Torah Tidbits

31 July 2014 / 4 Av 5774

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Issue 1013
Shabbat Parshat Ki Teitzei
August 30, 2012
Lead Tidbits
Guest Article

Rosh HaShana - a Puzzling Holiday - Guest article by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students, Diaspora Yeshiva

Rosh HaShana is a puzzling day for us. On the one hand, we are facing an awesome judgment; on the other hand, we celebrate the day as a joyous holiday. One can hardly imagine someone facing a life and death judgment enjoying himself on that very day. Yet, the halacha states that we must celebrate on Rosh HaShana by feasting on meat and wine.
More than that. We not only celebrate amidst the judgment, we actually invoke the judgment on ourselves. According to the Zohar, our shofar summons the Judge to the chamber to begin the proceedings. Clearly we would only do so if we viewed that judgment as beneficial to us.

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Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary

Aliya by Aliyah


Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary
[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S> X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or s’tuma. X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the parsha; (Z) is the number of p’sukim in the parsha.
Numbers in [square brackets] are the Mitzva-count of Sefer HaChinuch AND Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvot. A=ASEI (positive mitzva); L=LAV (prohibition). X:Y is the perek and pasuk from which the mitzva comes.

 

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Sedra Stats

Ki Teitzei Stats

Ki Teitzei Stats
49th of the 54 sedras;
6th of 11 in D’varim
Written on 212.8 lines in a Torah (rank: 21)
44 Parshiyot; 2 open, 42 closed (rank: 1)
110 p’sukim - ranks 28th (5th in D’varim)
1582 words - ranks 23rd (5th in D’varim)
5856 letters - ranks 26th (6th in D’varim)
Slightly larger than average p’sukim; below average for D’varim. Overall, an average-sized sedra. But Mitzva-wise…

MITZVOT
74 of Taryag - 27 pos., 47 prohibitions
Ki Teitzei has the most mitzvot (12%), most positive mitzvot (10.9%), most prohibitions (12.9%), and most parshiyot of any sedra.

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Lead Tidbit

The Mitzva Champ: Ki Teitzei

Very hard to let Ki Teitzei pass without commenting on a mitzva or two or three. It has 74 mitzvot of the 613. That’s 12% of the mitzvot in one of the 54 sedras in the Torah.
A number of weeks ago (probably Eikev), we referred to the statement in the Gemara about G-d’s praising His people Israel - I told them to bench after a satisfying meal, and they choose to bless Me even after a relatively small quantity of a KAZAYIT…
This week, let’s look at some of the mitzvot in Ki Teitzei and see them as sources of pride that we have in HaShem, so to speak.
How special is G-d for commanding a marriage that is usually greatly forbidden, between a widow and her childless husband’s brother - intended to perpetuate her husband’s name. And how special of Him to have provided another mitzva - CHALITZA - for cases when the marriage is not a good idea.

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Other Tidbits
TTriddles "Report"

TTriddles

TTRIDDLES…
are Torah Tidbits-style riddles on Parshat HaShavua (sometimes on the calendar). They are found in the hard-copy of TT scattered throughout, usually at the bottom of different columns. In the electronic versions of TT, they are found all together at the end of the ParshaPix-TTriddles section. The best solution set submitted each week (there isn’t always a best) wins a double prize a CD from Noam Productions and/or a gift (game, puzzle, book, etc.) from Big Deal

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Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

Parshat Ki Teitzei contains a plethora of mitzvot designed to maintain the integrity of our society. The instructions cover a wide range of practices from the treatment of female captives, second wives and rebellious children to the return of lost property and the treatment of suffering animals (including those of one’s nemesis).
The sheer number and variety of situations dealt with in the parsha underscore how pertinent are Torah values in the most mundane situations and in the most bizarre of circumstances.  If you just happen upon a bird’s nest with a roosting mother bird… if you desire to plow with an ox and a donkey together… if you were thinking about accepting an Edomite into your community…
Behind some of these commands are great moral lessons. We are to pay the destitute hired person on time, “because his life depends on it”. And “you shall not pervert the judgment of a proselyte or orphan…[for] you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt” - ‘At risk’, as we say in our times. (And, just think, tomorrow you too could be vulnerable)...
Of particular interest is the prohibition: “You shall not bring a harlot’s hire… to the House of Hashem”, from which the Ramban deduced that ill-gotten gains cannot be used for holy ends. This is definitely food for thought today for some Jewish public service organizations.

Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff

We would greatly appreciate your feedback on the new features (and old ones) in Torah Tidbits [Please send to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)]

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"From Machon Puah"

The Best Arguments

The psychologist Dr. Sara Barris, speaking at the recent joint Puah and OU Conference on Intimacy, discussed the subject of arguments in a close relationship. She said that the good news is that everyone argues and this is not considered an unusual occurrence nor need it be detrimental to a successful marriage. Arguments are important and marriages in which the couple do not argue are frightening and are sometimes are called Silent Divorces. Such couples may not argue because they simply do not face the issues that they disagree on and ignore the differences between them.

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Portion of the Portion

Refugees from Sudan - Are we obligated to welcome them into Israel?

Since 2006, more than 17,000 migrants have claimed asylum in Israel, most of them Eritrean or Sudanese nationals arriving clandestinely through the southern border with Egypt. The absorption of so many foreigners into Israel has created a debate in the country as to what is our moral obligation as a just democratic nation. As a country made up of Jewish refugees from oppression around the world, we feel guilty about neglecting others who seek asylum. But maybe we are being naive, and are letting opportunists seeking the best “deal” for asylum, into our country. Maybe they are just taking advantage of our Jewish tendency to mercy to seek out higher wages than they would receive as refugees in Egypt, while they are changing the Jewish identity of our State and possibly threatening our security?

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Parsha Points to Ponder

Parsha Points to Ponder

1) Why does the Torah say the seeming extra word FOR YOU when it describes the soldier taking the Y’FAT TO’AR as a wife (21:11)? Of course if he marries her it will be FOR HIM!
2) Why, when choosing an example of a non-animal in the command to return loss objects does the Torah choose a shirt (SIMLA) (22:3)?
3) Why does the Torah call the person who deserves lashes BIN HAKOT instead of BEN which is usually used to describe a person (25:2)?

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Chizuk and Idud

CHIZUK and IDUD for Olim not yet Olim respectively

The 74 Mitzvot contained in this week’s Sedra are book-ended by themes of war. “When you go out to war against your enemies” opens the Sedra and “Blot out the memory of Amalek” closes the Sedra. War has been the lot of the Jewish people from the time of our father Avraham who rescued Lot in battle to our modern day young men and women who risk their lives daily in order to protect nation and homeland.

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Word of the Month

Word of the Month

A weekly feature of Torah Tidbits to help clarify practical and conceptual aspects of the Jewish Calendar, thereby better fulfilling the mitzva of haChodesh HaZeh Lachem…

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ParshaPix Explanations

Parsha Pix

No explanation this week

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Candle Lighting and Havdala

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Sedra Stats

Ki Teitzei Stats
49th of the 54 sedras;
6th of 11 in D’varim
Written on 212.8 lines in a Torah (rank: 21)
44 Parshiyot; 2 open, 42 closed (rank: 1)
110 p’sukim - ranks 28th (5th in D’varim)
1582 words - ranks 23rd (5th in D’varim)
5856 letters - ranks 26th (6th in D’varim)
Slightly larger than average p’sukim; below average for D’varim. Overall, an average-sized sedra. But Mitzva-wise…

MITZVOT
74 of Taryag - 27 pos., 47 prohibitions
Ki Teitzei has the most mitzvot (12%), most positive mitzvot (10.9%), most prohibitions (12.9%), and most parshiyot of any sedra.

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Word of the Month

A weekly feature of Torah Tidbits to help clarify practical and conceptual aspects of the Jewish Calendar, thereby better fulfilling the mitzva of HaChodesh HaZeh Lachem…

Just in case some TTreaders are unfamiliar with the Slichot “picture”, here is a review. Eidot Mizrach (a.k.a. S’faradim), begin saying Slichot from the second day of Elul and say them throughout the month. They say the same text each night/morning. Ashkenazim begin Slichot on the Motza’ei Shabbat (or early Sunday morning) before Rosh HaShana - and if there will not be at least four days of Slichot before RH, then they begin Slichot on the previous Motza"Sh (as we will do this year).