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עשה תורתך קבע – אמור מעט ועשה הרבה

Ki Tetze – the Mitzvot (#Torah)

Posted by rabbiart on August 19, 2010

Ki Tetze contains 27 “positive” and 47 “negative” mitzvot.

#532: the law of how to treat a captured (in war) beautiful woman
#533: not to sell a captured beautiful woman
#534: not to make a captured beautiful woman into a slave after conjugal intimacy
#535: to hang persons who have been sentenced to hang by the bet din
#536: not to leave someone hung overnight on the gallows
#537: to bury those executed by court order
#538: to return a lost object to its owner
#539: not to turn a blind eye to a lost object
#540: not to leave the beast of one’s neighbor lying under its burden
#541: to help lift up a load for an Israelite
#542: that a woman should not wear the clothing or accoutrements of a man
#543: that a man should not wear the clothing or accoutrements of a woman
#544: not to take a mother-bird when the young is in the nest
#545: to send the mother-bird away from the nest before taking the young
#546: to build a parapet on one’s roof
#547: not to put a stumbling-block before the blind
#548: not to sow mixed seeds in a vineyard in Israel
#549: not to eat the produce of mixed sees in a vineyard in Israel

#550: not to do work with two kinds of animals together
#551: not to wear cloth of wool and linen
#552: to acquire a wife
#553: that the wife about whom her husband spread an evil report should live with him permanently
#554: that the husband who spreads an evil report about his wife may never divorce her
#555: that the bet din should sentence to stoning anyone who merits that punishment
#556: not to punish anyone for a transgression committed under compulsion
#557: that a rapist should take his victim as a wife*
#558: that a rapist must never divorce his victim*
#559: that an emasculated man should not marry an Israelite woman
#560: that a bastard should not marry an Israelite woman
#561: that no Ammonite or Moabite may marry an Israelite woman
#562: to never offer peace to Ammon or Moab
#563: not to reject the descendants of Esau two generations after they convert
#564: not to reject an Egyptian two generations after they convert
#565: that a ritually unclean person should not enter the camp of the Levites
#566: to prepare an “easement” in a camp when troops go out to war
#567: to prepare a tool or spade for making an “easement” in the camp
#568: not to return a slave who has fled from his master into the land of Israel

#569: not to oppress the slave who fled from his master into the land of Israel
#570: that there should be no conjugal intimacy without a ketubah and a wedding
#571: not to bring the wage of a harlot as a holy offering
#572: not to borrow at interest from an Israelite
#573: to lend to a non-Israelite at interest, but not to lend to an Israelite at interest
#574: not to be late with a vowed or voluntary offering
#575: to fulfill all vows
#576: to allow a hired worker to eat certain things while (on break) working for hire
#577: that a hired worker should not take out more than what he ate while working
#578: that a hired worker should not eat from his employer’s crops while working
#579: that one who wants to divorce his wife should do so with a proper document
#580: that a divorced man should not take back his ex-wife after she has remarried
#581: that a groom should not be out of his house for long periods during the first year of marriage
#582: that a groom should rejoice with his wife in their first year
#583: not to take as collateral anything that is required for preparing life sustaining food
#584: not to take out the signs of tzara’ath affliction
#585: not to take any collateral by a debtor by force
#586: not to withold a pawned object from its owner when he needs it
#587: to return a pledged object to its owner when he needs it
#588: to pay a day laborer on the day he has worked and earned his pay
#589: not to accept the testimony of close relatives in a court trial
#590: not to pervert justice regarding a convert or an orphan
#591: not to require a pledge from a widow
#592: to leave forgotten sheaves in the field
#593: not to harvest a forgotten sheaf or fruit
#594: that the bet din should issue sentences of flogging for certain transgressions
#595: not to add to whiplashes or to flog anyone more than he can bear
#596: not to muzzle an animal during its work
#597: not to be conjugally intimate with a woman awaiting levirate marriage
#598: to perform levirate marriage when circumstances dictate
#599: to perform halitzah to release a childless widow from the obligation of levirate marriage
#600: to save a person being pursued by a killer
#601: not to have mercy on a pursuer intending to kill
#602: not to keep unfair scales or weights in our possession even absent intent to use them in trading
#603: to remember what Amalek did to Israel when we came out of Egypt
#604: to eradicate the progeny of Amalek
#605: to not forget what Amalek did to Israel when we came out of Egypt.

* The idea that a rapist should marry and never divorce his victim is undoubtedly repugnant to the modern reader, as well it should be. The two mitzvot in question come from a time and a society where marriage could be consummated by sexual intercourse, and where a woman who had lost her virginity was considered dishonored, and therefore unlikely to ever get married. Strange as it may seem (and remember that the notion of ‘romantic love’ may be an invention of recent times), these mitzvot were designed to protect and provide sustenance for the woman who had been raped.


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