Deuteronomy 21:10 to 23:7 s.1,2,3 (14 August, 2013, Elul 8, 5773)
Duration 26:47 minutes
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The Book of Deuteronomy (chs. 21,22,23) tells us to treat the enemy as THE ENEMY! Not to be prejudiced against others. Not to be sexually promiscuous. Victims of Sexual Molestation and potential Rape situations should say NO as explicitly as possible. If necessary, where possible, they should cry out and scream.
The Portion is Ki Taitsai i.e.Â "When You Go Out" which words being the first sentence of our portion.
10 When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God hands them over to you and you take them captive
Rashi points out that when we go to war against our enemies we should remember that is what they are, Enemies. They will not have mercy on us nor our families. We have no choice other than to beat them and make sure they never rise up against us again.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
11suppose you see among the captives a beautiful woman whom you desire and want to marry,
If you saw a woman you desired amongst the captives you could forcefully marry her. This possibility actually shows us that the Torah is not racially pressured. There is no injunction saying that our enemies must be racially homogeneous with us and that only from such ethnically compatible opponents may we take captives.
See our article:
TheÂ Black Woman
The Commentary "Or HaChayim" (Chaim ben Moses ibn Attar, 1696-1743, b. Morocco) says that the case of the Captive Woman occurred when the Israelite warrior saw a woman amongst the captives with an Israelite soul and so redeems her by forcing her to become an Israelite and marry him.
Other commentaries are critical of the whole concept.
Some say that in ancient times it was accepted practice all over the world that a conquering army would have its own way with the conquered women.Â They also note that in times of War normally accepted inhibitions are often forgotten.Â The Bible coped with this situation not by absolutely forbidding sexual licence with conquered women but rather by wrapping it up with rules and regulations.Â This would have made the whole process difficult but not impossible.
This reminds one of Israeli bureaucracy.Â They do not make life impossible, just difficult.
Â Getting back to the captured woman,
The would be Israelite male lover-boy had to go through a whole rigmarole of having to do this and that and take responsibility for his captive. The end result would have been to reduce the temptation for rape,Â induced fornication, or welcome promiscuity. At the same time the Torah didÂ not close the door altogether and allowed some form of sexual union with the defeated enemy.
If after marriage the husband was dissatisfied with his wife he had to treat her with respect. So too, if a man had more than one child, even if they were from different women and he preferred one to another he could not discriminate against them.
17 He must acknowledge as firstborn the son of the one who is disliked, giving him a double portion* of all that he has; since he is the first issue of his virility, the right of the firstborn is his.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
The right of the firstborn belongs to the firstborn. His father cannot take it from him.
A rebellious son in certainÂ circumstances could be put to death (21:18-21). Some of the Sages opined that this injunction was never actually applied but existed for educational purposes.
22 ... So you shall purge the evil from your midst; and all Israel will hear, and be afraid.
The Bible is a communal document. It is addressed to the People of Israel as a whole.
This is a proof for the veracity of the Oral Law.Â The dfecisions of the Sages had to be obeyed whether or not the individual agreed with them.
"Collective Responsibility and Rabbinical Authority"
A person who had committed a capital crime and was executed would have his body hanged on a tree until evening (21:22). After that the body was taken down and treated withÂ respect.
Lost property and livestock had to be looked after and returned to its owners (22:4).
5 A woman shall not wear a man's apparel, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whoever does such things is abhorrent to the Lord your God.
Men and women were forbidden to wear each others clothing. Transvestism is forbidden by the Bible.
Dressing up as a woman is sometimes practised by entertainers including those of children. This should be forbidden.
There are also mothers who for a prank in their homes dress their sons as girls. This can have very adverse effects on the child. It should be forbidden.
The Sages extended this to forbid a man in general to behave like a woman.
In those days most of the houses had flat roots. People used the roofs for living purposes. For this reason each roof had to have a minimum wall around its edges for safety reasons (22:8).
10 You shall not plough with an ox and a donkey yoked together.
OX. Hebrew "shor" i.e. male bull.
ASS. Hebrew "chamor" i.e. male donkey.
This practice was evidently common until recently amongst the Arab Palestinians. The word translated here as "ox" in Hebrew is "shor" meaning bull. Ox in English often connotes a steer or castrated bull whereas the original Hebrew has "shor" meaning simply a bull who was not castrated.
A bull is much stronger than an ass and naturally workers harder and faster. By binding them together it was possible to get much more work out of the ass. The Torah forbade this.
11 You shall not wear clothes made of wool and linen woven together.
I understand that most Scottish kilts are made out of a mixture of linen and wool. The linen adds strength and some water-resistance.
Clifford Smyth has written about this in his work:
Â "Titanic Tartans. An Ulster Scots Cultural Odyssey"Â by Clifford Smyth, Ambassador Publications, Belfast, 2009
Anyway a Kosher Jewish Kilt is now available.
The combination in clothing of wool and linen is forbidden. Such mixtures in Hebrew are known as Shatnez.Â Most major clothing importers in Israel have the produce checked for Shatnez. In one case a line of dressing gowns with shatnez in them reportedly slipped into the country. The importers and their outlets immediately replaced all gowns brought into them.
In addition throughout Israel one finds shatnez laboratories that will check items of clothing for a modest fee. These are run by Ultra-Orthodox specialists.
Lately due to a few bad eggs the Ultra-Orthodox have been receiving a bad press.
Reality "on the ground" however shows that most Israelis as well as Arabs "in the know" prefer to do business with the Ultra-Orthodox instead of their own kind.
A true anecdote from a very reliable source relates:
A group of Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) families bought, by bulk purchase, a number of flats in a certain neighborhood. A secular woman in the area became very active in organizing resistance to the coming of these families since she feared an overly drastic change to the neighborhood might result.
An Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi took the lady aside and asked her.
#Madam, suppose you were driving by night on the open highway and your car broke down.Â
Another car drives up and parks behind your own.
Four men get out.
Would you prefer the men look like me or like those from your secular neighbors?#
#Like you!# she admitted.
It was preferred that a woman remain a virgin until marriage.
Someone who had intercourse with a betrothed woman could be put to death. The woman also would be executed (22:22).
If however the woman was raped nothing would happen to her (22:26).Â This sounds obvious to us but in Moslem countries female victims of rape are often punished while their rapists, in some cases,Â may be go free.
In the Bible, rape is considered analogous to murder.
The victim of sexual assault and rape was obliged to shout for help if they could.
25 But if the man meets the engaged woman in the open country, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. 26 You shall do nothing to the young woman; the young woman has not committed an offence punishable by death, because this case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbour. 27 Since he found her in the open country, the engaged woman may have cried for help, but there was no one to rescue her.
Â Wrong must be resisted as much as possible. At the least ,Â dissatisfaction with wrong-doing needs to be made vehemently clear.
We live in an age of rampant promiscuity. Mixed uncertain messages are given and mistaken impressions created.
Men and women who encounter unwelcome sexual advances should say, NO! at once and mean it. If necessary they should cry out and scream.
Females especially should be taught to shout or scream. Even in case of doubt they should cry out.
This is what the Bible says and it is correct.
Numerous perpetrators of sexual crimes claim that if the message of non-compliance by the other party had have been more forceful from the beginning they might not have continued.
There is also the aspect of recovery after such attacks. The victims may feel guilty as if they did not resist strongly enough. When the woman victim did shout out she did do something
against the act.
Rabbi Avraham Feld once told me of a study done on Holocaust victims.
Jews who were in the holocaust were killed and tortured etc by the Germans and their European allies.
Whether or not one resisted or not the same fate usually awaited everybody, i.e. death or incarceration under inhumane conditions.
Those who had resisted however recovered more quickly.
They who did not resist often suffered from guilt feelings as if they had somehow had complicity in their own suffering.
2 Those born of an illicit union shall not be admitted to the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of their descendants shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.
Those born of an illicit union often translated as #BASTARD#. In Hebrew "Mamzer".
It does not mean bastard in the English sense
It also does not mean people of mixed race as sometimes claimed.
It applies ONLY to Jews who are born from adultery or incest.
For a discussion of this term and its legal implications see:
Brit-Am Now 1126.Â The Term "Mamzer" (Bastard)
Restrictions were also placed on certain peoples from other nations.
3 No Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of their descendants shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord, 4 because they did not meet you with food and water on your journey out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam son of Beor, from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
It was considered the task of males to provide food and water to travellers of their own kin.
It was therefore the MALE Moabites and Ammonites who had failed in their duty.
For this reason male Ammonites and Moabites were forbidden but females were permitted.
This is why Ruth the Moabitess and ancestress of King David was able to become a member of the Israelite Nation.
David and the Oral Law: Ruth and the Oral Tradition
This study on Deuteronomy (Ci Taytsai) is Continued at:Â D6b. Empathy & Social Justice