Parashat Ki Teitzei – Erev Shabbat 9 September 2022 (5782)
Week of 4-10 September 2022
Torah portion : Deut. 21:10-25:19; Haftarah: Isa. 54:1-10
Theme: The outpouring love of God
This Parashat focuses on the covenants among people that are centered on the relationship between husband and wife. A marriage between a man and a woman is not without flaws and hardship, and is sometimes tainted with infidelity from both sides. These have been the issues of the marital relation from time immemorial. This is also evident in the readings by laying out ways on how to deal with one’s marital partner having been caught in the act of infidelity. Deuteronomy 22:22 says that: “If a man is discovered lying with a woman who is married to another, they both shall die, the man who was lying with the woman as well as the woman. Thus, shall you purge the evil from Israel.” This passage not only highlights the punishment for defiling one’s marriage but also highlights the importance of preserving the relationship between a man and wife. The preservation of the relationship between a husband and wife is obviously seen in the severe punishment to be meted out to those who commit the act. One is certainly aware of how punishment is regulated, because it is also written in Deut. 25: 1-3. This passage discourages one from sinning as well as encourages one to be faithful to the oath made in the presence of God.
Another highlight in the readings is the filial duty of parents to their children and vice-versa. At the same time the reading also regulates for us how to deal with our neighbor’s property. Deut.22:4 states: “You shall not see your neighbor’s donkey or ox fallen on the road and ignore it; you must help in lifting it up.” One notices that it echoes the law that was given to us by the LORD, to love our neighbors as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18). This too is a journey to love as God loves.
The Bible presents a model of a perfect husband towards his wife; a perfect father to his children; and a perfect neighbor to us in Isaiah 54:5 “For your husband is your Maker; the Lord of hosts is his name, Your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, called God of all the earth.” This presents to us a hope that is untainted by infidelity, and offers us a protection that is trustworthy. We are assured of more in Isaiah 54:10b “’My love shall never fall away from you nor my covenant of peace be shaken’, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” This promise, this covenant between people and God is the height of human relationship because it depends on God’s love for us and not the other way around: not in our frailty but on God’s love and strength. And this demands from us a faithfulness and fidelity arising from seeing and knowing how good and generous our God is to us.
For Reflection and Discussion: 1. Have I been aware of how God relates to/interacts with me every day?
2.How have I responded generously to God’s love until now?
Bibliography: The Catholic Study Bible 3rd ed. New American Bible Rev. Ed. (2016) Oxford University Press
This week’s Parashat Commentary was prepared by
Jefferson Philip Jacob Reyes, Jerusalem, Alumnus: 2019