Hebraic Studies - Parashat Ki Teitzei Study - with Rabbi Dr. Reuven ben-Avaraham
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Parashat Ki Teitzei Study
Does love Conquer all?
This week’s parsha Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses
our teacher) continues his speech, preparing the
Israelites for living an independent life in the
A Question we need to Ponder:
Why do we need mitzvot to tell us how to treat each other well? Is it not enough to always act out of love?
The Core Idea:
Within the 74 commands in our parsha, there is one law that deserves much more attention than it has generally received. It concerns the laws of inheritance: We really need to look back into our history and what our beloved Elohim, Blessed be He, has said for He is always completely fair in every respect!
“If a man have two wives, the one beloved, and the other he does not love, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the first-born son be hers that was hated; then it shall be, in the day that he causeth his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved the first-born before the son of the did not love, who is the first-born; but he shall acknowledge the first-born, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath; for he is the first-fruits of his strength, the right of the first-born is his.” Devarim - Deuteronomy 21:15-17. (Jewish Publication Society – (JPS) version of the Torah).
On the face of it, this is a
straightforward law. It tells us that love must not override justice. The
firstborn, in ancient
It was important to have rules like this to avoid damaging family splits every time a death occurred or was imminent. The Torah gives us clear examples of the tension and conflict that can occur within families. Jacob showed a preference for Joseph, who was not his firstborn, and this led to his brothers selling him into slavery to get rid of him. At the end of King David’s life, Absalom mounted a rebellion against his father, and Adonijah proclaimed himself the new king as the whole court wondered which of David’s many children should be his rightful heir. Eventually it was announced that Solomon should rule instead.
There is a tension between individual liberty and the common good. Individual liberty says, “This wealth is mine. I should be able to do with it what I like, including deciding to whom to hand it on.” But there is also the welfare of others, including the other children, other family members, and the community and society that are damaged by family disputes. The Torah therefore draws a line, acknowledging the rights of the biological firstborn and limiting the rights of the father.
The truth is there is so much emotion at the heart of religious experience in this parsha, for it seems to plays second fiddle to justice, which helps maintain a healthy order in society.
I now wish to turn to that Hebrew word that is here translated as “does not love” or “unloved” is “ - - which normally means “hated.” We will see later why this strong word is used.
The Torah gives us a graphic example of the court intrigue that went on, as David lay dying, as to which of his children should be his heir. More recently, lehavdil – meaning “profane or inconsequential behaviour”, for there have been several examples of Chassidic dynasties, who have been irreparably torn apart mostly because of different groups desired different individuals to inherit their leadership.
Individual liberty says, “This wealth is mine. I should be able to do with it what I like, including deciding to whom to hand it on.” But there is also the welfare of others, including the other children, other family members, and the community and society that are damaged by family disputes. The Torah here draws a line, acknowledging the rights of the biological firstborn and circumscribing the rights of the father.
The law as such is straightforward. What makes it remarkable is that it reads as if it were directed against a specific biblical figure, namely Ya'aqov - Jacob. One connection is linguistic. The key terms in our law are an opposition between “ahuvah” = “loved,” and “senuah” = - “hated/unloved.” This opposition occurs ten times in the Torah. Three have to do with the relationship between us and Elohim: “those who hate Me and those who love Me.” That leaves seven other cases. Four are in the paragraph above. The other three are all about Ya'aqov - Jacob: two of them about his love for Rachel - Rachel in preference to Leah (Bereshit - Genesis 29:30-31, 32-33), the third about his love for Yoseyf - Joseph in preference to the other sons (Bereshit - Genesis 37:4). Both caused great grief within the family and had devastating consequences in the long run.
This parsha contains more laws than any other. Some of them have generated much study as well as great debate and Chassidic’s and their beloved Kabbalistic ways tends to debate our beloved Elohim, Blessed be He, at any time at their own safety, and debate regarding the two wives at the very beginning of this study, the law of the captive woman and that of the “stubborn and rebellious son.” There is, however, one law that deserves much more attention than it has generally received, namely the one placed between these two. It concerns the laws of inheritance:
Ya'aqov - Jacob loved Ra’chel - Rachel and he said;
“I’ll work for you (Laban) seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel” Bereshit - Genesis 29:18-30.
So Jacob served seven years for Ra’chel - Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her … And Jacob cohabited with Rachel also; indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served him (Laban) another seven years. Bereshit - Genesis 29:18-30. (JPS version of the Torah).
And this is its description of the impact it had on Leah:
“When saw that Leah was - – hated. He enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless”.
“Leah conceived and bore a son, and named him Reuven - Reuben; for she declared, “It means: “ has seen my affliction”; it also means: “Now my husband will love me.” She conceived again and bore a son, and declared, “This is because heard that I was hated and has given me this one also,” so she named him Simeon. Bereshit - Genesis 29:31-33. (JPS version of the Torah).
I have translated the word “senuah” - here as “hated” simply to give a sense of the shock of the text as it is in Hebrew. We also understand why this word is used. Leah was, as the text says, loved less than Rachel. Jacob did not really hate her, but she felt hated, because less loved, thus unloved. This feeling dominated her marriage as we see in the names she gave her eldest children. The rivalry continues and intensifies in the next generation:
When his brothers saw that their father him (Yoseyf - Joseph) more than any of his brothers, they him and could not speak a peaceful word to him. Bereshit - Genesis. (JPS version of the Torah).
But what have we learned here? There is no Doubt that the Torah is telling us something very profound indeed. Love is the highest of emotions. We are commanded to love Elohim, Blessed be His Sanctified Name, with all our heart, soul and might. But it is also, in family contexts, it can be fraught with danger. Love ruined Yaqov’s - Jacob’s life, time and again: in his relationship with Esau (Yitzchak - Isaac loved Esav - Esau, Rebecca loved Ya'aqov - Jacob), in the relationship between Leah and Rachel, and in the relationship between Joseph and his brothers. Love brings joy. It also brings tears. It brings some people close, but makes others feel distanced, rejected.
Therefore, the Torah tells us clearly, in the commands: when love is likely to be the cause of conflict, it must take second place to justice. Love is partial, justice is impartial. Love is for someone specific; justice is for everyone. Love brings personal satisfaction; justice brings social order.
Judaism is the most effective attempt in history to provide the proper balance between of worship the One and Only Elohim. Blessed be His Sanctified Name, which we do because He has been with us for so long. And our beloved Heavenly Father Elohim, Blessed be His Sanctified Name, we will continue to praise and thank because of our faith, which we fully believe in as he has been with us since the beginning of Creation! Our beloved Torah tells us of the covenant made with Noah, and a particular one, with Avraham and later the Israelites, and that we were once of the faith that was simply known as Bnei Yisroel! But that was changed by the occult rabbis of the Kabbalah in 1 or 2 CE who also dealt deeply in mysticism, thanks to them we became known as “Rabbinic Judaism”. And they believe in the universality of justice and the particularity of the word mysticism comes from the Greek word ‘ which refers to an initiate of a “secret cult”. It means the pursuit or achievement of personal communion with or joining with a god, or some other form of the divine or ultimate truth. A person who successfully pursues and gains such communion can be called a Elohim, Blessed be His Sanctified Name, (God) fearing men!. While the experiences of mystics are certainly outside of everyday experience, they are not generally considered to be paranormal or magical. This can be confusing because the words “mystical” and “mysterious” are so closely linked to the words “mystic” and “mysticism” and remember this the occult Kabbalah are REVIL and they are not part of
When it comes to the relationship between humans, there is an order of priority. First created justice, then express love. For if we let those priorities be reversed allowing injustice in the name of love, we will divide and destroy our families and groups and suffer the consequences for a long time.
And remember; THAT is ONLY ONE LAW and that IS WRITTEN IN THE TORAH! The Talmud was written 100% by human hand and minds! Yet those same rabbis are still around Chabad and other Chassid’s for example are an evil sect and necromancers, people like them had the gall to rename our Cheder’s the “TALMUD TORAH”. Disgracefully, they have placed man written books before the actual Word of Elohim, Blessed be His Sanctified Name, and believe me they will be punished for their countless errors and their evil sins and changes made over the centuries to our beloved Tanakh!
Prepared for: 9 Ellul, 5760 – 9 September 2000.
I pray that we have learned a great deal in this parsha!
I wish you all a Shabbat Shalom!
- Rabbi Dr. Reuven Ben-Avraham.
“And thou shalt love thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Davarim - Deuteronomy 6:5-8. (JPS version of the Torah).
You Can Read the Full Parashat Scriptures of Ki Teitzei via this Link
May theShalom of Elohim - Blessed be His Sanctified Name, may He fill you with His Love, and also your family and your home
Please Read the following study: HaShem-The Name
Is the word “Elohim” a name?
No it is not, for it is both a word, and also an “Attribute” of who
our beloved heavenly Father is! Also covered in this study is the four letter
Sanctified *“Memorial Name -
Is the word “Elohim” a name? No it is not, for it is both a word, and also an “Attribute” of who our beloved heavenly Father is! Also covered in this study is the four letter Sanctified *“Memorial Name -(Y-H-V-H) the Tetragrammaton. Please, always use the blessed Name with all holiness and when ever you even see the Name or hear it, please say – Blessed Be His Sanctified Name!
Rabbi Dr. Reuven Ben-Avraham
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