Parashah 27 – Tazria (She conceives)
[In regular years read with Parashah 28, in leap years read separately]
12 Yehovah said to Moshe, 2 “Tell the people of Isra’el: ‘If a woman conceives and gives birth to a boy, she will be unclean for seven days with the same uncleanness as in niddah, when she is having her menstrual period. 3 On the eighth day, the baby’s foreskin is to be circumcised. 4 She is to wait an additional thirty-three days to be purified from her blood; she is not to touch any holy thing or come into the sanctuary until the time of her purification is over. 5 But if she gives birth to a girl, she will be unclean for two weeks, as in her niddah; and she is to wait another sixty-six days to be purified from her blood.
6 “‘When the days of her purification are over, whether for a son or for a daughter, she is to bring a lamb in its first year for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or dove for a sin offering to the entrance of the tent of meeting, to the cohen. 7 He will offer it before Yehovah and make atonement for her; thus she will be purified from her discharge of blood. Such is the law for a woman who gives birth, whether to a boy or to a girl. 8 If she can’t afford a lamb, she is to take two doves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; the cohen will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”
13 Yehovah said to Moshe and Aharon, 2 “If someone develops on his skin a swelling, scab or bright spot which could develop into the disease tzara‘at, he is to be brought to Aharon the cohen or to one of his sons who are cohanim. 3 The cohen is to examine the sore on his skin; if the hair in the sore has turned white, and the sore appears to go deep into the skin, it is tzara‘at, and after examining him the cohen is to declare him unclean. 4 If the bright spot on his skin is white, but it does not appear to go deep into the skin, and its hair has not turned white, then the cohen is to isolate him for seven days. 5 On the seventh day the cohen is to examine him again, and if the sore appears the same as before and has not spread on the skin, then the cohen is to isolate him for seven more days. (LY: ii) 6 On the seventh day the cohen is to examine him again, and if the sore has faded and hasn’t spread on the skin, then the cohen is to declare him clean — it is only a scab, so he is to wash his clothes and be clean. 7 But if the scab spreads further on the skin after he has been examined by the cohen and declared clean, he is to let himself be examined yet again by the cohen. 8 The cohen will examine him, and if he sees that the scab has spread on his skin, then the cohen will declare him unclean; it is tzara‘at.
9 “If a person has tzara‘at, he is to be brought to the cohen. 10 The cohen is to examine him, and if he sees that there is a white swelling in the skin which has turned the hair white and inflamed flesh in the swelling, 11 then it is chronic tzara‘at on his skin, and the cohen is to declare him unclean; he is not to isolate him, because it is already clear that he is unclean. 12 If the tzara‘at breaks out all over the skin, so that, as far as the cohen can see, the person with tzara‘at has sores everywhere on his body, from his head to his feet; 13 then the cohen is to examine him, and if he sees that the tzara‘at has covered his entire body, he is to pronounce the person with the sores clean — it has all turned white, and he is clean. 14 But if one day inflamed flesh appears on him, he will be unclean. 15 The cohen will examine the inflamed flesh and declare him unclean; the inflamed flesh is unclean; it is tzara‘at. 16 However, if the inflamed flesh again turns white, he is to come to the cohen. 17 The cohen will examine him, and if he sees that the sores have turned white, then the cohen is to declare clean the person with the sores; he is clean.
(LY: iii) 18 “If a person has on his skin a boil that heals 19 in such a way that in place of the boil there is a white swelling or a reddish-white bright spot, it is to be shown to the cohen. 20 The cohen is to examine it; if he sees that it appears to be more than skin-deep, and its hair has turned white, then the cohen is to pronounce him unclean — the disease of tzara‘at has broken out in the boil. 21 But if the cohen looks at it and doesn’t see any white hairs in it, and it isn’t more than skin-deep but appears faded, the cohen is to isolate him for seven days. 22 If it spreads on the skin, the cohen is to declare him unclean; it is the disease. 23 But if the bright spot stays where it was and has not spread, it is the scar of the boil; and the cohen is to declare him clean.
(RY: ii, LY: iv) 24 “Or if someone has on his skin a burn caused by fire; and the inflamed flesh where it was burned has become a bright spot, reddish-white or white, 25 then the cohen is to examine it; and if he sees that the hair in the bright spot has turned white and that it appears to be deeper than the skin around it, it is tzara‘at; it has broken out in the burn, and the cohen is to declare him unclean; it is a sore from tzara‘at. 26 But if the cohen examines it and sees no white hair in the bright spot, and it is no lower than the skin around it but looks faded, then the cohen is to isolate him for seven days. 27 On the seventh day the cohen is to examine him; if it has spread on the skin, then the cohen is to declare him unclean; it is a sore from tzara‘at. 28 But if the bright spot stays where it was and has not spread on the skin but appears faded, it is a swelling due to the burn; and the cohen is to declare him clean; because it is only a scar from the burn.
(LY: v) 29 “If a man or woman has a sore on the head or a man in his beard, 30 then the cohen is to examine the sore; if he sees that it appears to be deeper than the skin around it, with yellow, thin hair in it, then the cohen is to declare him unclean; it is a crusted area, a tzara‘at of the head or beard. 31 If the cohen examines the diseased crusted area and sees that it appears not to be deeper than the skin around it, and without any black hair in it, then the cohen is to isolate for seven days the person with the diseased crusted area. 32 On the seventh day the cohen is to examine the sore, and if he sees that the crusted area hasn’t spread, that it has no yellow hair in it, and that the crusted area is not deeper than the skin around it; 33 then the person is to be shaved, except for the crusted area itself, and the cohen is to isolate him for seven more days. 34 On the seventh day the cohen is to examine the crusted area; and if he sees that the crusted area has not spread on the skin and does not appear to be deeper than the skin around it, then the cohen is to declare him clean; he is to wash his clothes and be clean. 35 But if the crusted area spreads after his purification, 36 then the cohen is to examine him; and if he sees that the crusted area has spread on the skin, the cohen is not to look for yellow hair; he is unclean. 37 But if the crusted area’s appearance doesn’t change, and black hair grows up in it, then the crusted area is healed; he is clean; and the cohen is to declare him clean.
(RY: iii, LY: vi) 38 “If a man or woman has bright spots on his skin, bright white spots; 39 then the cohen is to examine them. If he sees that the bright spots on the skin are dull white, it is only a rash that has broken out on the skin; he is clean.
40 “If a man’s hair has fallen from his scalp, he is bald; but he is clean. 41 If his hair has fallen off the front part of his head, he is forehead-bald; but he is clean. 42 But if on the bald scalp or forehead there is a reddish-white sore, it is tzara‘at breaking out on his bald scalp or forehead. 43 Then the cohen is to examine him; if he sees that there is a reddish-white swelling on his bald scalp or forehead, appearing like tzara‘at on the rest of the body, 44 he is a person with tzara‘at; he is unclean; the cohen must declare him unclean; the sore is on his head.
45 “Everyone who has tzara‘at sores is to wear torn clothes and unbound hair, cover his upper lip and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 As long as he has sores, he will be unclean; since he is unclean, he must live in isolation; he must live outside the camp.
47 “When tzara‘at infects an article of clothing, whether it be a woolen or a linen garment, 48 on the threads or the woven-in parts of either linen or wool, or on a hide or item made of leather; 49 then if the stain on the garment, hide, threads, woven-in parts or leather item is greenish or reddish, it is an infection of tzara‘at and is to be shown to the cohen. 50 The cohen is to examine the stain and isolate the article that has the infection for seven days. 51 On the seventh day he is to examine the stain; if the stain has spread on the garment, threads, woven-in parts or leather, whatever its use, the infection is a contagious tzara‘at; the garment is unclean. 52 He is to burn the garment, threads, woven-in parts of either wool or linen, or item of leather having the infection; for it is a contagious tzara‘at; it must be burned up completely. 53 But if, when the cohen examines it, he sees that the infection has not spread on the garment or in the threads, woven-in parts or leather item, 54 then the cohen is to order that the article having the infection be washed and isolated for seven more days. (RY: iv, LY: vii) 55 The cohen is to examine it after the stain has been washed, and if he sees that the stain has not changed color, then, even though the stain has not spread, it is unclean; you are to burn it up completely — it is rotten, no matter whether the spot is on the outside or on the inside. 56 If the cohen examines it and sees that the stain has faded after being washed, then he is to tear the stain out of the garment, leather, threads or woven-in parts. (LY: Maftir) 57 If it appears again in the garment, threads, woven-in parts or leather item, it is contagious, and you are to burn up completely the article that had the stain. 58 But if the infection is gone from the garment, threads, woven-in parts or leather item that you washed, then it is to be washed a second time, and it will be clean. 59 This is the law concerning infections of tzara‘at in a garment of wool or linen, or in the threads or the woven-in parts, or in any leather item — when to declare it clean and when to declare it unclean.
2 Kings 4:42-5:20
42 A man came from Ba‘al-Shalishah bringing the man of God twenty loaves of bread made from the barley firstfruits and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, “Give this to the people to eat.” 43 His servant said, “How am I to serve this to a hundred men?” But he said, “Give it to the people to eat; for Yehovah says that they will eat and have some left over.” 44 So he served them, and they ate and had some left over, as Yehovah had said.
5:1 Na‘aman, commander of the king of Aram’s army, was highly respected and esteemed by his master; because through him Yehovah had brought victory to Aram. But although he was a brave warrior, he also suffered from tzara‘at. 2 Now on one of their raids into Isra’el’s territory, Aram carried away captive a little girl, who became a servant for Na‘aman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “I wish my lord could go to the prophet in Shomron! He could heal his tzara‘at.” 4 Na‘aman went in and told his lord, “The girl from the land of Isra’el said such-and-such.” 5 The king of Aram said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Isra’el.”
He set out, taking with him 660 pounds of silver, 6,000 pieces of gold and ten changes of clothes. 6 He brought the king of Isra’el the letter, which said, “When this letter reaches you, you will see that I have sent my servant Na‘aman to you, so that you can heal his tzara‘at.” 7 When the king of Isra’el finished reading the letter, he tore his clothes. “Am I God, able to kill and make alive,” he asked, “so that he sends me a man to heal of tzara‘at? You can see that he is only seeking an excuse to quarrel with me.” 8 But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Isra’el had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king: “Why did you tear your clothes? Just have him come to me, and he will know that there is a prophet in Isra’el.”
9 So Na‘aman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, who said, “Go, and bathe in the Yarden seven times. Your skin will become as it was, and you will be clean.” 11 But Na‘aman became angry and left, saying, “Here now! I thought for certain that he would come out personally, that he would stand, call on the name of Yehovah his God and wave his hand over the diseased place and thus heal the person with tzara‘at. 12 Aren’t Amanah and Parpar, the rivers of Dammesek, better than all the water in Isra’el? Why can’t I bathe in them and be clean?” So he turned and went off in a rage. 13 But his servants approached him and said, “My father! If the prophet had asked you to do something really difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So, doesn’t it make even more sense to do what he says, when it’s only, ‘Bathe, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Yarden, as the man of God had said to do; and his skin was restored and became like the skin of a child; and he became clean.
15 Then, with his whole retinue, he returned to the man of God, went and stood before him, and said, “Well, I’ve learned that there is no God in all the earth except in Isra’el; therefore, please accept a present from your servant.” 16 But Elisha answered, “As Yehovah lives, before whom I stand, I will not accept it.” And despite his urging him to take it, he refused. 17 So Na‘aman said, “If you won’t take it, then please let your servant be given as much earth as two mules can carry; because from now on, your servant will offer neither burnt offerings nor sacrifices to other gods, but only to Yehovah. 18 Except this, and may Yehovah forgive your servant for it: when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon — when I bow down, may Yehovah forgive your servant for this.” 19 Elisha said to him, “Go in peace.”
18 Yochanan’s talmidim informed him of all these things. Then Yochanan called two of his talmidim 19 and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come? Or should we look for someone else?” 20 When the men came to him, they said, “Yochanan the Immerser has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come? Or should we keep looking — for someone else?’” 21 Right then he was healing many people of diseases, pains and evil spirits, and giving sight to many who were blind. 22 So he answered them by saying, “Go, tell Yochanan what you have been seeing and hearing: the blind are seeing again, the lame are walking, people with tzara‘at are being cleansed, the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised, the Good News is being told to the poor— 23 and how blessed is anyone not offended by me!”
24 When the messengers from Yochanan had gone, Yeshua began speaking to the crowds about Yochanan: “What did you go out into the desert to see? Reeds swaying in the breeze? 25 No? then what did you go out to see? Someone who was well dressed? But people who dress beautifully and live in luxury are found in kings’ palaces. 26 Nu, so what did you go out to see? A prophet! Yes, and I tell you he’s much more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom the Tanakh says,
‘See, I am sending out my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.’
28 I tell you that among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than Yochanan the Immerser! Yet the one who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he!”
29 All the people who heard him, even the tax-collectors, by undergoing Yochanan’s immersion acknowledged that God was right; 30 but the P’rushim and the Torah-teachers, by not letting themselves be immersed by him, nullified for themselves God’s plan.
31 “Therefore,” said the Lord, “how can I describe the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplaces, calling to one another,
‘We made happy music, but you wouldn’t dance!
We made sad music, but you wouldn’t cry!’
33 For Yochanan has come not eating bread and not drinking wine; and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking; and you say, ‘Aha! A glutton and a drunkard! A friend of tax-collectors and sinners!’ 35 Well, the proof of wisdom is in all the kinds of people it produces.”