Ki Tetze: A Summary of the Parashah

Moses enumerates many laws that relate to topics of family relationships, interpersonal ethics, forbidden mixtures, and sexuality.

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"Keep your promises.

"You may eat of your neighbor's grapes but you may not carry the grapes with you.

"There are laws regarding the way a man can divorce his wife.

"When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out into the army but shall remain free in his home for one year with his wife.

"If a man steals from his brother, the thief shall die.

"Take heed of any leprous marks and observe and carry out all the rules concerning lepers.

"When collecting a debt, you shall do so in a righteous way.

"Do not withhold anything from a day laborer who is poor or a stranger. Pay them their rightful wages before sundown. Let him not cry out to God against you, for that sin would cling to you.

"Fathers shall not be put to death on account of sons, nor sons be put to death on account of fathers.

"You shall not twist justice for the orphans, widows or strangers. Leave some remains of your crops in the field for them, too.

"If there is a dispute between men, then they shall come before the court to be judged. The righteous shall be justified and the guilty condemned with strict guidelines.

"A brother-in-law shall marry the widow of his brother. If they have a child, it will carry the name of the dead brother so his name shall live on in Israel. If the man does not want to take his sister-in-law, she shall go to elders, who will confirm this fact, and the legacy of this rejection shall remain part of his name.

"All your weights and measurements shall be truthful.

Questions For Discussion

1) One mandate within the laws given in this portion is to be fair.  What does it mean to be fair? Give a recent example of how you were fair to someone and how you were unfair to someone. Give a recent example of how someone was fair to you and an example of how someone was unfair to you.

2) Why are the Israelites not to mix varieties of species in planting, nor wear clothing of different materials, nor even plow at the same time with two different kinds of animals? Is there something wrong with mixing "differences?"

3) The Israelites are told to keep their promises. What is so important about keeping promises? Are there promises you have not kept? Can you find a way to keep them now?

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Nancy Reuben Greenfield

Nancy Reuben Greenfield has written three adaptations of the Torah, including an
interactive family version at, and an engaging
Jewish immigrant novel, The Golden Medina, available on itunes and Amazon.