennium of world history, we received the Torah and it enables us to attain immortality of the soul, symbolized by the seventh day of total Shabbat. That is why the Torah frames the purification process by saying, “He shall purify himself with it on the third day and on the seventh day.” Torah, given on the third day-millennium purifies one and sets the stage for the seventh day of eternity of the soul. “But if he will not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not become pure.”

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team