Ki Tetze | כי תצא | “When you go forth ” – The Tzaddik is enjoined to desire the “Beautiful Woman Captive”, to ransom the resplendent Neshama from its captivity
–This level of the soul, Neshamah ( White Garments ) is associated with the emanation of Binah/Understanding which is called the “source of souls,” the “supernal mother” and “freedom” – ( i.e Above Jerusalem )
– Listen, O Efrayim, Firstborn Son – The sounds of the Shofar should cry out for G-d’s mercy
In this week’s portion – Ki TietZei, he returns to the immediate concern of the conquest of the promise land By providing a number of specific laws and instructions to be enforced regarding civil life in Israel. And Parsha opens, when you go out to war against your enemies… – Deut 21:10. according to Jewish tradition identifies no less than 74 of the Torah’s 613 commandments in Ki Teitzei covering a wide assortment of rules related to ethical warfare, family life, burial of the deceased, property laws, the human treatment of animals, fair labour practices and proper economic transactions for the people living in promise land.
- The beautiful captive – Woman
- Inheritance rights of the firstborn
- Stubborn and rebellious son
- Man hanged on a Tree is cursed
- Laws regarding sexual immorality
- The name of Amalek and Remembering amalek
The first instruction is about a beautiful captive. During war, captives are a necessary evil. Any army can tell you that when you fight another for control of land, you find yourself with captives. If an Israelite were to lust after or find a beautiful woman he wanted to marry among the captives, Moses had these instructions. First, the Israelite had to take her home with him and she had to trim her hair and her nails, toss out the clothing that noted her as a captive, and spend thirty days grieving for her mother and father. Once this happened, he could take her as his wife. If, at that time, he longer wanted her, he had to let her go without selling her as a slave or asking for compensation.
The portion begins, “When you ( an Israelite warrior) ( go out to ) take the field against your enemies. . . .” When thou goest forth to battle against thine enemies, and HaShem thy G-d delivereth them into thy hands, and thou carriest them away captive. –Deuteronomy 21:10
The tzadik is enjoined to desire the “Beautiful Woman Captive”, to ransom the resplendent Neshama from its captivity. That is why the verse doesn’t state, “…and you desire her [in Hebrew, “otah”, direct object]”, but rather he desires (something) about her (in Hebrew, “bah”). “…and you desire her…” is written to include even a woman who is physically ugly. His desire for her is evidence of the beauty lying captive inside, for the Neshama is never ugly, it never loses its beauty
The root of the mitzvah of Beautiful Woman Captive can be traced back to Adam and Eve in Gan Eden, where they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When they fell and tasted from the forbidden fruit, it caused a number of special souls to be captured by forces of impurity. These souls are those of future righteous ones and joined the Community of Israel : Ruth, the great, great grandmother of King David, Naama, the wife of King Solomon, Onkelosthe translator, the Tannaitic sages Shemaya and Avtalyon, and countless others who found the root of their souls in the Torah.
When the tzadik ransoms captive souls, when he takes the Beautiful Woman Captive as a wife, their connection to G-d attaches them both to the source of holiness and ultimate good and brings benefits for all of the Community of Israel.
According to Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi , the captive woman represents the lower three levels of the soul (nefesh, ruach and neshama) which are enclothed in our human body. Their purpose is to elevate our physical self. The two higher levels of the soul (chaya and yechida) remain Above, associated with our body, but not within in it.
All people have a Nefesh and Ruach within their being. The Neshemah however, is an additional part of man’s spiritual makeup. Neshemah is a spirit (or “spiritual connection”), given by G-d when a person through faith, begins to truly seek Him through Torah of Messiah. . The Neshemah is the spiritual faculty given to man that connects with the Ruach haKodesh (i.e Holy Spirit).
When man focuses on his spiritual self (ruach) and does not seek his own righteousness, but rather seeks G-d’s Kingdom (Malchut) through humility, Torah study and prayer,he will receive Neshemah from G-d and “connect” with the Ruach haKodesh, which will draw him to G-d.
This level of the soul, Neshamah is associated with the emanation of Binah/Understanding which is called the “source of souls,” the “supernal mother” and “freedom” . ( i.e above Jerusalem ) – Galatians 4:26.
“Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments …” -Revelation 4:4
“Now the celestial gate of the east is provided with twenty-four openings guarded by twenty-four sentinels … – Zohar, Shemoth 241b
“Look! I am coming like a thief! How blessed are those who stay alert and keep their clothes clean, so that they won’t be walking naked and be publicly put to shame!” .
“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” –-Revelation 16:15
The “keeping of ones garment” is an allusion to the the soul, specifically the “higher soul” called the Neshamah. This higher soul is “granted” to man as opposed to the Nefesh which is present in all men as well as in all living creatures. The Neshamah is man’s “divine connection.” Because it is linked to the Nefesh, which is in turn attached to the physical body, the Neshamah is affected by what man does with his body. Thus “keeping one’s garments” is directly associated with avoiding sin.
IMAGE of Elohim:
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son … -Romans 8:29
Who is the image of the invisible G-d, the firstborn of every creature. -Colossians 1:15
Further, the Neshamah is that which was “breathed into” Adam in the Genesis account, making him distinct from the rest of creation.
When Adam was created, it was the Neshemah that G-d breathed into Him:
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; [neshmat hayyim] and man became a living soul [nefesh hayyah]. -Genesis 2:7
The account of the failure of Adam and Chava in Gan Edan, with the reference to; “garments,” “naked” and “shame.” The rectification of all creation will eventually return us to a state similar to Adam in Gan Edan (Garden of Eden) .
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. -Genesis 2:25
the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. -Genesis 3:7
Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” – Genesis 3:9-10
if the souls are wearing filthy garments then the soul interacts with spiritual entities (i.e., demons). Those who maintain their proper spiritual connection (“keep their clean garments“) are not influenced by demons/darkness.
“She shall … do her nails”:
According to this interpretation, the law of a beautiful woman shows concern for the woman and her honor. some views explains that hair and fingernails represent one’s personality . Removing them symbolises relinquishing the identity of the past and replacing it with a new identity .
It was said of Mephibosheth that “he had not done his toenails and had not done his mustache” ( II Samuel 19:25 ). This view is supported by the fact that doing one’s nails is mentioned along with trimming one’s hair, so that both instances deal with cutting.
“She shall trim her hair”:
Certain commentators hold that the actions a captive woman is commanded to perform symbolise both mourning and the transition from belonging to a foreign nation to belonging to the Israelite’s. some of the views regarding that cutting one’s hair has to do with customs of mourning. According to another view, cutting one’s hair has to do with rites of purification. An association between clothing and mourning is known from several sources (Genesis 38:14; II Samuel 14:2), and likewise an association between nails and mourning (Mephibosheth’s behavior when David was exiled from Jerusalem during Absalom’s rebellion.
Akiva interprets “doing her nails” as growing them long in order to make her appear unattractive. But the Sifrei brings a proof for R. Eliezer’s argument that the text means for them to be cut short, from a verse in Shemuel (II 19:25): “And Mefiboshet the son of Shaul came down towards the king; he had not dressed (lit. done) his feet nor trimmed his beard…” From the context there, it is clear that these are acts of neglect, and hence we may learn that “doing” (nails, etc.) suggests an act of improvement, not the opposite. Ramban comments that this is a strong proof.
Rashi’s explanation, following to the Sifrei, that “her robe of captivity” is a beautiful garment meant to entrap enemy soldiers, is problematic. “The garment of her captivity” refers not to the robe that she wore when she went out to war, or that she was wearing at the time of her capture. It means, quite simply, the garment that she wears while in the prisoners’ camp. It is logical that the term is used to denote a despised garment, such as that worn by prisoners – as we find, for example, in the case of Yehoyakhin, king of Yehuda, when Evil-Merodakh, king of Babylon, lifted him out of his lowly prisoner’s status, and “changed his prison garments” (II Kings 25:29).
“And discard her captive’s garb”:
Rashi (cf. also Abarbanel) interpreted: “Because they are good-looking, for the gentiles’ maidens would bedeck themselves in wartime so that they could sway others to follow their faith” (based on Sifre Deuteronomy, 212). Some hold these to be special garments worn by the captive, like prison stripes, to distinguish her from freemen while others hold that this refers to the clothing she was wearing when taken captive in order to entice her captors by these clothes to become idolaters like herself.
In support of the first view several scriptural sources can be cited in which changing the garment worn by prisoners attests to a change in their status:
Joseph changed his garments when he was brought to Pharaoh’s palace (Genesis 41:14), and after solving the Pharaoh’s dreams he was appointed viceroy to Pharaoh;
King Jehoiachin of Judah was released from prison in Babylon, after thirty-seven years of incarceration, and the Babylonians changed his garments – II Kings 25:27-30.
And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to thwart him. And the Lord said to Satan, The Lord rebukes you, O Satan; the Lord that has chosen Jerusalem rebukes you. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? And Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, Remove the filthy garments from him. And to him he said, Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will dress you in festive garments. And I said, Let them set a pure mitre upon his head. And they set a pure mitre upon his head, and dressed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. -Zechariah 3:1-5
“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” – Revelation 16:15
“A Month’s Time” :
An interesting interpretation of the law obliging the captor to wait one month before marrying the woman he had taken captive is that the waiting period was for verifying that the captive woman had not conceived by someone else based on Numbers 20: 29 and Deuteronomy 34:8 that the period of one month is the length of the time of mourning.
The beautiful captive woman (our lower soul) is constantly receiving messages from the higher level of our soul – messages to do Teshuvah, to return to G-d.
Numbers 20: 29
II Kings 25:27
In this week’s portion of rights of first born son : “a man who will have two wives, one beloved and one hated, and both the loved and unloved wives have sons, and the firstborn son is that of the hated one”? How are we to understand this verse in the spiritual world.
In 17th century mystic Rabbi Menachem Azaryah of Fanu (in Italy) states that “The Torah discusses the spiritual reality, and it alludes to the physical world.” (Asara Maamarot, Maamar Chekur Din 3:22) This means that stories and laws in the Torah ought to be understood first and foremost as events and laws in the spiritual realm, and this is actually the primary method of Torah interpretation.
The Torah teaches us that G-d’s “firstborn son” may very well come not from His union with the beloved spouse but rather from his relationship with the despised spouse. On the day that He wills His property to His sons, He cannot give the son of the beloved wife birthright preference above the son of the hated wife, the firstborn. Rather, He must recognise the firstborn, the son of the hated one, to give him the double portion in all his property.
On a spiritual level this means, that on the day that Moshiach will come, when humanity will finally taste the full-Divinity in the world, a “double portion” of G-dliness will be revealed in the arduous labor and sweat of the individual who never stopped fighting for his soul.
“And it will be that on the day that he wills his property to his sons, he may not give preference to the son of his beloved wife over the firstborn son of his unloved wife.” -Devarim 21:16
Father must respect the rights of the firstborn son. Yet, we see that the Avot – our forefathers – seemed to have disregarded this rule. The most obvious example of this disregard involves Yaakov. Reuven was Yaakov’s firstborn son. His mother was Leyah. Reuven did not receive a double portion in the land of Israel. Yaakov gave this double portion to Yosef. Yosef was the son of Rachel. Rachel was Yaakov’s more beloved wife. It seems that Yaakov transferred the double portion of the true first born to another son.
Yaakov did not discriminate against Reuven because of the son’s mother. Yaakov made his decision based upon his insight into his sons. He concluded that Yosef was more deserving of the special treatment normally accorded the firstborn. This dictated that Yosef inherit a double portion in the land of Israel. This same analysis dictated the Reuven should be deprived of this right.
In Sefer Divrai HaYamim it is stated the Yosef received the portion of the firstborn because Reuven desecrated his father’s bed. This passage clearly states that the transfer of the firstborn’s privileges from Reuven to Yosef was occasioned by Reuven’s behavior.
The sons of Re’uven the firstborn of Isra’el — he was the firstborn, but because he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Yosef the son of Isra’el, though not in such a way as for him to be regarded in the genealogy as the firstborn -1 Chronicles 5:1
Sending Away the Mother Bird: Bird’s Nest
“If, along the road, you chance upon a bird’s nest … and the mother sitting over the fledglings or on the eggs, do not take the mother, with her young. Send away the mother, and take only the young, in order that you may fare well, and have a long life.” – Devarim 22:6-7
It discusses about the law of removing chicks or eggs from a nest. When the mother bird is present, the eggs or chicks cannot be removed. First, the mother must be chased away. Then, the chicks or eggs can be removed. Furthermore, it is prohibited to simultaneously capture the mother and also collect the eggs or chicks.
The Torah indicates the reward for observing this mitzvah. Through observing this commandment we will be rewarded with long life. There is another commandment in the Torah that is associated with this same reward. The Torah assures us that respecting one’s parents is rewarded with long life.
The Sages were concerned most of all with the Mishnah’s statement (Berakhot 5, 3; cf. Megillah 4, 9) that one must not say the reason for this commandment is the Lord’s mercifulness: “One who says, ‘as far as the nest of a bird does Your mercy reach,’ or ‘for favors let Your Name be remembered,’ or ‘we give thanks, we give thanks,’ must be silenced.”
Rashi, in his commentary on Berakhot 33b, offers a simple explanation: One who says in his prayers, “over the nest of a bird does Your mercy extend” – this refers to people who make themselves appear ultra-sincere in their pleading, saying: You are merciful and gracious, Your mercy extending to the nest of a bird, for You instructed us to send off the mother; or one who says, “for favors let Your Name be remembered; or one who says: “we give thanks, we give thanks” – all these are silenced.
What is wrong with saying that the Holy One, blessed be He, is merciful over His creatures? Do we not repeat the words of the psalmist, “His mercy is upon all His works “ (Psalms 145:9) three times a day, constantly reiterating that the Lord is a gracious and merciful G-d!
Listen ! O! Efrayim – The sounds of the shofar should cry out for G-d’s mercy. These cries for mercy must be pure and must proceed from the depths in one’s heart.
Midrashic literature also contains passages that view the commandment to send off the mother bird as an expression of the Lord’s mercy. For example, see Deuteronomy Rabbah (Vilna ed.), ch. 6: Why is an infant circumcised at eight days? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, had compassion on him, waiting until the child was strong. Just as the Holy One, blessed be He, has compassion on human beings, so too He has compassion on animals. Whence do we know this? As it is said, “and from the eighth day on it shall be acceptable…” (Lev. 22:27). Moreover, the Holy One, blessed be He, said, “no animal … shall be slaughtered on the same day with its young” (Lev. 22:28). Just as the Holy One, blessed be He, extended his compassion over the beasts, so too He was moved by compassion for the birds. Whence do we know this? As it is said, “If, along the road, you chance upon a bird’s nest.”
A similar notion is reflected in Leviticus Rabbah (Margaliyot ed.), ch. 27.11, s.v. ve-shor: Rabbi Berakhyah said in the name of Rabbi Levi: It is written, “A righteous man knows the needs of his beast” (Prov. 12:10). “A righteous man” – this is the Holy One, blessed be He, for it is written in His Torah, “do not take the mother together with her young” (Deut. 22:6). “But the compassion of the wicked is cruelty” (Prov. 12:10) – this is the wicked Sennacherib, for it is written of him, “mothers and babes were dashed to death together” (Hos. 10:14). Another interpretation: “A righteous man knows the needs of his beast” – this is the Holy One, blessed be He, for it is written in His Torah, “However, no animal from the herd or from the flock shall be slaughtered on the same day with its young” (Lev. 22:28). “But the compassion of the wicked is cruelty” – this is the wicked Haman, for it is written of him, “to destroy, massacre, and exterminate…” (Esther 3:13).
Messiah : Bird’s Nest
THE PALACE OF THE MESSIAH : From the beginning the Messiah was hidden in a heavenly palace known as the Bird’s Nest.
She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to G-d and to his throne. -Revelation 12:5
The following Zohar passage: the idea of Messiah being hidden for some period of time in a spiritual abode called “the bird’s nest” – both of which are taken up to the heavenly realm (i.e., the Throne of G-d in Beriah):
Hebrew Midrash teaches that Messiah is hiding within the Garden of Eden in a place called the Bird’s Nest (an allusion to the Shekinah / community of Israel );
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 8a – ”If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, young ones or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young… thou shalt in no wise let the dam go” ( Deut XXII, 6-7).
Then, turning to R. Eleazar, his son, he said: ‘At the time when the Messiah shall arise, there will be great wonders in the world. See now, in the lower Paradise there is a secret and unknown spot, broidered with many colours, in which a thousand palaces of longing are concealed. No one may enter it, except the Messiah, whose abode is in Paradise. The Garden is encompassed with multitudes of saints who look to the Messiah as their leader, along with many hosts and bands of the souls of the righteous there. On New Moons, festivals, and Sabbaths, he enters that place, in order to find joyous delight in those secret palaces. Behind those palaces there is another place, entirely hidden and undiscoverable. It is called “Eden”, and no one may enter to behold it. Now the Messiah is hidden in its outskirts until a place is revealed to him which is called “the Bird’s Nest”. This is the place proclaimed by that Bird (the Shekinah) which flies about the Garden of Eden every day. In that place the effigies are woven of all the nations who band together against Israel. The Messiah enters that abode, lifts up his eyes and beholds the Fathers (Patriarchs) visiting the ruins of G-d’s Sanctuary. He perceives mother Rachel, with tears upon her face; the Holy One, blessed be He, tries to comfort her, but she refuses to be comforted (Jer. XXXI, 14). Then the Messiah lifts up his voice and weeps, and the whole Garden of Eden quakes, and all the righteous and saints who are there break out in crying and lamentation with him. When the crying and weeping resound for the second time, the whole firmament above the Garden begins to shake, and the cry echoes from five hundred myriads of supernal hosts, until it reaches the highest Throne. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, beckons to that “Bird”, which then enters its nest and comes to the Messiah, and flits about, uttering strange cries. Then from the holy Throne the Bird’s Nest and the Messiah are summoned three times, and they both ascend into the heavenly places, and the Holy One swears to them to destroy the wicked kingdom (Rome) by the hand of the Messiah, to avenge Israel, and to give her all the good things which he has promised her. Then the Bird returns to her place. The Messiah, however, is hidden again in the same place as before.
He has to remain in heaven until the time comes for restoring everything, as G-d said long ago, when he spoke through the holy prophets. -Acts 3:21
Coming of Messiah from the Zohar:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, 8a-9a – ‘At the time when the Holy One shall arise to renew all worlds, and the letters of his Name shall shine in perfect union, the Yod with the He, and the He with the Vau, a mighty star will appear in the heavens of purple hue, which by day shall flame before the eyes of the whole world, filling the firmament with its light. And at that time shall a flame issue in the heavens from the north; and flame and star shall so face each other for forty days, and all men will marvel and be afraid. And when forty days shall have passed, the star and the flame shall war together in the sight of all, and the flame shall spread across the skies from the north, striving to overcome the star, and the rulers and peoples of the earth shall behold it with terror, and there will be confusion among them. But the star will remove to the south and vanquish the flame, and the flame shall daily be diminished until it be no more seen. Then shall the star cleave for itself bright paths in twelve directions which shall remain luminous in the skies for the term of twelve days. After a further twelve days trembling will seize the world, and at midday the sun will be darkened as it was darkened on the day when the holy Temple was destroyed, so that heaven and earth shall not be seen. Then out of the midst of thunder and lightning shall a voice be heard, causing the earth to quake and many hosts and principalities to perish. On the same day when that voice is heard throughout the world, a flame of fire shall appear burning in Great Rome (Constantinople); it will consume many turrets and towers, and many are the great and mighty who shall perish then. All shall gather against her to destroy her, and no one will have hope to escape. From that day on, for twelve months, all the kings (of the world) will take counsel together and make many decrees to destroy Israel; and they shall prosper against him, as has been said. Blessed is he who shall live in that time, and blessed is he who shall not live in that time! And the whole world then will be in confusion. At the end of the twelve months the “sceptre of Judah”, namely the Messiah, will arise, appearing from Paradise, and all the righteous will surround him and gird him with weapons of war on which are inscribed the letters of the Holy Name (YHVH). Then a voice will burst forth from the branches of the trees of Paradise: “Arise, O ye saints from above, and stand ye before the Messiah! For the time has come for the Hind to be united with her Spouse, and he must avenge her on the world and raise her from the dust”. And all the saints from above will arise and gird the Messiah with weapons of war, Abraham at his right, Isaac at his left, Jacob in front of him, while Moses, the “faithful shepherd” of all these saints, shall dance at the head of them in Paradise. As soon as the Messiah has been installed by the saints in Paradise, he will enter again the place which is called “the Bird’s Nest’,, there to behold the picture of the destruction of the Temple, and of all the saints who were done to death there. Then will he take from that place ten garments, the garments of holy zeal, and hide himself there for forty days, and no one shall be able to see him. At the end of those forty days a voice shall be heard from the highest throne calling the Bird’s Nest and the Messiah who shall be hidden there. Thereupon he shall be carried aloft, and when the Holy One, blessed be He, shall behold the Messiah adorned with the garments of holy zeal and girded with weapons of war, he will take him and kiss him upon his brow. At that moment three hundred and ninety firmaments shall begin to shake. The Holy One shall command one of these firmaments, which has been kept in waiting since the six days of creation, to approach, and He shall take out from a certain temple in it a crown inscribed with holy names. It was with this crown that the Holy One adorned Himself when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and He avenged Himself on all the chariots of Pharaoh and his horsemen. With this same crown will He crown King Messiah. As soon as he is crowned, the Holy One will take him and kiss him as before. All the holy multitude and the whole holy army will surround him and will bestow upon him many wonderful gifts, and he will be adorned by them all. Then will he enter into one of the temples and behold there all the upper angels, who are called “the mourners of Zion” because they continually weep over the destruction of the Holy Temple. These angels shall give him a robe of deep red in order that he may commence his work of revenge. The Holy One will again hide him in the “Bird’s Nest” and he will remain there for thirty days. After the thirty days he will again be decked with those adornments from above and from below, and many holy beings will surround him. The whole world then shall see a light extending from the firmament to the earth, and continuing for seven days, and they will be amazed and not comprehend: only the wise will understand, they who are adepts in the mystic lore, blessed is their portion. All through the seven days the Messiah shall be crowned on earth. Where shall this be? “By the way”, to wit, Rachel’s grave, which is on the cross-road. To mother Rachel he will give glad tidings and comfort her, and now she will let herself be comforted, and will rise and kiss him. The light will then move from that place and shall stand over Jericho, the city of trees, and the Messiah will be hidden in the light of the “Bird’s Nest” for twelve months. After the twelve months that light will stand between heaven and earth in the land of Galilee, where Israel’s captivity began, and there will he reveal himself from the light of the “Bird’s Nest”, and return to his place. On that day the whole earth will be shaken from one end.to the other, and thus the whole world will know that the Messiah has revealed himself in the land of Galilee.
……..And all who are diligent in the study of the Torah-and there shall be few such in the world-will gather round him. His army will gain in strength through the merit of little infants at school, symbolised by the word ephroah-”Young bird” (cf. Deuteronomy 22:6). And if such will not be found at that time it will be through the merit of the sucklings, “the eggs” (Ibid), “those that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts” (Isaiah 22:9), for whose sake the Shekinah dwells in the midst of Israel in exile, as indeed there will be few sages at that time. This is the implication of the words “And the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs”, which, allegorically interpreted, means that it does not depend upon the Mother to free them from exile, but upon the Supreme King; for it is the young ones and the sucklings that will give strength to the Messiah, and then the Supernal Mother, which “sits upon them”, will be stirred up towards Her Spouse. He will tarry for twelve months longer, and then he will appear and raise her from the dust: “I will raise up on that day the tabernacle of David that is fallen” (Amos 9:2). On that day the Messiah will begin to gather the captives from one end of the world to the other: “If any of thine be driven out unto the utmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee” (Deuteronomy 30:4). From that day on the Holy One will perform for Israel all the signs and wonders which He performed for them in Egypt: “As in the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt, will I show unto him wonders” -Micah 7:15.
The Shekinah is also considered to be “in hiding” (with Israel) until the time of the restoration of Israel. This concept of “appearing, hiding and reappearing,” is also found regarding Elijah: In the second year of King Ahazia, Elijah was hidden, and he will not be seen again until Messiah comes. Heavenly Jerusalem shares this hidden aspect as well:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, 134a – When the Sanctuary was destroyed and the Temple was burnt and the people driven into exile, the Shekinah left her home in order to accompany them into captivity. … in the days to come, when the Holy One, blessed be He, will remember His people, the community of Israel, the Shekinah will return from exile first and proceed to her House, as the holy Temple will be built first.
4 Ezra 7:26-27 – For behold the days shall come, and it shall be when the signs which I have foretold unto you shall come to pass. Then shall the city that is now invisible appear, and the land which is now concealed be seen. And whoever is delivered from the predicted evils shall see my wonders.
AND NATIONS BOW DOWN TO THEE , alludes to the time when the Messiah will appear, concerning whom it is written: “Yea, all kings shall prostrate themselves before him” (Psalm 72:11). R. Judah said: ‘The whole applies to the advent of the Messiah, of whom it is also written: “all nations shall serve him (Ibid.). -Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, 143a
Then will the King Messiah appear and the kingship shall be given to him. Mankind will then suffer one calamity after another, and the enemies of Israel will prevail, but the spirit of the Messiah shall rise against them and destroy the sinful Edom and burn in fire the land of Seir. Hence it is written, “And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession of his which were his enemies, while Israel doth valiantly”. And in that time the Holy One, blessed be He, shall raise the dead of his people, and death shall be forgotten of them.’ R. Abba said: ‘Why is it written, “For in joy ye shall go out” (Isaiah 55:12)? Because when Israel go out from captivity the Shekinah will go forth with them and they with Her. -Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, 213a
Yalqut haMakhiri ad Isaiah. 11:4, p. 86 – In the days of the Messiah, he will begin (to address the nations) in peace … and they will subject themselves to him … and will bring him presents.
Midrash Leqah Tov, ed. Buber, 1:235 – In the days of the Messiah the nations will bow down to him.
And KOL LASHON (every tongue YESHAYAH 45:23) shall make hoda’ah (confession) with an Ani Ma’amin that is an open and public admission that Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Yeshua is Adoneinu ( Prince of Peace ), to the Kavod of Elohim Avinu. -Kehillah in Philippi 2:11Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
Haftarat Ki-Tetzei – ‘When you go’ (Isaiah 54:1-10)
Haftarah of Ki TeitZei is called of the fifth of the “haftarot of consolation”, offering encouragement to Israel even in the face of exile.
According to the sages, HaShem tells the “wife of his youth” to sing out with Joy, for soon she will have a hard time keeping track of all her children. Many will return by means of a mighty wave Of repentance that will sweep over the world when Jerusalem is finally redeemed and the Mashiach reigns in Israel.
He has Sworn that Israel will be gathered and restored:
Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman,” says HaShem. “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. -Isaiah 54:1-2
“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says HaShem, who has mercy on you. -Isaiah 54:9-10
For, brothers, I want you to understand this truth which G-d formerly concealed but has now revealed, so that you won’t imagine you know more than you actually do. It is that stoniness, to a degree, has come upon Isra’el, until the Gentile world enters in its fullness; 26 and that it is in this way that all Isra’el will be saved. As the Tanakh says, “Out of Tziyon will come the Redeemer;
he will turn away ungodliness from Ya‘akov and this will be my covenant with them, . . .when I take away their sins.” With respect to the Good News they are hated for your sake. But with respect to being chosen they are loved for the Patriarchs’ sake, for God’s free gifts and his calling are irrevocable. -Romans 11:25-29Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
UNIVERSAL TORAH: KI SEITZEI -By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
WINNING THE PEACE
On first examination, our parshah, KI SEITZEI, may appear to be a collection of many apparently unrelated commandments in a wide variety of different areas. It is not immediately clear in what way the opening words of the parshah — “When you go out to WAR” (Deut. 21:10) — set the theme for the whole of the rest of the parshah. The question is sharpened by the fact that in the previous parshah, SHOFTIM, we already had a Torah section beginning with precisely the same words: “When you go out to war against your enemy” (Deut. 20:1). As discussed in the commentary on SHOFTIM, it is in that section that the Torah sets forth the main laws relating to the conduct of actual war. Our present parshah of KI SEITZEI begins with a mitzvah that applies after the battle is already over — what to do with a beautiful captive. Yet five verses later, the Torah turns to the laws of inheritance, education of children, lost property and other areas that have little apparent connection with war.
There are indeed a few more references to actual war later on in our parshah. The Israelite camp must be pure (Deut. 23:10); a newly married man is exempt from military service (Deut. 24:5); and at the end of the parshah, we are commanded to remember the first war against Israel, that of Amalek. However, the greater part of the parshah deals with laws that relate not so much to war on the actual battlefield as to life on the home front. In the home itself, in social life and in business, out and about in the town, out in the field and out in the wilds of our own hearts, we confront a different enemy: the Evil Inclination. It is against this enemy that we must learn the stratagems of warfare and battle. “The Torah speaks against none other than the Evil Inclination” (Rashi on Deut. 21:11).
Many of the situations we face every day confront us with choices. These include difficult choices between what reason, intuition and conscience may be telling us to do, and what our more impulsive side is pushing us to do. In parshas KI SEITZEI, the Torah provides us with guidance in making the right and good choices when fighting the battles of daily life in the home, at work, in business and in many other contexts.
The opening mitzvah of the parshah, that of the beautiful captive, addresses a fundamental issue facing all who seek to observe the Torah in the fullest way possible. Since the Torah regulates our interactions with the outside world down to the very food we take into our mouths and the clothes we wear, what, if anything, are we allowed to take from the alien cultures around us? The beautiful captive embodies all that is most alluring and enticing in the alien culture. The Torah tells us to “let her hair grow long and her nails grow like claws”: instead of allowing ourselves to jump at surface attractiveness, we must take a little time to discover how quickly this fades and turns ugly. The Torah teaches us not to fall for immediate surface appeal but to consider the longer term consequences and ramifications of the choices and decisions we make. The beautiful captive may turn into a hated wife who bears a glutton, drunkard son. The Torah sees to the end of the matter.
One bad choice can lead to a lot of evil and suffering. On the other hand, a single good choice, even over something tiny, can lead to amazing goodness — in this world and the next. What could be more insignificant than walking on a road somewhere and happening to find a bird’s nest with a mother and eggs or fledglings? How can it be that sending away the mother bird before taking the eggs or fledglings (it costs you nothing) guarantees long life in this world and the next? (Deut. 22:6-7). Only the One who is above time and Who sees from the beginning of a thing to the end knows what are the long-term consequences of our actions in this world, for good or for bad. It is precisely because we do not see the long-term consequences of our actions that we need true guidance in making our choices. The commandments contained in TI SEITZEI give us practical guidance in our home and family life, in making a livelihood and doing business, in how we talk and many other areas “in order that He may bestow good on you and you will lengthen your days” (Deut. 22:7).
Each of the commandments in the parshah must be taken on the level of PSHAT — the simple meaning — and each one involves detailed binding laws, as discussed in the relevant sections of the Talmud and Codes. At the same time, each word of each verse contains the deepest levels of SOD — secret meaning — so that when we fulfil these laws in practice, we even unknowingly create configurations of G-dliness and goodness in the world around us and in our own hearts and souls. In the following discussion of the commandments contained in our parshah, they are discussed not in the sequence in which they appear in the parshah but under themes.
THE HOME AND THE FAMILY
The opening mitzvah of the parshah, that of the beautiful captive, takes us directly inside the home, which is where the captive is taken to “grow her hair and nails”. Life in the home and in the family is a central theme throughout the parshah. Immediately following the law of the beautiful captive comes a hint of marital discord (the hated wife), followed by the Torah law of family inheritance and the birthright. This is followed by the law of the gluttonous son, whose penalty is to be stoned to death. The requisite amounts of meat and wine the gluttonous son would have to imbibe were so gigantic that in practice no one would ever fulfill all the conditions that would make them liable to the death penalty. The Torah does not want to kill the son, but rather to teach the essence of good parenting, from childhood onwards and especially during puberty and adolescence. Children need not be given everything they want. They must be taught to listen to the voice of mother and father, wisdom and understanding.
The education of girls for the life of Torah and the holiness of Israel is no less important than that of boys. The stoning of the girl whose new husband found her to have been unfaithful after their betrothal is not only a terrible punishment for the girl. It is a bitter lesson for her father, outside whose house the execution takes place. “See the offspring you have raised” (Rashi on Deut. 22:21). The holiness of the Israelite home and family is based upon KIDDUSHIN, the act of betrothal whereby husband and wife sanctify and dedicate themselves to one another. In bringing up a new generation, the parental duty is to ensure that girls understand the holiness and seriousness of marriage and of marital fidelity. They must understand what is happening to their pubescent bodies and the attendant dangers in the outside world and from the lurking Evil Urge. This education is particularly important today, when the world is flooded with a culture that encourages teenagers to think of nothing but sexual attraction and romance all day every day. The laws of rape and seduction in our parshah underline how carefully parents must protect their daughters (and sons). Protection must start by lovingly teaching our children about the uniqueness and holiness of Israel and the special level of conduct required of BNEY MELACHIM, children of kings — “for your are children of HaShem”.
Our parshah contains the laws of marriage and divorce that make up most of SEDER NASHIM, the Order of the Mishneh relating to these areas. These include the laws of YIBUM, the Levirate marriage, and CHALITZA, the ceremony for nullifying it, with all their many secrets. Many of the basic laws of KIDDUSHIN and NISU’IM, betrothal and marriage, are learned from verses in our parshah, as are the laws of the GET, “bill of divorce”. The prohibition against a divorced woman who married another man from subsequently remarrying her first husband sets Israel apart from the alien culture that licenses switching back and forth from one partner to another. The holiness of the bond between husband and wife is founded on its exclusiveness. In the realities of life in the world we live in, divorce is sometimes necessary and must be carried out with the proper procedure. However, there is no doubt that the Torah prefers not to license divorce (which “makes the altar-stones weep”) but rather that man and wife should joyously build their home together to fulfil “and your camp shall be holy” (Deut. 23:15) for many long, good years. The first year of marriage sets the foundation for all that follows. In that year the groom is commanded that “he make joyous his wife that he took” (Deut. 24:5). The surest foundation for joy in the home is the study and practice of the Torah.
Bound up with the laws of marriage are the laws relating to personal status and those entitled to enter the community of Israel. The community excludes male Ammonites and Moabites (though King David himself was descended from a Moabitess), and Egyptians and Edomites to the third generation. A different status is that of the MAMZER, who as the child of an incestuous relationship of Israelites is also inherently flawed and may not marry into the community. The purpose of these laws is to protect the purity of the Israelite family.
The home is a private domain — so much so that even a creditor may not enter to take a pledge but must wait outside for the debtor to bring it out. But while the home is private, it must be a place of dignity so that G-d’s holy Presence may dwell there. Dignity begins with personal hygiene and cleanliness, which is why the Torah commands us to attend to our physical needs “outside the camp” and properly cover the waste. Within our homes, we are free to do all that the Torah permits, but we must keep our eyes open and take precautions against potential dangers. “Make a parapet for your roof”. The law to make a parapet to prevent someone falling off the roof is the foundation of the general Torah law that potential hazards of all kinds should be removed (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat #427). Not only does the Torah govern how we build our homes. It even governs the clothes we wear: we may not wear mixtures of wool and linen, and men must wear Tzitztis. The Tzitzis are the first line of defense against immorality (which is why the commandment of wearning Tzitzis immediately precedes the laws of the betrothed maiden). A man must not wear women’s clothes or ornaments and vice versa.
MAKING A LIVING: BETWEEN MAN AND HIS FELLOW
Commandments relating to making a living — from plowing the land to loans and the money economy — also take up major parts of parshas KI SEITZEI. Just as the separation between Israel and the nations is part of G-d’s order, so is the separation between different species of animals and vegetables. One must not drive the plow with an ox and a donkey together. One may not plant one field with diverse species. What distinguishes Israel is the trait of kindness and compassion, which must be carefully cultivated. When harvesting the crops, gifts must be left for the unfortunate and the needy: the proselyte, the widow, the orphan and the poor. The farmer must even be sensitive to the feelings of his ox: while threshing, he may not muzzle the ox to prevent it munching on some of the produce while at work.
Relevant to all are the laws governing the respective rights and obligations of employers and employees. The employee must work industriously and may not abuse the privileges the Torah gives him. Having completed his work, he is entitled to prompt payment: now the mitzvah is on the employer. The laws in our parshah relating to the money economy include those of giving interest-free loans to fellow Israelites and the strict prohibition of taking interest (RIBIS). Business activity is to be governed by the laws of fair weights and measures.
Not only are we bound to conduct our business dealings with integrity. We are responsible for the property of others if they loose it — our parshah contains the laws of lost property. And if our friend gets into trouble — if his donkey can’t carry the load — we must help him rearrange the load.
DOUBLE STANDARDS — AND AMALEK
The detailed laws in our parshah culminate in what on one level is a business law — the prohibition of keeping a big and a small weight: a big weight to use in weighing what one buys, and a small weight in weighing what one sells. We are to use one standard in our business dealings, and likewise, one standard in all of our judgments and evaluations: the Torah standard. We may not judge ourselves and those we like favorably while judging those outside our preferred circle unfavorably. We are to examine ourselves and others and everything in our lives with sobriety, carefully examining to see how things measure up according to the Torah standard. It is this that protects us from Amalek.
From the proximity of the prohibition of double standards to the law of remembering and wiping out Amalek, we learn that having double standards is what brings the scourge of Amalek. The war against Amalek is a theme during this month of Elul, just as it is in the month of Adar, which is six months earlier and diagonally opposite/facing Elul in the circle of the months. Just as fighting Amalek is necessary in Adar in preparation for Nissan, the month of redemption, so it is necessary as part of the Teshuvah process during Elul as we approach Rosh HaShanah and the Days of Awe.
Amalek “encountered you [KORCHO] on the way” (Deut. 25:18). The Rabbis stated that Amalek “cooled [KAR] you” — When the Israelites were flushed with joy and innocent fervor immediately after the Exodus, Amalek attacked with demoralization and despair. Amalek attacked with MIKREH, “chance” — the philosophy that there is no order in the universe and that therefore everything is permitted. Amalek attacked with KERI, the wasteful emission of seed through sexual permissiveness and immorality. These are the very opposite of the holiness that is the foundation of Israel.
The alien culture around us is now reaching its climax in the espousal of the unholy. The Torah states that a man shall not wear the clothes and ornaments of a woman, and vice verse. Yet the alien culture is obsessed with gender and cross gender issues, and has legitimized homosexual relationships — an abomination in the eyes of the Torah — to the point that the countries which consider themselves most advanced are those that have legislated to give homosexual couples the same rights and benefits as husbands and wives. The Midrash clearly states that giving sanction to homosexual marriages brings ANDROLOMUSIA — chaos in which the innocent suffer with the guilty. We can see with our own eyes how the very world that has sanctioned this mockery of marriage is reeling from the fires of war and terror, crime, violence, economic recession, disease…
The foundation of the holiness of Israel has nothing to do with this mockery of marriage, this vain emission of seed. The foundation of the holiness of Israel is KIDDUSHIN, the sacred bond of marriage and fidelity between man and his wife. This is the foundation of family, continuity, the education of children, refinement, modesty, compassion and all other good traits.
Shabbat Shalom! – Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the Torah of kindness is on her tongue.
A woman who fears HaShem, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
We will see that the children of Israel return to Most High and Torah of Mashiach, And will hug in the Holy Land, and by obeying and listening the “VOICE of Most Ancient Holy One of Israel”, will bring offerings in a righteous way on the holy mountain and also bring the Ark of the covenant with pure heart in the right place ( i.e In Har HaBayit, on the foundation Stone) .
We will Welcome the son of David on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.
[ Ha Khadosh Baruch Hu – Baruch HaBa B’Shem Adonai ] – Gaddi, President, BeitYaaqov International.
Gaddi – President