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This parsha continues after parsha Shmini where Aharon and his sons were installed into the priesthood. This parsha is frequently combined into a double parsha with Metzorah, next week's parsha, but this year, we are reading it as a single parsha.

The first aliyah begins with the law of a woman who gives birth to a male child, and the law of bris-mila (circumcision) when the child is eight days old. The law of a woman who gives birth to a female child is given next. After that this aliyah describes the steps to be taken when a person contracts tzoraas, a spiritual disease of the skin, that is often incorrectly translated as leprosy.

The second aliyah continues to discuss the laws of the spiritual skin disease called tzoraas. Here, cases of the disease being cured are discussed, as well as cases declared chronic tzoraas. In this and in next week's, parsha (Metzorah) we'll see that the disease of tzoraas can break out on a person's skin, their clothes, or the walls of their house. Various sins are said to cause tzoraas, included are: conceit or arrogance, loshen hora (derogatory talking about another person), acting miserly, idol worship (this was the punishment after the golden calf), immorality, murder, blaspheming G-d, robbing the public, and a person acting in a capacity not permitted to him.

The third aliyah discusses tzoraas in the case where a person first had a physical affliction other than a burn, such as a boil, and it heals, and only after that tzoraas develops in the place previously occupied by the boil.

The fourth aliyah discusses tzoraas in the case where a person first had a burn on their skin, and it heals, and only after that tzoraas develops in the place previously occupied by the burn.

The fifth aliyah discusses tzoraas of the head or beard, which is characterized by hair falling out and leaving a bald patch.

The sixth aliyah discusses baldness and the type of tzoraas that may be associated with it. Also here are the procedures to be followed by the one who has tzoraas (the Metzorah) which include him calling out loud that he is ritually impure and that he shall remain outside the camp, all alone, until his condition clears up. Rashi says that he has to dwell alone because he caused a separation between man and wife or between two men by his loshen hora (evil talk). This aliyah also discusses tzoraas that affects garments.

The seventh aliyah contains the methods by which the Kohane examines and purifies garments from tzoraas.


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