Parashot Tazria (she will conceive)-Metzora (leper)

TORAH: Leviticus 12:1-15:33
HARTARAH: Isaiah 66:1-24
GOSPEL: Luke 2:22-35 and Mark 1:35-45

Portion Summary


The name of the twenty-seventh reading from the Torah is Tazria, which means “she conceived.” The name is derived from the words of Leviticus 12:2, where the LORD says to Moses, “When a woman [conceives] and bears a male child …” Leviticus 12 discusses the laws of purification after childbirth. Leviticus 13 introduces the laws for diagnosing and quarantining lepers. Except in biblical calendar leap years, Tazria is read together with the subsequent Torah portion, Metzorah, on the same Sabbath.


The twenty-eighth reading from the Torah is Metzora, a word that means “leper.” The word appears in the second verse of the reading, which says, “This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing” (Leviticus 14:2). Leviticus 14 spells out the complex purification rituals for the cleansing of a leper and a leprous home. Leviticus 15 briefly covers the laws regarding ritual unfitness stemming from bodily emissions. Except in biblical calendar leap years, Metzora is read together with the previous Torah portion, Tazria, on the same Sabbath.

Portion Outline

    • Leviticus 12:1 Purification of Women after Childbirth
    • Leviticus 13:1 Leprosy, Varieties and Symptoms
    • Leviticus 14:1 Purification of Lepers and Leprous Houses
    • Leviticus 15:1 Concerning Bodily Discharges

Portion Resources


The Leper Messiah

The Haughty Spirit

Wellspring of Evil

Leprosy in the Gospels

A House of Leprosy

Parashot Tazria-Metzora from

Parashot Tazria-Metzora at My Jewish Learning


Parshah Sh’mini (Eighth)

TORAH: Leviticus 9:1-11:47
HAFTARAH: 2 Samuel 6:1-7:17
GOSPEL: Matthew 3:11-17

Portion Summary

Shemini is the twenty-sixth reading from the Torah and third reading from the book of Leviticus. The word shemini means “eighth,” and it comes from the first words of Exodus 9:1, which says, “Now it came about on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel” (Leviticus 9:1). The text goes on to describe the events of the eight day after setting up the Tabernacle, a phenomenal worship service followed by a tragic incident. The reading concludes with the biblical dietary laws regarding animals fit for consumption and prohibitions regarding those that are unfit.

Portion Outline

    • Leviticus 9:1 Aaron’s Priesthood Inaugurated
    • Leviticus 10:1 Nadab and Abihu
    • Leviticus 11:1 Clean and Unclean Foods
    • Leviticus 11:24 Unclean Animals
    • 2 Samuel 6:1 David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem
    • 2 Samuel 7:1 God’s Covenant with David

Portion Resources

Studying Torah Requires Searching the Scriptures

Spiritual Fire

Aaron’s Grief

Buffalo. Bacon, or Sloth?