Parashat Ki Teitzei (when you go out)

The Parasha for the week just passed is Ki Teitze (when you go out) reading from Deuteronomy 21:10- 25:19.

A captive woman

The passage starts with a series of laws commencing with instructions as to how to behave toward a woman captured during a time of war. If a man was attracted to a woman captured from the enemy camp, she was to be brought into the man’s house, shave her head and change her clothes so that she can mourn the loss of her parents for a whole month. At the end of the mourning period the man could take her as her wife. If the relationship did not work out, she would be free to go wherever she pleased. She was not to be sold as a slave since she would have lost her dignity.

Rights of the firstborn

If a man marries more than one wife and bears children from a wife he does not love, the right of the firstborn is not to be passed to the son of the preferred wife.

A rebellious child 

If a son rebels against all parental discipline and is out of  controls, the parents are to take him to the elders declaring ‘This is my rebellious son, he is a glutton and a drunkard; and does not respond to correction and the people are to stone him to death.

Capital Offences

If someone is executed by hanging, his body is not to be left overnight hanging on the tree because a body hanging on a tree is cursed.

Care of other people’s property

If a stray animal is found it is to be returned to its owner. If the owner is too far away, then it is to be kept until the owner can come to recover it. This was to apply to any lost property belonging to a fellow Israelite.

Various laws 

If you see a donkey collapsed under its load help it up.

Men and women should not cross-dress.

If you see a bird’s nest, only take the chicks. Let the mother go.

If you build a house, build a parapet on the roof to stop anyone falling off.

Don’t sow different kinds of seed. Don’t plough with an ox and a donkey together. Don’t weave wool and linen into the same garment

Sexual purity

If a man marries, and later suspects his wife has been promiscuous, then the girl’s parents are to bring the bloodstained nuptial bedsheet to the elders and he shall pay a heavy fine for making such a false accusation and from then on, he can never divorce her.  If, however, proof of her virginity cannot be established, then she is to be brought to her father’s house and stoned to death outside it.

If a man and a woman are caught committing adultery, they are both to be put to death. The same law applies if she was engaged to someone else. She did not cry out that she was being raped. However, if the incident took place in a remote place, only the man was to be put to death, since no one would be able to hear if she shouted that she was being raped.

If the girl in question is not already engaged to anyone else, then the man must pay a hefty fine in silver to the girl’s father and then marry her with no provision for divorce.

Don’t sleep with you father’s wife.

God’s Congregation

The people forbidden to come near the sanctuary were those emasculated by crushing or otherwise mutilated, or those born illegitimately including their descendants.

An Ammonite or a Moabite is excluded since they did not meet Israel with food or water when passing through and hired Balaam to try to curse us. An Edomite however being a brother and an Egyptian can be included after the third generation since we were strangers in Egypt

Cleanliness of the Camp

When the army was on the move anyone who had an emission of semen had to stay outside the camp and wash himself before being allowed back in the evening.

Latrines were to be dug outside the camp for all bowel and toilet needs. God was in the middle of the camp helping them against their enemies, so it had to be kept holy.

Other Laws

Take care of an escaped slave. Don’t return him to the master who oppressed him. Don’t allow any sort of prostitution either female or male. Don’t offer the proceeds of sin to the Lord or the money from the sale of a dog for a vow.

Don’t charge your brother Israelite interest on any sort of loan, but you can charge interest to a foreigner

Don’t make vows you don’t intend to keep. If you don’t intend to do it don’t make a vow. Making a vow is not compulsory.

If you go through another man’s vineyard, you can eat what you can take in your hand, but you must not take a container to fill it. The same rule applies to a wheatfield.


If a man is not happy with his wife, he can issue a certificate of divorce and she is then free to marry another. If, however, her new husband was to divorce her as well she could not remarry her first husband.

Further regulations

If a man gets married, he should not be conscripted into the army or given any other duty for a whole year so he can stay home and enjoy a time with his new wife.

No one is to take an upper or lower millstone as a pledge, that is to say security on a loan, since that would be taking away his livelihood.

If any Israelite is caught kidnapping one of his own people to mistreat or sell them, then the kidnapper is to be put to death.

Carefully obey all the regulations concerning infectious skin diseases.

If you need to get a pledge from someone, wait outside till he brings it out. Don’t go into the house and take it for yourself.

Don’t oppress a hired servant who is poor. Pay his wages on time

Fathers should not be put to death because of their children and vice versa. Everyone should die for their own sin.

Don’t deny justice to the stranger or fatherless or take a widow’s coat as a pledge.

Don’t harvest all your fields. Leave some gleanings for the widow the fatherless and the oppressed. The same applies with the olive and grape harvest. Always remember your oppression in Egypt before oppressing others.

Punishment limitation

When two parties come to court, the one who the judge finds guilty cannot be beaten with more than forty stripes.

Don’t muzzle an ox as it treads out the corn.


If a man dies with no heir, then a surviving brother can marry the deceased’s wife and her firstborn will get the deceased man’s inheritance. If he doesn’t want to marry her then she is entitled to remove his sandal spit in his face and the man shall be known as the one who had his sandal removed which would remain as a sign of disgrace.


If two men get into a fight and the wife of one grabs the private parts of his opponent, then she should have her hand cut off.


Don’t have different weights like a heavy one and a light one. Always use honest weights and measures so as to have a long life in the land God is giving

The Amalekites

Don’t forget that the Amalekites attacked you from behind when you came out of Egypt. When God has given you rest in the land you are entering blot out their memory for ever.

Haftarat Ki Teitze  הפטרת כי-תצא 

The Haftarah portion associated with Ki-Teitzei is Isaiah 54:1-10

This is the fifth of the seven Haftaroth of consolation between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Hashana Here the prophet describes the outcome of God’s discipline on Israel. The hard times have performed the work of producing a holy and refined nation who God can use and bless in every way.

For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with deep compassion I will bring you back. (Isaiah 54:7)

Great times are ahead for Israel and the Jewish people

Messianic Message 

It has been noted previously that the suffering servant passages of Isaiah are not included in any of the Haftarah readings. This is unsurprising since they are not directly words of consolation that are the theme of the seven Haftaroth of consolation. However, this does leave a significant missing link since the result of the consolation is written about, but not the vehicle that brings it to pass.

There is a direct connection between the second exile that followed the destruction of the Mikdash (Temple) on Tisha B’Av in CE 70 since Yeshua himself foretold it.

Do you see all these things?’ he asked. ‘Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.’ (Matthew 24:2)

Only Yeshua the Messiah is the source of all consolation

Rav Shaul (Paul) writes

Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, compassionate Father, God of all encouragement and comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3)

He is also the source of Israel’s future glory. Israel turning to her Messiah is the linchpin of her return to her former glory she enjoyed when David was King. In fact, the future greatness of Israel will make the earlier kingdoms look small in comparison.

The promise was given by Simeon when he blessed Yeshua as a baby in the Mikdash

a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.’ (Luke 2:23)

In the refence in the parasha to capital offences it was noted that the body of an executed person hung on a tree should not remain overnight. Shaul explains that Yeshua being hung on a tree became a curse that brought salvation to mankind

The compete Jewish Bible translates Galatians 3:13-14 like this

The Messiah redeemed us from the curse pronounced in the Torah by becoming cursed on our behalf; for the Tanakh says, “Everyone who hangs from a stake comes under a curse Yeshua the Messiah did this so that in union with him the Gentiles might receive the blessing announced to Avraham, so that through trusting and being faithful, we might receive what was promised, namely, the Spirit.

This article originally appeared on the BMJA website, September 12, 2022, and reposted with permission.