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Ki Teitzei

Ki Teitzei

5 Facts About Parshat Ki Teitzei that You (Maybe) Didn’t Know

Published on Friday September 13th, 2019

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parshah that you can share at your Shabbos table.

 

וְהֵסִ֩ירָה֩ אֶת־שִׂמְלַ֨ת שִׁבְיָ֜הּ מֵעָלֶ֗יהָ וְיָֽשְׁבָה֙ בְּבֵיתֶ֔ךָ וּבָֽכְתָ֛ה אֶת־אָבִ֥יהָ וְאֶת־אִמָּ֖הּ יֶ֣רַח יָמִ֑ים וְאַ֨חַר כֵּ֜ן תָּב֤וֹא אֵלֶ֙יהָ֙ וּבְעַלְתָּ֔הּ וְהָיְתָ֥ה לְךָ֖ לְאִשָּֽׁה׃ (21:13)

And discard her captive’s garb. She shall spend a month’s time in your house lamenting her father and mother; after that you may come to her and possess her, and she shall be your wife.

1.     Did it really happen? Any other events that may have not happened?

  • There are three events mentioned in the Torah that apparently never happened:
  1. The Ben Sorer Umoreh
  2. The Ir Hanidachas
  3. Tzara'at on a house 

(On the other hand, Rabbi Yochanan said that he saw an Ir Hanidachas and the grave of a Ben Sorer uMoreh. So too, Rabbi Eliezer Ben Tzaddok and Rabbi Shimon Ish Kafar said that they saw tzaraat on a house.

 

וְתָ֥פְשׂוּ ב֖וֹ אָבִ֣יו וְאִמּ֑וֹ וְהוֹצִ֧יאוּ אֹת֛וֹ אֶל־זִקְנֵ֥י עִיר֖וֹ וְאֶל־שַׁ֥עַר מְקֹמֽוֹ׃ (21:19)

His father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his town at the public place of his community.

2.     What does the father’s hand have to do with the ben sorer umoreh?

  • From here the Talmud learns that if the boy’s father and/or mother can’t “take hold of him”  because they’re without a hand then the son can’t  be sentenced as  a ben sorer umoreh.[1]

 

וְאָמְר֞וּ אֶל־זִקְנֵ֣י עִיר֗וֹ בְּנֵ֤נוּ זֶה֙ סוֹרֵ֣ר וּמֹרֶ֔ה אֵינֶ֥נּוּ שֹׁמֵ֖עַ בְּקֹלֵ֑נוּ זוֹלֵ֖ל וְסֹבֵֽא׃ (21:20)

They shall say to the elders of his town, “This son of ours is disloyal and defiant; he does not heed us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”

3.     What if one of the boy’s parents has a disability?

  • From here the Talmud learns that if the boy’s father and/or mother is mute, blind, lame, deaf, or without hands, the son can’t be sentenced as  a ben sorer umoreh.[2] The reason for this, is that people  who have a disability have a tendency to be cruel and we’re afraid the parent(s)  may be bringing their son to court because of cruelty and not for a justified reason.[3]

 

כִּ֣י יִקָּרֵ֣א קַן־צִפּ֣וֹר ׀ לְפָנֶ֡יךָ בַּדֶּ֜רֶךְ בְּכָל־עֵ֣ץ ׀ א֣וֹ עַל־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֶפְרֹחִים֙ א֣וֹ בֵיצִ֔ים וְהָאֵ֤ם רֹבֶ֙צֶת֙ עַל־הָֽאֶפְרֹחִ֔ים א֖וֹ עַל־הַבֵּיצִ֑ים לֹא־תִקַּ֥ח הָאֵ֖ם עַל־הַבָּנִֽים׃ (22:6)

If, along the road, you chance upon a bird’s nest, in any tree or on the ground, with fledglings or eggs and the mother sitting over the fledglings or on the eggs, do not take the mother together with her young.

4.     What happens to the bird’s mother after she’s sent away?

  • The Midrash says that after we send away the mother bird she commits suicide by drowning herself in water.[4]

 

עַל־דְּבַ֞ר אֲשֶׁ֨ר לֹא־קִדְּמ֤וּ אֶתְכֶם֙ בַּלֶּ֣חֶם וּבַמַּ֔יִם בַּדֶּ֖רֶךְ בְּצֵאתְכֶ֣ם מִמִּצְרָ֑יִם וַאֲשֶׁר֩ שָׂכַ֨ר עָלֶ֜יךָ אֶת־בִּלְעָ֣ם בֶּן־בְּע֗וֹר מִפְּת֛וֹר אֲרַ֥ם נַהֲרַ֖יִם לְקַֽלְלֶֽךָּ׃ (23:5)

Because they did not meet you with food and water on your journey after you left Egypt, and because they hired Balaam son of Beor, from Pethor of Aram-naharaim, to curse you.

5.     Why only Moabite men are banned from converting to Judaism?

  • Moabite men are banned from converting and joining the Jewish people because they did not offer the Jewish people food and drink. Women, however, do not customarily go out and greet strangers with food and drink, and hence, they were not punished for not doing so. This is why Ruth was permitted to convert and join the Jewish people. On the other hand, since the Torah doesn’t give a reason why Edomites and Egyptians may not convert and join the Jewish people, we apply the ban equally to both men and women.[5]


[1] Sanhedrin 45b

[2] Sanhedrin 45b, 71a

[3] Meiri Sanhedrin 71a, 45b

[4] Vilna Gaon “Imrei Noam” Brachot p.33 based on a Midrash

[5] The Book of our Heritage p.831

Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box

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