Ki Tetzei 5774

September 3, 2014

7 min read


Ki Tetzei (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 )

Enjoy Rabbi Kalman Packouz’s inspiring and insightful weekly column.

GOOD MORNING!   The story is told of a class of students who were requested to write their list for the modern day "Seven Wonders of the World." Many of the students included: 1. Egypt's Great Pyramids 2. Taj Mahal 3. Petra 4. The Panama Canal 5. Empire State Building 6. Machu Picchu 7. The Great Wall of China 8. Chichen Itza (a Mayan pyramid) 9. Roman Coliseum.

One girl was slow to turn in her list. When queried by the teacher, she replied, "There are so many -- I think the "Seven Wonders of the World" are: 1. to see 2. to hear 3. to touch 4. to taste 5. to feel 6. to laugh and 7. to love."

On that note, I thought the following piece (author unknown) would be uplifting and worth sharing:


Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them -- work, family, health, friends and spirit -- and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls -- family, health, friends and spirit -- are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same.

You must understand that and strive for balance in your life. How? Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special. Don't set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you. Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life. Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying. Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other. Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings. Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you are going. Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated and to give love to one's family. Don't be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

Don't use time or words carelessly. The hurtful things you say cannot be taken back. Neither time nor words can be retrieved. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift: that's why we call it the present.

* * *

One last uplifting thought from the back of a T-shirt copyrighted by Aish's Rabbi Ken Spiro, a historian, analyst and engaging speaker. The T-shirt and mp3 downloads are available at .




Ancient Egypt
Assyrian Empire
Babylonian Empire
Persian Empire
Greek Empire
Roman Empire
Byzantine Empire
Spanish Empire
Nazi Germany
Soviet Union

The smallest of nations
but with a Friend in a High Place



Hear classes on...
Download to Go
or Listen FREE On-Line


Torah Portion of the week

Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10 -- 25:19

Topics in this week's portion include: Women Captives, First-Born's Share, The Rebellious Son, Hanging and Burial, Returning Lost Articles, The Fallen Animal, Transvestitism, The Bird's Nest, Guard-Rails, Mixed Agriculture, Forbidden Combinations, Bound Tassels, Defamed Wife, Penalty for Adultery, Betrothed Maiden, Rape, Unmarried Girl, Mutilated Genitals, Mamzer, Ammonites & Moabites, Edomites & Egyptians, The Army Camp, Sheltering Slaves, Prostitution, Deducted Interest, Keeping Vows, Worker in a Vineyard, Field Worker, Divorce and Remarriage, New Bridegroom, Kidnapping, Leprosy, Security for Loans, Paying Wages on Time, Testimony of Close Relatives, Widows and Orphans, Forgotten Sheaves, Leftover Fruit, Flogging, The Childless Brother-in-Law, Weights and Measures, Remembering What Amalek Did to Us.

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states:

"When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Almighty, your God, will give him into your hand..." (Deut. 21:10).

The Arizal, a great Kabbalist, noted that the verse refers to the Jewish people in the singular. However, regarding our enemies, it starts out in the plural ("enemies") and the verse ends referring to them in the singular ("give him" -- instead of writing "give them"). Since this is not a case of poor editorship, what is the lesson that the Torah is coming to teach us?

The Arizal elucidates: The Torah is telling us that if we have unity and are as one when we go out against our enemies, then even though our enemies are very numerous, you will be victorious as easily as if they were just one.

The importance of unity for accomplishment applies not only during times of war against an enemy. It is just as necessary during times of peace. When a group of people will work on any project with a spirit of togetherness, they will accomplish much more than if they would each be doing things as separate individuals.


Candle Lighting Times

September 5
(or go to

Jerusalem 6:23
Guatemala 5:53 - Hong Kong 6:19 - Honolulu 6:25
J'Burg 5:38 - London 7:20 - Los Angeles 6:56
Melbourne 5:44 - Mexico City 7:29 - Miami 7:18
New York 7:03 - Singapore 6:49 - Toronto 7:28

Quote of the Week

The Jew is the emblem of eternity. He whom neither slaughter nor torture of
thousands years could destroy, he whom neither fire nor sword nor
Inquisition was able to wipe off the face of the earth, he
who was the first to produce the oracles of God, he who
has been for so long the guardian of prophecy, and who
transmitted it to the rest of the world - such a
nation cannot be destroyed. The Jew is as
everlasting as is eternity itself.

-- Leo Tolstoy

The Jewish vision became the prototype for many similar grand designs for
humanity, both divine and man made. The Jews, therefore, stand at the
center of the perennial attempt to give human life
the dignity of a purpose.

-- Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews

As long as the world lasts, all who want to make progress in righteousness
will come to Israel for inspiration as to the people who had the sense
for righteousness most glowing and strongest.

-- Matthew Arnold, Literature and Dogma



Happy Anniversary

Yaakov & Sara

Sam Franco


With Deep Appreciation to

Ms. Judith Bell Shuckett


Next Steps