Shabbat 27 - A small piece of clothing

A small piece of clothing the size of three by three finger-breadths is somewhat useful as a garment, because poor people can use it for patches. It does not have complete utility though, since rich people don't have any use for such small clothing. Nevertheless, the Torah gives it the status of a garment, and it is subject to the spiritual disease of tzaraat (white spots looking like leprosy), which indicates to the owner that he has some defects:  stinginess, bad talk, etc.. How do we know that this indeed is the minimal size?

Since the Torah did not just say "garment" but " and the garment ", we see that even a piece of three by three finger-breadths is included. But maybe the Torah meant a larger piece of clothing, three by three hand-breadths, which has some use for everybody, rich and poor? - No, that the Torah did not have to include, because it already included the warp and the woof, in that they can become impure: if such small unfinished piece is susceptible to impurity, then how much more so a finished piece of three by three hand-breadths!

But perhaps Torah wanted to include garments made of other materials, and not only the wool and linen which it mentioned explicitly? - No, by repeating the word "garment" in "garment of wool or garment of linen," the Torah showed that only these materials are considered significant for the laws of tzaraat purity.

Art: Raja Ravi Varma - The Miser