Parsha Ki Teitsei discusses Marriage and choosing the correct Marriage Partner as well as marital chemistry issues, Chalitza (ceremony regarding a childless widow whose deceased husband has a surviving brother) and Halachot concerning dissolution of a marraige and the “Get” (Jewish Halachic divorce). It also covers the double-portion to be inherited by the Bechor (the first-born son), the rebellious son, as well as numerous Mitzvot such as; returning lost items to their rightful owners, loaning money to one’s fellow Jew free from interest, what one is permitted to or prohibited from taking from another Jew as loan security, Shatnes (wool and linen together), Tzitzit, dealing fairly and truthfully with one’s fellow Jews in business and to remember, for all time, the actions of Amalek who attacked B’nai Yisrael when they were weak while blotting the rememberance of Amalek from the earth.
The parsha speaks also about other Mitzvot such as sending a mother bird away before taking the young or the eggs, helping one’s fellow Jew load and unload a burden, fencing in a roof area and not harnessing together different species of animals on the same yoke. And the Maftir Aliyah of our Parsha tells to remember the actions of Amalek while blotting the rememberance from the earth.
In short, our Parsha emphasizes collective responsibility, kindness, caring and fairness for and with each other. Being fair, straight with, and caring for another person is kinder than the insensitivity, indifference and disunity of making up any and every excuse or non-reason under the sun for an action not done, a kindness not shown whether the action relates to Shidduchim, to employment searching and interviews, to giving Tzeddakah, etc. or merely making the effort to hold a bus driver for another few seconds while his fellow huffs and puffs as he runs to catch the bus. This relates to each Jew individually and toward his fellow Jew as well as to any “religious” political entity who purports to represent a “Gedol” or “Gedolim” and who would give even a second of thought to, let alone actually join in a coalition with an evil regime which endeavors at every turn to separate “Israelis from Jews,” to separate Israelis from their Jewish roots, their Jewish heritage, the Land of Israel.
And it seems that collective responsibility, kindness, fairness and caring without prejudice, without agenda, without self-advantage would create a collective unity amongst B’nei Yisrael. And so, we collectively remember and not forget the actions of Amalek who attacked B’nai Yisrael when they were weak, while blotting the rememberance of Amalek from the earth. We remember the Amelek without, as well as the Amalek within; lo nishcach v’lo Nislach — we won’t forgive and we won’t forget.
The problem is that after Oslo, after expulsion, after Amona, after events in Chevron — in Shalhevet neighborhood and in Beit Shapira, after the encagement of Kever Rachel, after Jonathan Pollard’s nearly 22 years in US prison and much more in addition to the current two-front war in which we are engaged in Gaza and in the North ( although on temporary hold), the slate of lo nishcach v’lo Nislach is immense regarding the leftist governing elitist establishment and regime in Israel.
Natan Sharansky wrote last year “…the disengagement did cause other fronts to surface. An invisible but very tangible border arose; not between soldiers and settlers, but between those who shared the pain of disengagement and those who did not. The latter could not relate to the disappearing world of Gush Katif as part of their own world.” (The Civil War That Wasn’t, Natan Sharansky, The Jerusalem Post Sep. 8, 2005)
And perhaps this border that Sharansky spoke of, between those who shared the pain of expulsion and those who didn’t was one of the reasons for this current two-front war — to bring us kicking and screaming to the unity which Torah considers the natural state of B’nai Yisrael.
Do we have strength of sufficient collective self-pride, self-esteem and belief and trust in Hashem to exercise collective responsibility, kindness, fairness and caring without prejudice, without agenda or self-advantage and wage the coming campaign stubbornly and tirelessly for justice, righteousness, to go the extra mile, or miles for one’s brethren as one would for one’s self, for Am Yehudi and for our inalienable divine inheritance and legacy — Eretz Yisrael?
May it be in this year and beyond, that our brethren; the refugee families from Gush Katif and the Shomron (may they soon be restored to new homes and neighborhoods, Bati Knesset, Yeshivot in Gush Katif and the Shomron and only happiness and success for all time), as well as our brethren in the North (may they again live in peace without disruption and destruction by Katushyas and other Hezbollah weaponry), our dear brother, Jonathan Pollard (may he soon know freedom and long life in Eretz Yisrael), that the lives of the 3 captive Chayalim be central in our thoughts, prayers, chassadim and actions. May this abominable period of history called hitnatkut be as a bad dream.
May we be zocha in this coming year to take giant steps toward fulfilling Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, “Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Moshe Burt is an Oleh, writer and commentator on news and events in Eretz Yisrael. He is the founder and director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.