Article abstract for Parashat Shemini:
The Torah concludes the chapter describing the permitted and non-permitted animals with the words: וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם וְנִטְמֵתֶם בָּם. Artscroll translates: you shall not contaminate yourselves through them, lest you become contaminated through them. Talk about redundancy!
This article discusses the various opinions about the meanings of the two Hebrew words in question, and examines the fundamental meaning of spiritual contamination itself.