Ki Tetze

Rabbi David Markel Hall
Torah: Deut 21:10-25:19; Haftorah: Isa 54:1-10


Ki Tetze means "when you go fourth", and it completes the dissertation of commandments for community living in the promised land. Topics covered are; how to deal with slaves, rebellious children, other family members, community living, taking of a wife, vowing vows, gleaning, divorce, theft, lending, treatment of servants, capital punishment, leaving of gleanings, settling of arguments, assuring descendants, integrity in business, and destruction of Amaleq.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) is a book of reminders and is preparation for entering the promised land.

The Haftorah for this week starts off, Ronee "Sing O Barren, you that did not bear, break fourth into singing, you that did not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, Saith the LORD." Its purpose is to encourage Israel in her troubles and to prophesy the coming blessings on her. "For a small moment I have forsaken you…." This indicates that the time of Israel’s troubles will soon be over. He is a keeper of his word. "The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed: but my faithful love shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, says the LORD that has mercy on thee."

G-d’s call for Israel is to be a nation of priests (Exodus 9:6). The church "thinks" they have taken that away from His people, but the truth is, "The gifts and callings of G-d are without repentance." (Rom 11:29) While it is true that G-d has a role for the gentile "church", He also has a role for Israel. Keeping in mind that Paul was the "apostle to the gentiles", and that all twelve of the other disciples were to the Jews, Peter’s reference to "… you are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood…" is referring to Israelites, not the church at large (1 Peter 2:5). The gentile church is grafted in to the root of Abraham but they will never replace Israel or her calling.

The church is not performing many of the roles of priesthood. Priests offer up sacrifices to HaShem (1 Peter 2:5), recommend proper discipline for training purposes (Mark 1:40-44), pray for forgiveness of the sins of the people, prescribe commandments of HaShem, as well as give the oracles of G-d to the people, etc. etc..

Before anyone can do these things, they have to know the Torah well enough to comprehend, what they are recommending is in agreement with G-d’s word.

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