The quick summary of this section of Leviticus is that anyone who has contracted tzara’at, often translated as leprosy (though there is some question if that actually may be referring to another disease) is considered impure, and must be purified. The text continues to share that tzara’at might be applicable for more than simply a person – a home can be afflicted with tzara’at as well.
Though many of us find the requirement to purify one’s self (and one’s home) after a disease rather distasteful, perhaps the deeper discussion is required to find some modern day relevance in our text. If we understand the disease to be figurative, and not literal, then perhaps we can understand that actions, words, places and people that do not allow us to be at our best need to be rid from our lives, so that we can be holier.
The purpose of cleansing one’s self after being inflicted with tzara’at is ultimately to strive for a higher level of holiness. I would suggest that our text pushes us to seek, internalize and process that which is causing us to be unhealthy, and to determine how to rid that “disease” from our lives.
As we are busily preparing for Passover, it is a wonderful time to do physical spring cleaning; it is also a perfect time to do a spiritual cleansing. When we sit around our Passover tables, may we feel a sense of renewed freedom, freedom from slavery in Egypt and freedom from that which plagues us today.