This portion and the next deal with laws of ritual purity. Such purity is conceived as a prerequisite for the pursuit of kedusha. Furthermore, because the mishkan (sanctuary) was located within the camp of the Israelites, great care had to be taken to ensure its purity. The portions deal with specific physical conditions which give rise to impurity. The first is childbirth. The next is a complex of diseases known as tzaraat (translated leprosy, but clearly not the modern disease.) The priests are charged with the task of determining the nature of the ailment when it appears in humans or in fabrics and leather and the method of purification. Since all the Israelites were obligated to strive to be kadosh in accordance with God’s demand, the matter of maintaining a state of purity was of great significance.