Weekly Reading Insights: Ki Taytsey 5766

Overview of the Weekly Reading: Ki Taytsey

To be read on 9 Elul 5766 (Sept. 2)

Torah: Deut. 21:10-25:18
Haftorah: Isaiah 54:1-10 (5th of the Seven Haftorahs of Consolation)


Pirkei Avot: Chapter 2 in Israel (Chapter 1&2 outside of Israel)

Ki Taytsey is the 6th Reading out of 11 in Deut. and 49th overall, and 21st out of 54 in overall length.

Much of Ki Taytze is a series of laws. The first describes the process of converting and marrying women captives of war from other nations. Next are the laws of a firstborn son's inheritance, the punishment of a rebellious son, burial of a hanged sinner, returning lost articles, helping a Jew's fallen animal to stand and return its load, the prohibition to wear clothes of the opposite gender, removing a mother bird before taking her eggs or young, and placing a guard rail on the roof of a building. This is followed by the prohibition of planting together different plant species, plowing with different animal species under one yoke, and wearing a garment of linen and wool. Male Jews are commanded to wear tzitzit (fringes) on four cornered garments. Next are the laws of the defamed wife-accused of false virginity or infidelity-and the consequences when the accusation is proven true or false.

Laws regarding betrothal, rape, incest, bastardry, and marriage to converts from certain nations are also listed. The Jews are commanded to be modest even at war, both sexually and when relieving themselves. Jews are forbidden to return runaway slaves (who came to Israel from elsewhere) to their masters. The Jews are forbidden to be promiscuous, and to deduct interest from other Jews. They are also required to fulfill vows on time, allow employees to eat from produce they are working with, and are explained the laws of divorce and remarriage. A bridegroom is not allowed to be drafted; a millstone may not be used as security for a loan; and a kidnapper's punishment is described. The Jews are reminded to be careful about laws of leprosy, how to take security for loans, and to pay wages on time.

Certain close relatives may not testify against each other; widows and orphans must be treated properly; forgotten harvested produce must be left in the field for the needy; flogging by court order must be exact; and animals may not be muzzled when treading grain. When a man dies leaving his wife childless, his brother or closest kinsman is commanded to marry her. The laws of such a case are described as well as a situation where the relative chooses not to marry the widow. Next is the law concerning a woman who became involved in an assault on her husband. The Jews are reminded to be honest in their weights and measures, and to remember how Amalek attacked the Jews when we went out of Egypt.


From the holy Zohar, teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Z:4966/Ki Taytsey)

How unfortunate are those who only eat the straw instead of the real fruit of Torah and don't understand the inner secrets of the Torah. They learn only the simple stories as they are written and the logical deductions associated with them.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.

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From the holy Ari, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Safed (A:4966/Ki Taytsey)

When the Jewish people used to go out to make war, the five names Elo-him of the right side would be joined with the five names Elo-him of the left side, in order to exact vengeance from their enemies. All that would thus be evident of these ten names Elo-him would be the five of the right side. For would the five of the left side be visible, the forces of evil would latch onto them.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.

* * * * *

From Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz (S:4966/Ki Taytsey)

G-d, in His great pity for His creatures, has made thoughtful provisions so as not to totally cast out a sinner. This is why He established the principle of re-incarnation, or transmigration of souls. By allowing a soul to return to earth once more, it is given a "second chance" to rehabilitate itself and recapture its original place in the world of the spirits.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.


"When you go forth to war against your enemies...and you shall take him captive." (Deut. 21:10)

In the war against the Evil Inclination, it is insufficient to merely conquer and subdue it; one must also "take him captive" and utilize one's negative impulses to serve G-d. In truth, there is much to learn from the Evil Inclination, whose G-d-given role is to constantly attempt to cause man to sin. We would be well advised to emulate its dedication in fulfilling G-d's will.

(The Baal Shem Tov)


from the Chabad Master series, produced by Rabbi Yosef Marcus for

www.ascentofsafed.com and www.kabbalaonline.org

MOSHIACH THIS WEEK (M:4966/Ki Taytsey)

The Month of Elul

Sound the Great Shofar

The main thing is that from the trembling of the shofar blowing, we should come to the trembling of the World to Come - since "The glory of G-d will be revealed and all flesh together will see," there will then be a great trembling that will cause people to
"Come into the clefts of the rocks and the hollows of the cliffs, because of the fear of the Lord and because of the splendor of His pride."

And since there is nothing stopping Him, there will immediately be the "sounding of the great Shofar," and as a matter of course the question of "Ad masai" (till when) will be nullified, since "G-d will not delay them even for the blink of an eye." Meaning, in the blink of an eye the request of "Sound the great Shofar for our liberation" will be
fulfilled, with a true and complete liberation and Redemption.

(Sicha of Rosh Chodesh Elul 5747; Hisvaaduyos 5747 vol. 2, p. 315)

[From the Global Chabad-Lubavitch Resource Center-- www.Shluchim.org.]


An essay from Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter, director of Ascent

(for a free weekly email subscription, click here) (W:4966/Ki Taytsey)

In the inner dimensional writings of Judaism, very stringent guidelines are set regarding misplaced pride - haughtiness. Nothing can more easily confuse and distract a person from the path to holiness. On the verse in our portion "And you should make a fence on your roof" (Deut. 22:8), the Shelah connects the concept of a roof - a high place - to haughtiness, which makes a person feel superior to others. Just as we are instructed to make a boundary around a roof, so, too, we must make a boundary around our pride. And if not, G-d forbid, from there will be our downfall, as the verse continues, "…lest the faller will fall from it".

The Lubavitcher Rebbe notes that the "faller" is not the owner of the house, but another person, a guest. In fact, the commandment is that a person must make his house safe, not to protect himself, but rather to protect the visitor. According to this we can fully understand the comment of the Shelah, that the intention of the words "the faller will fall from it" is to emphasize the gravity of haughtiness in a community leader. Making a fence against pride is not only intended to protect oneself from a spiritual fall and disillusionment. Its main focus is on others. People tragically err by assuming that the consequences of their bad attributes are theirs alone. Jews are all connected, and a person must understand that if he or she is afflicted with false pride, it will ultimately have a negative effect on those with whom he or she interacts.

An example of this in day-to-day life: The Talmud states that "something that comes from a person's heart" - meaning with pure, selfless intention- "enters into the heart of another" and achieves its goal. On the other hand, if the listener senses that the advice, instructions or reprimands are filled with haughtiness and pride, not only will the words not enter the recipient's heart, they are capable of estranging the person completely and pushing them away from Jewish lifestyle.

In these last days before the imminent arrival of Mashiach, every person has an obligation to try to influence his neighbors in a positive way. Particularly during these days of the month of Elul, when G-d's 13 Attributes of Mercy are especially revealed, each person is aided in fixing his or her faults. It is important that we take the time to examine our motivations and deeds. Ultimately, this will not only impact us but will also benefit those around us. May each of us be signed and sealed for a good and sweet year.

May we all 'think good and it will be good' as we prepare the coming good and sweet New Year!

Shabbat Shalom, Shaul

P.S. Please also read my weekly Shabbat Law, below.

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