Posted on August 20, 2021
From the Rabbi’s Desk
Livin’ the Good Life
I came home last night and said: “Ki tetzei this week. I love parashat ki tetzei”. And Jeffrey cheerfully responded: “Yup. It is my favorite parashah.” I said: “Really? Your favorite?” Jeffrey said: “Bar none.”
That got me thinking. What is your favorite parashah? Is it Noah, with the animals and the flood? Is it vayera, with Abraham arguing justice with God and expelling Ishmael and almost sacrificing Isaac? Is it b’shalah with the Song of the Sea? Is it terumah, with the building of the mishkan? Is it kedoshim, with the holiness code? Is it Korah, with the story of the rebellion against Moshe? Or, maybe like Jeffrey, is your favorite ki tetzei, with its plethora of regulations designed to build a world founded on justice?
Throughout the month of Elul we have the opportunity to consider deeply what kind of people we wish to be and what kind of world we wish to live in. Ki tetzei offers a great number and variety of specific laws of behavior, all part of a vision of what it means to live the good life. The Torah and the rabbis tell us that the good life is found in justice, holiness and respect. And what that means is not left up to our imagination.
Here are some highlights, just from middle section of ki tetzei that we are reading this year:
These are only a few of the many laws covering a whole host of topics in parashat ki tetzei. Tomorrow we will discuss Deut. 24:10-11, the prohibition of entering someone’s home to reclaim a pledge that belongs to you and the implications of that law.