This week's double reading focuses on skin diseases, moldy walls and clothing, and on nocturnal discharges—and what to do about them. One thing not to do is expect the kohen to cure the skin diseases, because that is not his role (see below). The parashah opens with the laws explaining what a woman must do after giving birth to a boy and after giving birth to a girl. These laws have been misunderstood over the centuries, as an article on Page 5 of the Shabbat Booklet (written from a Reform view!) explains. There also is a marvelous article about the role of a mikveh in modern Jewish life (also written from a Reform view).

Download the Shabbat Booklet to read more about the Parashah

Atzmaut Shabbat, Parashiyot Tazria & M'tzora (Vayikra 12.1-15.33)



Candle Lighting for Friday, April 20, is at 7:24 p.m.

Shabbat end Saturday night with havdalah at 8:28 p.m.

Shabbat Shalom

The questions below are discussed during each week's Torah reading.

They are offered here and in the Shabbat Booklet,

to allow those who wish to participate to prepare in advance.

This Week: Atzmaut Shabbat, Parashiot Tazria-M'tzora

Vayikra 12.1-15.33, pages 649-670

FIRST ALIYAH: A woman does not "produce seed" for her eggs, so why does the Torah use the verb tazria to describe childbirth—and what does a serpent have to do with it?

SEVENTH ALIYAH: Much has been made about the inequality of the laws of impurity as they apply to women. What laws here suggest that no inequality is intended?

The haftarah, M'lachim Bet 7.3-20, begins on Page 676

Next Week: Shabbat Parashiot Acharei Mot-K'doshim

Vayikra 16.1-20.27, pages 679-704

SECOND ALIYAH: Verses 17.3-4 require that all animals must be slaughtered "as an offering" in the sanctuary before they can be eaten. Why is there such a rule and what is its import?

FIFTH ALIYAH: We can undersrand not joining a strong animal to a weaker one, and not planting a strong seed next to a weaker one—but what is wrong with mixing linen and wool?

The haftarah, Y'chezkel 20.2-20, begins on Page 714