Parashat Tazria Metzora
The thirteenth chapter of Sefer VaYikra talks about tzara’at, among other surface afflictions of the human body and of physical property. There are two verbs that appear repeatedly in this discussion—the first is “to quarantine,” s.g.r. In addition to evaluating the identity and severity of the affliction, “the kohen (priest) will quarantine the affliction” (VaYikra 13:4), “and the kohen will quarantine him” (v. 5) etc. The second verb that appears in almost every single verse of the chapter is “to see,” r.a.h. The verb “to see” has varied applications and meanings throughout the chapter—one of which which I will explore here. In particular, I will suggest that this verb plays a part in constructing a specific social dynamic.