Tazria- Shared Reading
Torah Portions 3.4 Tazria (Wayyiqra) [Leviticus] Chapters 12:1-13:59
Hebrew Word/Phrase of the Week: Tazria
Meaning: ”She Conceived”
This week’s Torah Portion is called Tazria (תזריע). Tezria means “she conceived”. YHWH tells Moshe what the Priests (Kohen) are to do in situations such as when a woman has a child, or someone may have leprosy.
Chapter 12: YHWH told Moshe how long a woman would be unclean after having a male or a female child, and when to have a male child circumcised. When her time of being unclean after having the baby was over, she would bring the priest a lamb a year old, as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering. The priest would bring it before YHWH, and make atonement for her and she would be clean. If she couldn’t bring a lamb, then she could bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons. One as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering.
Chapter 13: If a person had swelling, a scab, boils, infection on the head or in the beard, or anything on their skin like a leprous infection, they would be brought to the priests for a check-up and the priest would determine whether or not it really was leprous.
Fun Fact: If the hair on the infection turned white or thin and yellow and the infection appeared to be deeper than the skin of his body, it was considered leprous.
However if the spot didn’t appear to be leprous, the priest would put the person away for seven days. But they would only shut the person away if they didn’t have leprosy. After seven days, the priest would examine the person again and continue to watch them every seven days until their condition was determined to be healed and they could wash (and shave if it was on their head or beard) and be considered clean, or if it got worse and they were pronounced unclean.
If a person was determined to be unclean because of leprosy, their garments were torn, their head uncovered, and they had to cover their upper lip and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’. For as long as they had the infection, that person was unclean and had to dwell alone, outside of the camp.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the priest even looked at garments for people to consider whether or not there was leprosy on the garment? The priest would sometimes even put it away, just like people until it was determined to be clean or unclean. If the garment happened to have an active leprosy, it was burned.
Want to know more? Join us next time and we continue to read through Wayyiqra (Leviticus)!