Updated: Mar 28, 2022
Parashat Tazria 5782 / פָּרָשַׁת תַזְרִיעַ
2 April 2022 / 1 Nisan 5782
Parashat Tazria is the 27th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading.
Torah Portion: Leviticus 12:1-13:59
Tazria (“She Bears Seed”) opens by describing the purification process for a woman after childbirth. It then describes different forms of tzaraat, a discoloration condition on skin or clothing, and the requirement of an infected person to dwell alone outside the camp and be inspected by a priest.
Triennial year 3
1: 13:29-34 · 6 p’sukim ·
2: 13:35-39 · 5 p’sukim ·
3: 13:40-42 · 3 p’sukim ·
4: 13:43-46 · 4 p’sukim ·
5: 13:47-50 · 4 p’sukim ·
6: 13:51-59 · 9 p’sukim ·
7*: Numbers 28:9-15 · 7 p’sukim · *Shabbat HaChodesh (on Rosh Chodesh)
maf*: Exodus 12:1-20 · 20 p’sukim · *Shabbat HaChodesh (on Rosh Chodesh)
Haftarah*: Ezekiel 45:16-46:18 · 28 p’sukim *Shabbat HaChodesh (on Rosh Chodesh)
This portion deals with impurities of the skin. It enumerates various blemishes and rashes. While many sources translate tza’arit as “leprosy”, what we know medically about leprosy is far different than what is described here. Also, the conditions discussed in this parashat is curable. Similarly, the malady of tza’arat can also affect clothing and structures.
It is interesting and notable that it is the priest who checks, diagnoses and pronounces a cure for the ailment. Medical personnel are not mentioned. It is therefore a disease borne out of sin, as the sages discuss. The word tza’arit is a combination of the term motzi shem ra, or gossip. This is therefore an outward manifestation of a person’s malicious intent to demean others. In fact, the exclusion and banishment from the camp and community is fitting for someone who sees fit to create havoc by lashon harah. Some would consider this a supernatural punishment, while others would see it more as an extension of a person’s moral failing manifesting in their health.
In our triennial portion, we also see that these scars can infect clothing as well. Perhaps the moral and lesson to be learned is that we should be careful what we say about others. This concept is especially timely as it is presented right after the laws of Kashrut. It is a testament that we should not just be careful about the holiness of what goes into our mouths, but also what comes out.
Shabbat HaChodesh 2022 / שַׁבָּת הַחֹדֶשׁ 5782
Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Nissan 🕍
Shabbat HaChodesh for Hebrew Year 5782 begins at sundown on Friday, 1 April 2022 and ends at nightfall on Saturday, 2 April 2022. This corresponds to Parashat Tazria.
Shabbat HaChodesh ("Sabbath [of the] month" שבת החודש) precedes the first of the Hebrew month of Nisan during which Passover is celebrated. Exodus 12:1-20 and the laws of Passover. On the first day of Nisan, G-d presented the first commandment of how to "sanctify the new moon" (kiddush hachodesh) for the onset of Rosh Chodesh and thus Nisan becomes the first month of the Jewish year (counting by months.).