Torah Commentary

Torah Commentary

Chase Justice

The chapters of Shof'tim and Ki Teitzei focus on laws and justice. Last week, in Shof'tim, we read the iconic words: " Tzedek, tzedek tirdof" (justice, justice shall you pursue) (Deuteronomy 16:20). In both Shof'tim and Ki Teitzei, we're urged to pursue justice, to run after it, and to chase it down.

All The More So

This week's Torah portion, Ki Teitzei, is chock full of laws that cover all kinds of topics: what to do when your neighbor's ox falls into a pit, who you are allowed to marry, even prohibitions against planting two different kinds of seeds in the same field.

The Power of Collective Memory

This week’s Torah portion, Ki Teitzei, contains 72 of the 613 commandments. We read of laws regarding the taking captives, how to deal with a rebellious son, laws specific to the burying of the dead, whom you cannot marry, and laws of divorce.

Seeing Ourselves in Torah

Just after the opening number of the 1992 animated Disney classic Aladdin, its title character sings “One Jump Ahead,” a catchy tune that introduces us to the young “street rat” and his sidekick, Abu, after they’ve stolen a loaf of bread.

From Collective Memory to National Identity

A litany of laws. A multitude of mitzvot. According to Maimonides, Ki Teitzei contains 72 of the 613 commandments in the Torah — the most commandments in any one Torah portion. As the time for the Israelites’ transition into the Land draws ever nearer, God and Moses continue to prepare the people for sovereignty and self-government. In addition to laws that cover rules and regulations within the Israelite community, this portion also includes two passages that dictate the relationship between the people of Israel and neighboring entities.