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Parashat Ki Teitzei - 5774

My friends,

This Shabbat we read the portion of Ki Teitzei. It includes various laws, the first of which deals with the way a soldier must behave towards a captured female resulting from war. We have seen recently the horrible way some militants treat women that fall into their hands. The Torah instructs the Jewish soldier that if he desires the captive woman, he must first allow her to spend time grieving for her family. If he still desires her, he must marry her and treat her like a wife.

This Parasha contains many laws of kindness - how to treat the poor, employees, and strangers. We are commanded to return a lost object to its proper owner, and we cannot pretend that we did not see it. The Talmud devotes many pages discussing the steps that one must go thru to find the owner - even if that person does not know that he lost anything. This Mitzvah is known as 'Hashavat Avedah' - returning a lost object.

If this is true of material possessions, how much more so when we know of someone who, perhaps, lost his/her heritage for lack of knowledge. Each and everyone of us is commanded to help bring back our people to their heritage.

It can also apply to someone who lost a relative, a friend a neighbor. We return the Avedah by being there to help, to comfort.

Shabbat Shalom,