The bulk of this week’s Parsha, Tazria, discusses various forms of tzara’at, skin maladies which are contracted as a result of engaging in forbidden gossip. Also discussed are certain garment discolorations which constitute “clothing tzara’at.”
Aliya Summary: The Jewish people are instructed regarding the ritual impurity contracted by a woman who gives birth. The timeframe of this period of impurity differs depending whether the child is a boy or girl. At the conclusion of this period, the woman immerses in a mikvah and is required to bring certain offerings in the Temple. Incidentally, the Torah mentions the obligation to circumcise a male child on the eighth day of his life. The Torah then begins discussing the laws of tzara’at, a skin discoloration — often inaccurately translated as “leprosy” — which renders a person ritually impure. This Aliya discusses various forms of white skin discolorations. A person who has the symptoms of tzara’at must be seen by a priest. If the discoloration is deemed “suspicious,” the priest will immediately declare the individual impure or quarantine him for up to two weeks.