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Ki Teitzei

Ki Teitzei

When You Go Out (to Battle)
Deuteronomy
21:10–25:19

When you [an Israelite warrior] take the field against your enemies, and the Eternal your God delivers them into your power and you take some of them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman and you desire her and would take her to wife.... - Deuteronomy 21:10-11

Summary: 
  • Moses reviews a wide variety of laws regarding family, animals, and property. (21:10–22:12)
  • Various civil and criminal laws are delineated, including those regarding sexual relationships, interaction with non-Israelites, loans, vows, and divorce. (22:13–24:5)
  • Laws of commerce pertaining to loans, fair wages, and proper weights and measures are given. (24:10–25:16)
  • The parashah concludes with the commandment to remember for all time the most heinous act committed against the Israelites—Amalek’s killing of the old, weak, and infirm after the Israelites left Egypt. (25:17–19)

When do we read Ki Teitzei?

2017 Sep 2 /11 Elul, 5777
2018 Aug 25 /14 Elul, 5778

RECENT COMMENTARY

  • By Reuven Firestone

    This week's Torah portion is called Ki Teitzei — meaning literally, "When you go out." It is a reference to violence and war. "When you take the field [literally, "When you go out"] against your enemies, and the Eternal your God delivers them into your power and you take some of them captive ... " (Deuteronomy 21:10).

    This sentence is but a tiny portion of more than a thousand verses in the Tanach that deal with war. Our Holy Scriptures came into history in a world in which fighting was a normal and often necessary activity. The ancient communities of the Middle East were governed according to tribal custom and law, and each ethnic community was in a combative relationship with its neighbor. There was no United Nations in those days, no European Union designed to administer diverse people according to collective rules and laws. Some tribal federations such as the twelve tribes of Israel pooled their resources, but that was for protection rather than for... Continue Reading

  • Torah for Tots

    A guide to help adults learn how to engage young children in a discussion about this week’s Torah portion.  

  • Torah for Tweens

    Explore this week’s Torah portion with “Family Shabbat Table Talk” lessons, perfect for families with tweens.

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