This week we begin with yet another mazel tov. This time to longtime friends Chana and Dr. Jay Fenster who walked their beautiful daughter Reva down the aisle this past Sunday. The Oisvorfer has known the kallah’s family for over 30 years, nicer people are hard to find. May Reva and Yechiel Fuchs enjoy many many happy years together.
The less than perfect tri-fecta.
Nu, after waiting mamish a full year, we’re back in parshas Ki Saytzay, a favorite of many readers. Avada you love this parsha because among the 70+ mitzvois that the heylige Toirah teaches this week, is the unique case of kosher and Toirah sanctioned chapping (sexual encounter) of a beautiful shiksa. It does? In fact, the parsha begins with the more than amazing case of the ‘soldier in heat’ and special allowances given for him to release, cool down and get some much needed relief. And efsher because the RBSO knew that once you were enticed with the titillating details, that you’d be paying close attention, He packed Ki Saytzay with the largest number of mitzvois, more than any parsha in the gantza heylige Toirah. Sadly, none are as exciting and the parsha has plenty of loi sa-says (thou shall not dos), 49 of them. Indeed we will find 74 out of 613 and that over 10% of all the 613, right here this coming shabbis.
Is that taka emes that the RBSO in His heylige Toirah mamish sanctioned a sexual encounter with a hot and beautiful shiksa, even a married one – say it’s not so- and gave very specific instructions under which a Jewish soldier may behave less than admirably on the battlefield? Yes!
Welcome then to Parshas Ki Saytzay which you’ll have the pleasure of hearing this shabbis. Pleasure is taka on the menu, not for you, giferliche chazir that you are, but as a war benefit -and we’re not talking about the ability to get student loans at discounted rates- but to soldiers that enlist and fight when so ordered. In fact had you Oisvorfs opened a Chumish during the summer months when we lain and learn this special parsha or at least listened or paid attention to the laining instead of always schmoozing with your chaverim about the latest shul gossip, bad mouthing the Rabbi, and other narishkeyt (BS) and or worse – some loshoin horo, chas v’sholom- you too would know what the heylige Oisvorfer is about to share with you: War, which is subject number one this week, is not at all so giferlich. Even better are its spoils. How could this be you ask? How could war in any way be beneficial to one’s well being? Tuh Sh’mah (come and listen).
Though we covered this topic last year and mistama also in previous years, we will likely cover it again next year and the year to follow and for many years to come – why not- and avada we couldn’t let this hot topic go by without some honorable mention. Moreover, this parsha, along with a few others in Sefer Bereishis, are mamish fan favorites and Oisvorf followers want this parsha covered. The RBSO chapped, as He does everything else, that when a soldier finds himself on the battlefield, it’s no holds barred and that includes the chapping of a hot shiksa, seemingly married or not. Seemingly, the heylige Toirah is describing the man in uniform; the solider, whose gun is always loaded and cocked, if you chap. Shoin! And taka because the RBSO chapped human nature – He did after all create us- He also gave soldiers this special dispensation. Active duty seemingly has its own rewards program and though one doesn’t necessarily accumulate mileage, one could qualify for the mile high club, if you chap. Veyter. As to coming home and telling the eishes chayil that nebech waited up so many nights and behaved so gallantly while you were away, that you found some war booty and here she is, nu, you’re on your own. Actually, that’s not entirely emes either because the heylige Toirah goes through a litany of steps the soldier must take after he brings her home and before he has his second helping and coming, if you chap, with his maybe to be wife number two. In other words: most, though avada not all, agree that the soldier in heat, may in fact dip in, if you chap, to cool off and then bring her home and follow the steps the RBSO lays out in the parsha. Gishmak mamish. Shoin, if you are amazed or perplexed and want to read even more details, the Oisvorfer suggests that you check out the archives at www.oisvorfer.com for previous coverage of parshas Ki Saytzay; this topic, unlike the soldier has been well covered from every angle and not much more to add but shock and awe that the RBSO knew from day one what giferliche chazerim mamish his subjects were; we have not disappointed! Be aware: Telling the eishes chayil that you suddenly found yourself in a war zone in times of peace, is seemingly not covered by this exemption!
Though our heylige Toirah was written and hand delivered more than 3330 years ago, it’s very much alive today and just as relevant. In fact, we call it ‘the living Toirah’. The end of Parshas Shoiftim (last week) and the beginning of Parshas Ki Saytzay are specifically about war, instructions and laws are given. Over in Israel, which has seen its fare share of them, a healthy number of charedim are protesting the coming draft.
Seemingly, they missed this parsha and nebech need to see a service provider, if you chap, to help them with their releases. These misguided souls continue to make noise, threaten violence and throw rocks. Seemingly, they would be better off and likely much happier getting rid of their rocks in other ways, if you chap.
All that being said, is this prescription for the soldier in heat taka what the heylige Toirah had in mind? Seemingly not and soon we’ll see that Rashi, and the heylige Gemora are epes not too excited with this war bonus and came up with their own interpretations as to what the heylige Toirah meant. And what was bothering them? Isn’t the heylige Toirah perfect and doesn’t the RBSO know exactly what He wrote and wanted the Yiddin to follow? Seemingly, Rashi and the heylige Gemora understood that men are pigs, even at home, and avada and avada on the battlefield, far away from the eishes chayil. Moreover, says the Medrish: they were afraid that the males would taka learn these few pisukim (verse) in the heylige Toirah, run to enlist and given the war benefits, look to declare unnecessary wars. This is a real medrish.
In order to chap what’s going on, what the Toirah really meant with this allowance, at least according to the heylige Gemora and many others, we need to lay some background and quickly review the first three subjects covered in the parsha. They are:
A) “YefasToi’ar” (beautiful shiksa woman taken as a captive in war);
B) “Ben haS’nu’ah” (firstborn of the rejected wife)
C) “Ben Soirer uMoireh” (rebellious son)
Say they: The parsha begins with a reality check, a seemingly unpleasant one, on family life. Away from his eishes chayil, the hot-blooded solider on the battlefield must improvise: he chaps a “captive wife” on account of her physical appeal. Shoin! The next topic is about the poor fellow who suddenly finds himself with two women, married to both- yikes- and hates one. Though he hates her, he does get her pregnant, she bears him a child- a son in this case-. This child, from the hated wife is, according to them, topic #3, the ben soirer umoireh- the rebellious wayward child. Though these are three distinct cases and likely totally unrelated, the Medrish, the heylige Gemora and others play connect the dots and suggest that one leads to the other.
Says the medrish as quoted by Rashi azoy: these three topics are all connected. There is epes more than a causal relationship between them. By way of example, if you chap the Yifas Toi’ar, follow all the rules and eventually marry her, you will, despite the fact that you have mamish followed the heylige Toirah’s instructions, come to despise her.
Moreover, you will also come to hate the child – in this case a boy- born out of that union, despite the fact that he may be your bechor (first-born). And to make matters even worse, that same son will ultimately become a Soier Umoireh, the third topic in the opener. Later on, space permitting, we’ll discuss the perfect example. And how do the Rabbis know this to be fact? They rely on the concept of s’muchin in Sefer Devorim. What’s a s’muchin you ask? Taka an excellent kasha and here we go with the answer.
Efsher you’re wondering why the Gemora came to this conclusion or efsher you’re wondering how they had the right to conclude that what the RBSO said in plain Hebrew, He didn’t really mean. Who says one is allowed to connect different subjects and make a ruling that they are really one long story? Taka an excellent kasha ober says the heylige Gemora (in several places including Yevomois 4a) azoy: although there is a taka a machloikes (dispute) among the Tannaim as to whether or not it is appropriate to make contextually-driven inferences (known as ‘s’muchin’) in the heylige Toirah, this dispute only pertains to the first four seforim (books) of the Toirah. In other words, whether we can infer details of one law from a neighboring law simply by virtue of their juxtaposition is subject to debate among the scholars of the Mishnah. Some say we do, others avada state that we don’t. Ober, even according to the general rule that we don’t, when it comes to sefer Devorim, we throw out the rulebook and even according to the opinion that we don’t, here in Sefer Devorim everyone agrees that we do. Settled? There is seemingly a consensus that juxtaposition is meaningful in Devorim and that such inferences are valid. Shoin! This principle is known as “Darshinan S’muchin b’Mishneh Toirah” (we allow for juxtapositionaly-driven inferences in Mishneh Torah: aka: Devorim. Are you following this or are you thinking about enlisting in the army as soon as practicable? What’s pshat? Using this exception to the rule, Rashi quoting the Medrish suggests that the three unrelated topics are now suddenly related. If you chap the shiksa, though Toirah permitted and marry her and if you have a son through the union, you will eventually come to hate her and her son. Moreover that same son, will become the proverbial ‘rebellious child’ who according to the rules given in this parsha, must be stoned with real rocks. Shoin, it appears that rock throwing is an old Toirah tradition. Case closed? Not necessarily.
Some suggest that this agreement to juxtapose refers only to halachic expositions based on such juxtapositions (whatever that means). On the other hand, others suggest that we can stretch the allowance to the case of the oversexed male, his hot shiksa war booty, and their son: And the takeaway from this juxtaposition? Nu, if a person has the need for two or more women, it’s efsher best not to marry both and zicher not to have children with but one. Veyter.
Says the heylige Gemorah (kidushin 21b) azoy: that it’s indeed a chidush (breakthrough) that the Toirah allows the Jewish soldier, be he a Koihen or anyone else, to have sexual relations with the beauty he just chapped in the war; it mamish gives a whole new meaning to the word chap. Ober efsher you’re still klerring (pondering) and remain perplexed as to why the RBSO would taka make such an allowance; after all, doesn’t Toirah life dictate restraint, the willingness to resist sinful temptations and act against the yetzer horo (evil inclination)? Isn’t it mamish a total surprise that the RBSO chose the eishes yefas toi’ar (a beautiful woman possibly married) as the exception to this restraint? Notwithstanding its popularity, is the surrender to passion a permissible and valid excuse? Ober says Rashi, citing the heylige Gemora (Kiddushin 21b) azoy: this ruling is mamish a concession to sinful impulses, no kidding! “The Toirah speaks only in response to the evil inclination – for if the Almighty would not permit her, he would marry her in sin.” What’s pshat? Seemingly the heylige Toirah makes an arrangement to facilitate this inherently objectionable union because otherwise a soldier who desires a woman he sees during battle would succumb to temptation and commit a sin.
Indeed he would and many of you do the same on a regular basis, chazerim that you are.
Says Rav Baruch Epstein (Torah Temima) azoy: Experiencing a desire that he cannot fulfill would dispirit the soldier and undermine the strength and determination he needs to execute his military duties. The Toirah made an arrangement for a soldier confronting such a situation so that his spirits will remain high and he will not be forced to endure additional emotional distress, beyond the pressures presented by warfare itself. Gishmak mamish.
And the bottom line: The heylige Toirah apparently viewed the conditions of warfare as a situation of tension and anxiety in the extreme, where people could at a moment’s notice succumb to and be overtaken by passion. The RBSO understood that battlefield tensions bring a person out of his keylim (religious mindset), and divest him of the compass that is supposed to guide his conduct under normal circumstances. Gishmak!
Shoin, let’s cool down from this sugya (topic) and move on ober all this passion talk has us on page four with little time or space for more Toirah. It’s impossible mamish to cover all 74 mitzvois and Ki Saytzay is, from a legislative perspective, mamish a dense parsha with lots to talk about. What to do? Let’s quickly mention other topics covered in this amazing parsha, efsher you’ll be epes motivated to open the chumish and learn the parsha. Besides the laws governing the beautiful shiksa, the inheritance rights of the firstborn (to the hated wife), the wayward and rebellious son, burial and dignity of the dead, returning lost items, sending away the mother bird before taking her young, the duty to erect a safety fence around the roof of one’s home, and the various forms of kilayim (forbidden plant and animal hybrids), there are others. The laws and judicial procedures and penalties for adultery, rape or seduction of an unmarried girl, and for a husband who falsely accuses his wife of infidelity, are found right here in this week’s parsha. A few are excluded from marrying into our beautiful religion: the mamzer (someone born from an adulterous or incestuous relationship); a male of Moabite or Ammonite descent; and a first- or even second-generation Edomite or Egyptian.
Also covered are laws governing the purity of the military camp; the prohibition against turning in an escaped slave; the duty to pay a worker on time, and to allow anyone working for you-man or animal-to “eat on the job”; the proper treatment of a debtor, the prohibition against charging interest on a loan; laws of divorce (from which are also derived many of the laws of marriage); the penalty of thirty-nine lashes for transgression of a Toirah prohibition; and the procedures for yibbum (“levirate marriage”) of the wife of a deceased childless brother, or chalitzah (“removing of the shoe”) in the case that the brother-in-law does not wish to marry her. Ki Teitzei concludes with the obligation to remember “what Amolake did to you on the road, on your way out of Egypt.”
Shoin, efsher we have time for one more topic, here we go. Earlier we were introduced to the proverbial ‘wayward son’. A few medroshim suggest that the ben soirar u’moira will have been born to the father that went to war and his formerly hot shiksa pickup, now a nice Jewish girl he eventually married after having his way with her at least once on the battlefield. Some suggest that the husband could have enjoyed a second helping before the wedding. And how does the medrish knows this to be fact? They don’t ober they figured out that the juxtaposition of the war topic to the laws pertaining to the “rebellious son,” must mean something. And that something must mean that this child is the result of this union. Shoin!
How does one become a rebellious son? Says the heylige Gemora (Sanhedrin) azoy: the child assumes the status of a “rebellious son” when he steals from his parents to buy meat and wine to accommodate his desire. When his parents become aware of his behavior, they take him to the bais din (court) where he is given malkis (lashes) for his transgression. Should he become a repeat offender, and should the parents take him back to the bais din and declare: “our son has become a glutton and a drunkard”, the Court condemns him to death by stoning. Though this child had only stolen a small amount of money to satisfy his desire (If this errant behavior repeats itself), he is put to death because as Chazal explain: “It is better that he should die in an innocent state than in a more liable state.” Were his addictive behavior to continue, he would ultimately consume the assets of his father and resort to murder to support his habit. Nice?
Seemingly, the rebellious son is the negative consequence of the man being attracted to a shiksa on the battlefield, despite the fact that his intentions may have been good; he wanted to convert her, didn’t he? This is a manifestation of “aveira goreres aveira” (one sin leads to another). Although the heylige Toirah permits one to convert and marry the non-Jewish woman he desires in battle, it is discouraged because the initial interest was of an inappropriate nature, no kidding! Thus, the result is the “rebellious son.”
Says the heylige Gemora (Sanhedrin 107a) azoy: Dovid Hamelech desired Maacha when he saw her in battle (she was the manifestation of the hot shiksa described in the parsha). An avid Toirah follower, he took her, if you chap, which he did, captive in battle and as described, later married her. Zicher, it’s good to be the king. From this union came a son named Avshalom who eventually rebelled against his tata and wanted to kill him. Very warm feelings and kibud Av (respect for his father) he didn’t have. Nice guy that he was, Avsholom also raped ten of his father’s concubines. Since we’re on this amazing story of the wayward kid, let’s finish the mayseh. When Dovid realized that Avshalom was planning to kill him, he skipped town and decided to commit avoido zoro (idolatry). How many times have you been told that the RBSO hates that? His thinking? “Why should a righteous king like me be killed by his own son?” Better that I be punished and die over a real transgression. Ober Chushai the Archite, told Dovid that this was all happening because of his marriage to a captive woman. Nu, this story should scare you straight. Ober, efsher you’re thinking…why was Dovid so surprised that Avshalom wanted to kill him? Hadn’t Nosson the Prophet foretold (Shmuel II 12:11) that Avshalom’s rebellion would take place as a punishment for the sin of Batsheva? Batsheva, who is she in this story? Nu, that for another day.
Ober in the end, there is avada some good news and says the heylige Gemora (Sanhedrin) azoy: the case of the “rebellious son” never actually happened and will never come to being because it’s not possible to meet all the criteria set forth by the Toirah. Asks the Mishna: oib azoy (if so) “If the case of the ‘rebellious son’ is a law that is not relevant because it cannot be implemented, then why does the Toirah discuss all the aspects pertaining to the rebellious son that lead to his death?” And says the Mishna: “it is for the purpose of study in depth and to receive reward for its study.” Learn the heylige Toirah, it’s gishmak, mamish and where else will you hear such givaldige true stories?
A gittin shabbis-
The Oisvorfer Ruv