Author Hillel Halkin, reviewing the Koren Sacks Siddur in the spring 2010 Jewish Review of Books, recounts a charming story that he heard from his father:
Parshat Acharey Mot (Leviticus 16:1-18:30)
The traditional English translation for the disease tzora'at that is eponymous with this week's Torah portion, Metzora, is "leprosy." However, as our commentators explain, biblical leprosy was something very different from the bacterial leprosy of modern times that is attributed to the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae. Biblical leprosy traces to a different kind of disease, an infection permeating the spirit and the soul, the disease of lashon hara (or its Ashkenazic variant spelling, lashon hara): evil talk, tale bearing and gossip.