Jewish Texts

Sensitivity To Speech

Rabbinic interpreters regarded leprosy as punishment for the sin of careless speech.

Parental Sacrifice

The burnt offering and the sin offering that a woman brings after childbirth symbolize the dual nature of parenting.

Recipe For Purity

An internal process of repentance must accompany the external, physical cleansing for leprosy.

Better Than God?

The ritual of circumcision allows us to partner with God in the covenant and also in perfecting creation.

Cycles Of Life, Death, And Purification

The cycle of life and death represented by leprosy encourages us to bring acts of purity into our lives even when we have become impure.

The Cursed House

The image of a house afflicted with a plague encourages us to examine what real and metaphorical plagues afflict our own homes and societies.

Parashat Metzora: Summary

God describes the purification ritual for people and homes afflicted with leprosy; God also instructs Moses and Aaron regarding the laws of the emission of bodily fluids.

Modern Untouchables: Our Sins Of Exclusion

Parshat Metzora calls attention to how we treat those who are excluded and alienated from our society.

The Subtleties Of One Letter

We can learn numerous lessons from the statement of the owner of a house that appears to be afflicted with spiritual defilement.

Recognizing God’s Presence

When we welcome baby girls into the covenant we allow them to remind us of God's presence in the world.

Reaching Out To The Isolated

Just as the priest went out from the community to welcome back those afflicted with leprosy, we too should reach out to those who feel excluded.

Is It Blasphemous To Heal People?

Even if we view leprosy as a punishment, we must work to heal the afflicted, allowing our sense of compassion to override justice or logic.