This Week’s Torah Portion: Tazria-Metzorah

Name: Tazria-Metzorah

Reading: Tazria: Leviticus 12:1 – 13:59; Metzorah: Leviticus 14:1 – 15:33

Haftarah: Kings 2 7:3-20

Bonus Feature: Double Parasha!

Parsha Summary – Tazria-Metzorah

Purification After Childbirth

God tells Moses that after giving birth to a boy, women are unclean for seven days. The baby will be circumcised on the eight day. The woman will be purified after 33 days. After giving birth to a girl, women are unclean for two weeks and she will be purified after 66 days. After her purification, she must bring a sacrifice to the priest who will offer it to God for her.

The Laws of Leprosy

Intricate laws are given regarding one who discovers rising flesh, scabs, or bright spots of the plague, leprosy, on his skin. He must go to a priest who will examine the wound’s appearance and pronounce him unclean. When diagnosed, the person will be sent out of the camp, and their clothes and home must also be inspected.

Purifying a Leper

The leper will be brought to the priest, who will look to see if they are healed. Two birds are taken: one is killed, and the other is used in a purifying ritual and then released. He must shave and bathe, and on the eight day, bring a sacrifice of lamps, flour, and oil. The priest will use the elements to purify the leper and make several different offerings.

Spiritual Cleanliness

God then issues directives regarding the emissions of bodily fluids from both men and women. The laws of family purity are derived from this set of laws.