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Parsha of the Week

        This week’s parsha is parshas Ki Teitzei, which is about Moshe continuing to teach mitzvos that would apply when the Jews lived in Eretz Yisrael (Israel). Moshe spoke about the unity of the Jewish people.  

        Sometimes during a war the Jewish army would capture and hold prisoners. What happened if a Jewish soldier saw a Non-Jewish captive woman and wanted to marry her? Hashem said, “If I forbid the Jews to marry a non-Jewish captive, some soldiers might not be able conquer their Yetzer Hara (The Bad Soul). They will do the sin anyway. I will, therefore, permit it, but they must keep special laws. These laws are quite difficult, so perhaps the soldier will change his mind.”

What are these special laws?

a. When the Jewish man brings home the non-Jewish captive, she must shave off all her hair. Hashem commanded this because the soldier may have liked the woman because of her hair, and if he did only like her hair now he would not want to marry her.
b. She must let her nails grow long so they will look unattractive.
c. She must remove her beautiful garments.
The soldier might now look at her and think, “How can I think of marrying this non-Jewish woman instead of a Jewish woman? She was not as pretty as I thought she was. I was wrong in wanting to marry her!” 

        What is a “Ben sorer umoreh” (The Rebellious son)?
        Within the three months after a boy becomes Bar Mitzvah, he steals money from his Father. With the stolen money he buys meat and wine. He spends lots of time with bad people, and in their presence he eats the meat and gobbles up the wine. There were two witnesses who tried to discourage him from behaving like this. If the boy continues to act this way, the parents may bring him to the Beis Din (Jewish Court) of three judges. They tell the judges what happened. The Judges order a Malkos for the young man. It is supposed to teach him to improve his behavior. If the boy returns to his old ways, and he does the same bad things, the parents now can bring their son to a Beis Din (Jewish Court) of twenty-three judges. If certain conditions are fulfilled, he is sentenced to death. He is called a Ben sorer umoreh - The Rebellious son. The question arises, does this young man really deserve to die because he stole money and he gorged himself with meat? Hashem said, that it is true that he committed a small crime, but later in life, he might commit a serious crime, such as murder or hijacking a car with a small child in it. Was a Jewish boy ever put to death for being rebellious? The answer is no! All the conditions could never be fulfilled. It can’t be possible. For example, he can’t be sentenced to death, if he did not eat the meat in a way that the rabbis (sages) find disgusting.

        If this din does not really occur, why is it in the Torah? For two reasons: One that we learn and we gain rewards for learning. Two, that we may learn a lesson from this. While the religious children are growing up, they hear all the instructions, such as “Do This” or ‘Go to Daven” or “Your skirt is not Tzniut”. Children might not appreciate these directions, but when they become adults, they see that this is the right way to go. People who listen to their parent’s words will be happy. The Ben sorer umoreh (The Rebellious son) meets with a sad ending, because he refused to listen to his parents.

This week's Dvar Torah is in Memory of R’ Yosef ben Avrohom Robinson

Shabbat Shalom! Have a Good Shabbos!