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Ki Tetze 5775

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

by Kalman Packouz

Explore the Torah portion with Rabbi Packouz.

GOOD MORNING! The apocryphal 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 Pichu 7. The Great Wall of China 8. Chichen Itza 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 Ken Spiro, a historian, analyst and engaging speaker. The T-shirt and mp3 downloads are available at

Nation Status Nation Status Nation Status
Ancient Egypt X-GONE Greek Empire X-GONE Nazi Germany X-GONE
Philistines X-GONE Roman Empire X-GONE Soviet Union X-GONE
Assyrian Empire X-GONE Byzantine Empire X-GONE Iran/Hamas ???
Babylonian Empire X-GONE Crusaders X-GONE The Jewish People -- the smallest of nations, but with a Friend in a High Place
So ... BE NICE!
Persian Empire X-GONE Spanish Empire X-GONE



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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 Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states, "You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together" (Deuteronomy 22:10). Why and what can we learn from this?

The Sefer Chinuch ("Book of Education" which explains the 613 Commandments -- yes, there are more than 10 Commandments! - -) explains that one reason for this prohibition is that two unlike animals will be distressed if forced to work together. Every animal needs to be with others of its own kind. The Chinuch adds that this has practical applications relating to people. Do not appoint two people for a joint task if they are so different that working together will be uncomfortable for them. Educators and employers should take note!

Dvar Torah
based on Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states, "An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of God, even the tenth generation shall none belonging to them enter into the assembly of God forever. Because they did not meet you with bread and water in the way when you came forth out of Egypt" (Deuteronomy 23:4.5).

Rabbi Shimon said in the name of Rabbi Eliezer that from here we see the punishment of those who withhold kindness. During the forty years that the Israelites spent in the desert they had manna from heaven, quails and water from the well that went with them. In addition, protective clouds encircled them and journeyed before them to show them the way. In short, they lacked nothing. Nevertheless, courtesy requires that if people come from a journey, they should be welcomed with food and drink.

For failure to afford the Israelites this basic courtesy, the Ammonites and Moabites were banned from entering the assembly of the Almighty (they were not allowed to convert to become Jews). This involved the exclusion of the males of these two nations from marrying a Jewess even if they converted to Judaism (Yevomos 76b). From here we see the retribution of those who failed to show kindness to those who did not need it. How much greater will the punishment be for those who do not show kindness.


Candle Lighting Times

August 14
(or go to

Jerusalem 6:41
Guatemala 6:16 - Hong Kong 6:32 - Honolulu 6:38
J'Burg 5:32 - London 7:53 - Los Angeles 7:16
Melbourne 5:31 - Mexico City 7:42 - Miami 7:33
New York 7:27 - Singapore 6:54 - Toronto 7:53

Quote of the Week

Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy...



In Honor of

Yaakov & Sara Franco

Sami Bilmen

Happy Anniversary

Yaakov & Sara Franco

Sam Franco



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