Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tazria Summary

After discussing the laws of tumah (ritual impurity) regarding animals, the Torah now discusses tumah concerning humans. It starts with the laws of a woman who has given birth, and moves on to the laws of leprosy.

A person who has a mark which is suspected of having tzora'at (often mistranslated as leprosy) is brought before a Cohen (priest). He determines whether it is tzora'at and declares it tamei (impure). The different possibilities of tumah and tahara (ritual purity) are explained. Various laws are given for tzora’at of an infection or a burn. Other types of tzora’at are listed, for instance bald patches on the head or beard, white patches on the body. Someone afflicted with tzora’at must leave their home and dwell outside the camp or city until the tzora’at goes.

A garment on which appears a red or green mark is also suspected of tzora’at and must be brought before the Cohen. The procedure for determining the garment’s status is explained.

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