This portion continues to describe rules about cleanliness and purity, that began in the last portion, Shemini.

A woman who gives birth is considered impure for a period of time. She is not allowed to come into contact with anything that is considered holy. At the end of that time, she must make an offering at the Tabernacle, and the priest will declare her ritually pure. All male children are to be circumcised when they are 8 days old.

Rules are given regarding how to treat skin diseases and disorders. When a scale or rash appears, a priest is called who examines it. Depending on its severity, the individual suffering from this can be isolated for seven days. He or she will be re-examined, and if the ailment has continued, they need to be isolated once again, until they are declared ritually pure by the priest.

Torah Portion in English

1)The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2)Speak to the Israelite people thus: When a woman at childbirth bears a male, she shall be unclean seven days; she shall be unclean as at the time of her menstrual infirmity.— 3)On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.— 4)She shall remain in a state of blood purification for thirty-three days: she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary until her period of purification is completed. 5)If she bears a female, she shall be unclean two weeks as during her menstruation, and she shall remain in a state of blood purification for sixty-six days.

6)On the completion of her period of purification, for either son or daughter, she shall bring to the priest, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, a lamb in its first year for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. 7)He shall offer it before the Lord and make expiation on her behalf; she shall then be clean from her flow of blood. Such are the rituals concerning her who bears a child, male or female. 8)If, however, her means do not suffice for a sheep, she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. The priest shall make expiation on her behalf, and she shall be clean.

Getting to Know my Parasha

What Does my Parasha Say?

  1. What happens on the 8th day of life for a boy?
  2. According to this Torah portion, what does a women need to do after she gives birth, so that she will be pure?
  3. If a woman is poor, what does she need to do?
  4. What is the role of the priest, when someone is ill?
  5. When someone is ill with a rash or skin disease, what does he or she need to do?