This week’s Torah portion is called Metzora, meaning “one who has tzara’at.” Tzara’at is described in the portion as a disease, and it usually translated “leprosy,” although there is near-universal agreement that it is NOT Hansen’s Disease, which is what moderns usually mean by “leprosy.”
Tzara’at (tzah-RAH-aht) is something that affects human skin, houses, or fabric. It is diagnosed by the kohen, the priest, and treatment involves sacrifices and procedure that are oddly similar to those required for ordaining priests in Leviticus 8-10.
The parashah concludes with a discussion of bodily discharges and the problems of ritual purity that result.
What does all of this mean? I’ll leave that up to the writers of this week’s divrei Torah:
Plagues, cleansing, and Pesach House-cleaning by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat
A Plague on Your House by Rabbi Amy Scheinerman
An Object Lesson in Convalescence by Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild
Attitude Shows What is Happening Inside by Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses
Doing the next right thing, with humble and positive attitude by Rabbi Mark Borovitz (VIDEO)
Shabbat Hagadol by Rabbi Amitai Adler
Metzora by Chazan Jaclyn Chernett