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Parshat Tazria-Metzora

5761 This week’s twin-portion deals with the unusual subject of "Tzoraas", a now-extinct "disease" caused by "Loshon HaRa" - evil, damaging speech. This "disease" often was no more than a discoloration of the skin, but its implications were severe; one stricken could not live among normal people until the signs disappeared and he underwent a purifying process:
5762 This week's double portion explains the laws of Metzora; a spiritual impurity loosely translated as "leprosy" indicated by a strange discoloration of the skin.
5764 This week's portion, which deals mostly with the laws of Tzoraat (spiritual Leprosy) and how to purify it, begins with the commandment of circumcision. This commandment is the basis of Judaism. Begun by Abraham hundreds of years before the Torah was given, it is the only commandment in the Bible to be called by the name 'covenant' (Brit) signifying the pact it cuts between the Jews and the Creator of the universe.
5766 This week we read two Torah portions that cover the strange laws of Tzoraat. Tzoraat is loosely translated as 'leprosy' because both are skin diseases but really there is very little similarity.
5767 This week we learn about the unusual, complicated and now extinct, Torah 'disease' called 'Tzoraat' caused by such sins as haughtiness and viciously damaging speech. Rashi, the main Torah commentator, explains that this week's section about Tzoraat comes after last week's Torah portion which told us which animals are fit to eat to tell us that just as man was created after the animals …so his laws are written afterward.
5769 This week we read two Torah portions together. The first, 'Tazria' means 'Giving seed' and the second 'Metzora' is translated 'Leprosy' (actually a Leprosy-like Torah disease called Tzoraat caused by speaking with intent to harm).
5770 The double Torah portion we read this week deals mostly with the impurity 'disease' of Tzoraat and its implications. Tzoraat is one of the most severe impurities in the Torah it manifests itself as discolorations of the skin or hair but it indicates spiritual blemishes in the souls of those who possess it.
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