Tzara’as is a mysterious skin disease mentioned in the purity laws of The Torah. The disease runs more than skin deep, and it makes its bearer ritually unclean. Tzara’as is viewed as a manifestation of an internal moral condition. The only way to combat this sickness is through religion. Only Kohanim priests could diagnose and treat the illness.
The afflicted, known as metzora, are bathed and shorn all over their body. They can return home. However, for a week they can still spread the illness and must abstain from sexual contact. After a full seven days, the metzora return and are shorn of all external hair once again. Finally, the afflicted are declared “pure.” This bath and shaving symbolize the metzora as infants, with their whole lives ahead. They shed baggage along with their hair.