Ki Teitzei (5761)

Drash Cards for Ki Teitzei (5761)

by Marc Mangel

• This parsha has several moral rules, including provisions for women captured in battle, leaving an estate, and dealing with a rebellious son.

• But it also emphasizes that there is true evil: Amalek (Ch 25, v 17) , which comes from an analysis of the different kinds of evil.

• Doing so, the Torah becomes a revolutionary document because it  tells us (Ch 23, v 8) not to abhor the Edomite; Rashi says this is because they were our hosts

• Maimonides notes that there are 72 positive and 72 negative commandments in this parsh: 7+2 +7+ 2 = 18.  About this, Nehama says “This sidra surpasses all others”.

• Torah for our life today (which I has not changed,when I type these words in 5776): a refugee boat on the way to Australia capsizes and was rescued by Norwegians fishing, but Australia would not let them land.

• The Torah (Ch 23, v 16) tells us how to treat escaped (from non-Jews, according to the classical interpretation) slaves.  Today’s refugees are escaped slaves.

• Indeed, Pesach teaches us that there are many kinds of slavery, so there are many kinds of escaped slaves.  About this, Rabbi Nachman said that we must feel another’s troubles in our heart.

• Refugees/slaves:  are poor; look different from us; speak differently from us; and act differently from us/

• How are we to receive these strange and different people?  The Torah tells us that we should let them dwell in our midst. Working on this is a worth goal for Elul.