Parashat Ki-Tetzei / פרשת כי־תצא

Crop of Eli Eli Lama Sabactani by James Joseph Jacques Tissot


Parashat Ki-Tetzei is the 49th weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle, and the sixth reading of Devarim (“Deuteronomy”). Ki Teitzei (כִּי־תֵצֵא) means When You Go. It is the first part of the phrase ‘when you go to war’ and the first two words of the parashah, in which Mosheh (Moses) begins by discussing the rules for taking wives of women taken captive in war, followed by many additional instructions.

Mosheh continues with the inheritance rights of the firstborn, but follows up immediately with instructions pertaining to a son who refuses to obey his parents. He then describes what must be done with a man who is put to death and hung on a tree, followed by what must happen when we find something our brother has lost, and when we find him and his animal in need. He proceeds with details about the prohibition on wearing articles and garments made for the opposite sex, followed by rules for taking young birds or eggs from a nest. Mosheh then continues with instructions to be observed when building a house, followed by a variety of prohibitions pertaining to things mixed, followed by the positive commandment to wear gedilim (tassels).

Parashat Ki-Tetzei proceeds with a variety of laws about sexual immorality, beginning with what is to be done if a man accuses his new wife of sexual misconduct preceding the marriage, and continues with the penalty for those who are found committing adultery. Mosheh qualifies this law with instructions pertaining to two different situations involving a woman who is betrothed, one in the city and one in the country. He follows up with instructions pertaining to cases involving unbetrothed virgins, followed by a prohibition against a son taking his father’s wife, etc.

Instructions pertaining to who is prohibited from entering the assembly of HaShem and for how long are then presented, along with two peoples whom we may not abhor. Mosheh also provides instructions about holiness and ritual purity in the camp when we are encamped against our enemies, followed by what is to be done with a slave who has fled to us from his master, followed again by prohibitions pertaining to prostitution and the related wages, prohibitions against charging our brothers interest, and instructions related to our neighbour’s vineyard and standing grain.

Parashat Ki-Tetzei concludes with a variety of instructions about divorce and remarriage, newly married men and military service, loans and pledges, kidnapping, tzara’at (“leprosy”), wages for hired workers, justice and punishment, including, for example, capital punishment, harvesting, yibum (levirate marriage), honest dealings, and Amalek.

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Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 21:10 – 25:19

1st Aliyah: Deuteronomy 21:10-21 (12 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 21:22-22:7 (9 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 22:8-23:7 (29 verses)
4th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 23:8-24 (17 verses)
5th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 23:25-24:4 (6 verses)
6th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 24:5-13 (9 verses)
7th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 24:14-25:19 (28 verses)
Maftir: Deuteronomy 25:17-19 (3 verses)

Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
Isaiah 54:1 – 54:10

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Son of Yosef, son of a Levirate Marriage

The presumptuous and disorderly son is born to those who transgressed the decree of the Memra of HaShem.

You were slaves in the land of Mitzrayim and the Memra of HaShem your G-d delivered you from there.

The Memra of HaShem your G-d will bless you in all the works of your hands if you do not return to take the forgotton sheaf in the field when you have reaped your harvests in your fields, but let it be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

You were slaves in the land of Mitzrayim and the Memra of HaShem your G-d delivered you from there.

Amalek overtook you in the way and slew every one of those among you who were thinking to go aside from HaShem’s Memra.

Your camp shall be holy, so that nothing offensive may be seen among you, lest HaShem’s Memra turn away from doing you good.

Good Deeds in the Parashah

Do not treat the captive a woman tyrannically.

Recognize the firstborn, to give him a double portion of all that is found with him.

The men of the city will stone a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey his father and mother.

The corpse of a man who is put to death and hung on a tree will not remain on the tree overnight, but you will surely bury him in that day.

Return anything of your brother that he will lose and you will find.

Raise up your brother’s donkey or his ox with him when you see it fallen in the way.

A man’s article will not be on a woman and a man will not put on a women’s garment.

You will not take a mother bird over her young. You will let the mother go and you will take the young for yourself.

When you build a new house, you will make a parapet for your roof.

You will not sow your vineyard with two kinds.

You will not plough with an ox and a donkey together.

You will not wear a mixture of wool and linen together.

You will make twisted threads for you on the four corners of your covering with which you cover yourself.

Allegations against a virgin of Yisrael must be handled appropriately.

When a man is found lying down with a woman married to a husband, both of them alike will die.

When there is a girl, a virgin betrothed to a man, and a man finds her in the city and lies down with her, you will bring them out to the gate of that city, and you will stone them with stones.

If the man finds the betrothed girl in the field and the man lays hold on her and lies down with her, only the man who lay down with her will die.

When a man finds a virgin girl who is not betrothed, and seizes her, and lies down with her, and they are found, the man who lay down with her will give fifty silver to the father of the girl, and she will be for a wife for him because he humbled her.

A man will not take his father’s wife and will not uncover his father’s skirt.

One wounded by crushing and whose male organ is cut will not enter into the assembly of HaShem.

A mamzer will not enter into the assembly of HaShem; even his tenth generation.

An Amoni and a Moavi will not enter into the assembly of HaShem; even their tenth generation, until the World to Come.

You will not seek the welfare of an Amoni and a Moavi and their good all your days to the World to Come.

The third generation of an Adomi and an Mitzri may enter into the assembly of HaShem.

When a camp goes out against your enemies, you will keep from every evil thing.

You will not deliver to his master a servant who escaped to you from his master.

There will not be a prostitute from the daughters of Yisrael and there will not be a prostitute from the sons of Yisrael.

You will not bring a harlot’s hire and a dog’s price into the house of HaShem your Elokim for any vow.

You will not charge interest to your brothers.

To a foreigner you may charge interest.

When you vow a vow to HaShem your Elokim, you will not delay to complete.

When you come into your neighbour’s vineyard, you may eat grapes as you desire, to your fill, and you will not put them into your vessel.

When you come into your neighbour’s standing grain, you may pick ears of wheat with your hand, and you will not wield a sickle upon your neighbour’s standing grain.

A former husband who sent his ex-wife away may not turn back to take her to be a wife for himself after she has been defiled.

When a man takes a new wife, the army will not impose on him for any matter for one year.

You will not take lower and upper millstones in pledge.

When a man is found kidnapping a soul from his brothers, from the Children of Yisrael, and deals tyrannically with him and sells him, that thief will die.

Be careful with a lesion of tzara’at, to watch diligently and to do according to all that the priests of the Levi’im will direct you.

Remember what HaShem your Elokim did to Miryam in the way, in your coming out from Mitzrayim.

When you lend to your neighbour a loan of anything, you will not go into his house to take his pledge.

And if he is a poor man, you will not lie down with his pledge.

You will not oppress a hired worker.

Fathers will not be put to death over children and children will not be put to death over fathers; a man will be put to death in his own sin.

You will not bend judgement, of sojourner, of fatherless…

You will not take a widow’s garment in pledge.

You will remember that you were a slave in Mitzrayim and HaShem your Elokim ransomed you from there.

When you reap your harvest in your field and you forget a sheaf in the field, you will not turn back to take it; it will be for the sojourner, for the fatherless, and for the widow.

When you beat your olive tree, you will not leave it without glory behind you. It will be for the sojourner, for the fatherless, and for the widow.

When you cut off your vineyard, you will not glean behind you. It will be for the sojourner, for the fatherless, and for the widow.

When there is a dispute between men and they approach the judgement and they judge, they will justify the righteous and they will condemn the wicked.

If the wicked is a son of the scourging, the judge will cause him to lie prostrate and they will scourge him in his presence, according to his wickeness in number.

You will not muzzle an ox in his threshing.

When brothers dwell together and one of them dies without a son, do the duty of her husband’s brother.

Respond to the man who will not build up his brother’s house appropriately.

You will cut off the hand of a wife who seizes the privates of her husband’s assailant.

You will have a perfect weight and righteousness, you will have a perfect eifah and righteousness.

Remember what Amalek did to you in the way in your going out from Mitzrayim.

Erase the memory of Amalek from under the heavens.

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