Torah Portion Ki-Tetzei  Deuteronomy 21:10 – 25:19

Ki Tetzei, which literally means “When you go out” in Hebrew, is a military idiom “When you sally forth for war.” 

Summary:  Moses continues his second of three discourses. In this Torah portion, he covers a broad range of topics, some of which include:  a man can take a war bride (and give her a month to mourn for her family); if he has two wives – one loved and one hated, the first born son, regardless of the mother, gets the double portion; an incorrigible son is to be taken to the gates of the city and tried – and if found guilty,he  is stoned to death.  Mixtures of unlike items should be avoided (mixing seeds in a vineyard, yoking an ox and ass together, wearing garments made of wool and linen.)  This Torah portion also deals with various domestic issues: capital punishment for marriage infidelity; if a man forces himself on a virgin, he is to marry her and pay her father 50 shekels.  Fugitive slaves are to be protected.  Male and female cult prostitutes are prohibited.  There is no charging of interest on loans to the Hebrews.  Gleaning is allowed, but limited to what one can eat or carry by hand (i.e., grapes and grain).  Divorce is permitted.  Kidnapping and enslaving a Hebrew is a capital offense.  A childless widow must marry her husband’s brother and their child will carry the first husband’s name.  The widow can choose to break the requirement, but it includes dishonoring the brother-in-law.  Keep honest weights and measures.  Remember to blot out the name of Amalek.