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    An unpleasant name – M’tzora

    The sidra is called M’tzora, the Leper.

    It used to have a simple name, Zot Tihyeh, “This shall be”, in order to avoid the unpleasant implications of M’tzora. Another alternative used in some versions of the Chumash is Taharah, “Purification”.

    People had a fear of leprosy and preferred not to use the name “The Law of the Leper”. They preferred a name that did not arouse such unpleasant associations. The Lubavitcher Rebbe adds that they looked for a positive name such as Taharah, which implied Repentance.

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