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Back in 1996, Rabbi Finman was asked to speak to the niece of one of his students. After spending many hours answering her questions, the woman gave Rabbi Finman her e-mail address. Rabbi Finman wrote the woman a note and included in it a short insight into that week's Parsha and a short Chasidic story.

Realizing that this was something no one was yet doing,, Rabbi Finman sent the missive to his mailing list of about 30 people. Requests from recipients friends came pouring in. The next week Rabbi Finman sent the e-Parsha to 100 people. Within a year more than 2000 people were receiving it. Today, more than 14,000 receive the e-Parsha weekly and the requests keep coming in.

Succos 5784
Yom Kippur 5784
NItzavim-Vayelech 5783
Ki Savo 5783
Ki Teitzei 5783

Ki Teitzei 5783

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This week's YouParsha Ki Teitzei http://youtu.be/wJM9KETge4s Falling off a Roof.

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This week's Parsha is Ki Teitsei, Deuteronomy 21:10 - 25. Many mitzvahs are enumerated in the Parsha. One of the more perplexing is that of the rebellious son - the ben sorair umoreh. This commandment prescribes that parents, seeing their son following the wrong path, have their son executed by a court of law. Many commentators discuss the various details of this commandment. The Shach on the Torah asks, "How is it possible for parents to want their son executed?" The Talmud states that because of the intricate details involved in this commandment, no child was ever or will ever be put to death in a court of law at their parents' behest.

The Rebbe would often comment that every part of the Torah is relevant to all times. This commandment is no exception. The Shach on the Torah explains that a rebellious son can only occur as the product of a yifas toar. If a soldier, in the heat of battle sees a beautiful woman, he is allowed to have his way with her and bring her home. She mourns her losses and after 30 days she is married as a full-fledged Jew. The Shach explains that the rebellious son is the product of that battlefield encounter.

The beautiful woman scenario and the rebellious son may be understood allegorically. The verse states that when you will go to war. Rashi, the classic Bible commentator, explains that this war was a war of reshus, meaning an expansionist war for the purpose of relieving overcrowding in Israel proper. The word reshus literally means permissible things. Each day, we go into the world and enter the war of reshus - permissible things. Do I eat this? Do I do that? They are all permissible, but do I need them? The verse states, "When you go to war and you see a beautiful woman." You feel you must have it, you cannot live without it. What to do? Take it home and make it yours. Make it Jewish and use it to serve Hashem. The rebellious son is stoned. Get rid of the desire for the mundane and the profane.

One might ask, "Why get involved with anything that is not completely holy? Why bring something like that into my house, my domain?" Let us analyze the composition of the armed forces of Israel during Biblical times. The head of the armed forces made a proclamation, "Anyone who in the last year has been married, built a house, planted a vineyard, did a sin or is scared, go home. The army does not need you." It would seem unlikely that a soldier that has no sins would suddenly be driven by his passions to engage in a relationship with a non-Jewish woman. What was it that drove this righteous soldier to bring this woman home? His own soul recognized that this woman was his soul mate (such an assessment would only work if the person were free of sin. One may not decide that the non-Jewish woman that arouses his passions must be his soul mate).

The soldier brings her home, shaves her head and allows her nails to grow. Chassidus explains that the hair is a waste product of the brain, through which the forces of evil gain nurture. By shaving the head, we are telling the individual that your passions must be absolutely free of any animal and especially profane desires. The nails are the byproduct of the emotions. Emotional attachments need to be developed and directed toward the right path. Once this has been accomplished then this passionate desire becomes a true beautiful woman, a vehicle for serving G'd.

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A man once complained to the Tzemach Tzedek, the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, that his teenage son was more inclined to racing horses and hanging out with his good-for-nothing friends than concentrating on his studies. The Rebbe said that he would try to help.

Several days later, the Tzemach Tzedek met with the youth. They conversed for a while, discussing the young man's various interests. The conversation turned to horses and racing. The lad became very animated as he described the ins and out of horse racing. The Rebbe queried him, "Why does one need such a fast horse?" The teenager responded, "To get their quicker." "But what if," the Rebbe continued, "you're going the wrong way? The horse will take you further away from where you want to go quicker." To which the boy responded, "But with a fast horse, one can come back and get on the right road, faster."

The Tzemach Tzedek then looked deeply into the young man's eyes and asked, "And when will your horse bring you back to the right path?" The youth understood the implication of the Rebbe's question. A short time later, the lad gave up horseracing and devoted himself, whole-heartedly to his studies.

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In memory of Yisroel Yaakov ben Hirsh Leib Niftar Kislev 26, 5783 and

Chana bas Dovber HaLevi Niftar Teves 8, 5783.

Chaim Elozar ben Dovber HaLevi Niftar Lag B'Omer 5783

May their families be comforted among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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Listen Weekly to the Jewish Hour Podcast. www.rabbifinman.com/radio. Now available on iTunes, spotify, audacy, stitcher and wherever you park your podcasts.

The Torah e-Parsha is a project of Jewish Ferndale. For information on sponsoring the Torah e-Parsha in memory or for the recovery of a loved one, in honor of a simcha or you just feel like being nice, contact via reply. All contributions are tax deductible. Please forward this message to as many friends and associates as you like. 2023 by Herschel Finman.

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In memory of Yisroel Yaakov ben Hirsh Leib Niftar Kislev 26, 5783 and

Chana bas Dovber HaLevi Niftar Teves 8, 5783.

Chaim Elozar ben Dovber HaLevi Niftar Lag B'Omer 5783

May their families be comforted among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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Listen Weekly to the Jewish Hour Podcast. www.rabbifinman.com/radio. Now available on iTunes, spotify, audacy, and wherever you park your podcasts.

The Torah e-Parsha is a project of Jewish Ferndale. For information on sponsoring the Torah e-Parsha in memory or for the recovery of a loved one, in honor of a simcha or you just feel like being nice, contact via reply. All contributions are tax deductible. Please forward this message to as many friends and associates as you like. 2023 by Herschel Finman.


Contact Rabbi Finman for information on sponsoring the e-Parsha

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