Parashat Ki Tetze
Devarim 21:10 When you will go out to war against your enemies, and Hashem, your G-d, will deliver him into your hand, and you will capture its [people as], captives;
Rashi on 21:10 WHEN YOU WILL GO OUT TO WAR. The verse here is referring to an optional war [i.e., non-obligatory], since in reference to the [obligatory] war [to conquer] the land of Yisrael, it would be inappropriate to say "and you take his captives" because it has already been stated [regarding the seven nations of Kenaan], "[from these peoples, cities...] you shall not allow any soul to live." (Devarim 20:16).
AND YOU WILL CAPTURE. Hebrew: veshavita shivyo. [The double language here comes] to include Kenaanim in their midst, even though they are from the seven nations.
21:11 and you will see among its captivity a woman who is beautiful of form, and you will desire her, you will take her to yourself for a wife.
Rashi on 21:11 AND YOU WILL DESIRE HER, YOU WILL TAKE HER TO YOURSELF FOR A WIFE. [Not that you are commanded to take this woman as a wife,] but Scripture [in permitting this marriage] is speaking only against the evil inclination [, which drives him to desire her]. For if the Holy One, blessed is He, would not permit her to him, he would take her illicitly. [The Torah teaches us, however, that] if he marries her, he will ultimately come to despise her, as it says after this, "If a man has [two wivesóone beloved and the other despised]" (v15); [moreover] he will ultimately father through her a wayward and rebellious son (see v18). For this reason, these passages are juxtaposed.
A WOMAN, even a married woman (eshet ish).
21:12 You shall bring her to the midst of your house; she shall shave her head and let her nails grow.
Rashi on 21:12 AND LET HER NAILS GROW. She must let them grow, so that she should becomes repulsive [to her captor, to induce him to change his mind about marrying her].
21:13 She shall remove the garment of her captivity from upon herself and she shall sit in your house and she shall weep for her father and her mother for a full month; thereafter you may come to her and live with her, and she shall be a wife to you.
Rashi on 21:13 SHE SHALL REMOVE THE GARMENT OF HER CAPTIVITY [so that she should not be attractive to her captor,] for they are pretty [clothes], because gentile women adorn themselves during wartime, in order to seduce others [namely, the enemy] to have relations with them.
AND SHE SHALL SIT IN YOUR HOUSE. In the house he uses. Upon entering, he will stumble upon her, and upon leaving, he will stumble upon her, see her weeping and see her unsightly appearanceóall this, so that she should become despicable to him.
AND SHE SHALL WEEP FOR HER FATHER AND HER MOTHER. Why is all this necessary? So that a woman of Yisrael [i.e., this manís Jewish wife] should be happy, and this [gentile captive woman] should be grief-stricken, a woman of Yisrael should be dressed up, and this one should make herself repulsive.
21:14 And it shall be if you have not desired her, then you shall send her on her own, but you may not sell her for money; you shall not put her to work, because you have afflicted her.
Rashi on 21:14 AND IT SHALL BE IF YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED HER. Scripture informs you that eventually you will despise her.
YOU SHALL NOT PUT HER TO WORK. [This means:] "You must not use her [as a slave]". In the Persian language, the term for slavery and servitude is ama'ra which is related to titamer of our verse. I learned this from the Yesod of Rabbi Moses the Darshan.
21:17 Rather, he must recognize the firstborn, the son of the hated one, to give him double in all that is found with him; for he is his initial vigor, to him is the right of the firstborn.
Rashi on 21:17 TO GIVE HIM DOUBLE. [The firstborn son takes a share] equal to that of two brothers [together].
[TO GIVE HIM DOUBLE] IN ALL THAT IS FOUND WITH HIM. From here [we learn that] the firstborn son does not take [a double share] from that which [the fatherís estate] is entitled to after the demise of the father, [e.g., from an uncollected debt,] as [he does] from what was in the fatherís actual possession.
21:18 If a man will have a wayward and rebellious son, who does not listen to the voice of his father and to the voice of his mother, and they discipline him, but he does not listen to them;
Rashi on 21:18 WAYWARD. Hebrew: sorer, deviating (sar) from the [proper] path.
REBELLIOUS, [meaning] one who disobeys the words of his father. [The word moreh is] derived from [the same root as] the word mamrim [meaning "to rebel"] (see Devarim 9:7).
AND THEY DISCIPLINE HIM. They must warn him in the presence of three [people, not to steal, nor to eat a certain quantity of meat and drink a certain quantity of wine (see further in Rashi )], and then they must have him flogged [by the court]. [The Talmud ( Sanhedrin 71a) emends this to read: They must warn him in the presence of two (witnesses) and have him flogged in the presence of three (judges).] The wayward and rebellious son incurs punishment only if he steals [money from his father], consumes [at one meal] a tartemar [a weight equal to half a maneh ] of meat, and drinks [at the same meal] half a log of wine, as it is said [referring to him] that "a glutton and a guzzler (zolel vesove)" (v20), and [elsewhere,] it says, "Do not be among wine-guzzlers (vesovei-yayin), among gluttonous eaters of meat (bezollei-vasar)" (Mishle 23:20), [which indicates that the term "guzzler" refers to wine and "glutton" refers to meat]. The wayward and rebellious son is executed on account of [what he will become in] the endóthe Torah penetrates to his ultimate intentions. Eventually, he will squander his fatherís money, seek what he has become accustomed to, not find it, and stand at the crossroads and rob people [killing them, thereby incurring the death penalty. Says the Torah, "Let him die innocent [of such crimes], rather than have him die guilty [of such crimes]."
21:21 All the men of his city shall pelt him with stones and he shall die; and you shall destroy the evil from your midst; and all Yisrael shall hear and they shall fear.
Rashi on 21:21 AND ALL YISRAEL SHALL HEAR AND THEY SHALL FEAR. From here, [we learn that] the court must make a public proclamation, announcing: "So-and-so has been stoned because he was a wayward and rebellious son!"
21:22 If a man will have committed a sin whose judgment is death and he shall be put to death, and you shall hang him on a wooden beam.
Rashi on 21:22 IF A MAN WILL HAVE COMMITTED A SIN WHOSE JUDGMENT IS DEATH. The juxtaposition of these passages [i.e., this one and that of the wayward and rebellious son] teaches [us] that if his father and mother spare him, he will eventually lead an evil life style and commit [grave] sins for which he will be sentenced to death by the court.
AND YOU SHALL HANG HIM ON A WOODEN BEAM. Our Rabbis said: All who are stoned [by the court] must [afterwards] be hanged, for v23 says, "a hanging person [human corpse] is an insult of G-d." [Thus, we find that the sin of blasphemy is connected with hanging,] and a blasphemer is punished by stoning. [Consequently, our Rabbis taught that all those stoned must be hanged.].
21:23 His body shall not remain for the night on the wooden beam, rather you shall surely bury him on that day, for a hanging person is an insult of G-d; and you shall not make impure your land, which Hashem, your G-d, gives you as an inheritance.
Rashi on 21:23 FOR A HANGING PERSON IS AN INSULT OF G-D. This is a degradation of the [Divine] King in Whose image Man is created, and the Yisraelim are G-dís children. This is comparable to two identical twin brothers. One [of them] became king, while the other was arrested for robbery and hanged. Whoever saw him [the second brother, suspended on the gallows], would say, "The king is hanging!" [Therefore, the king ordered, and they removed him. Wherever [the term] kelala appears in Scripture, it means treating lightly (hakel) and degrading. For example, "[And behold, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera...] and he cursed me with a severe curse" (1Melachim 2:8). -[See 2Shmuel 16:5-13].
22:1 You shall not see the ox of your brother or his lamb/kid cast off, and hide yourself from them; you shall surely return them to your brother.
Rashi on 22:1 YOU SHALL NOT SEE. [I.e.,] by covering oneís eyes, pretending not to see it.
YOU SHALL NOT SEE... AND HIDE YOURSELF FROM THEM [literally, "You shall not see them... but rather, you shall ignore them!" What it really means is:] You shall not see them and ignore them [i.e., ignore your brotherís animals straying]; that is the simple meaning of the verse. Our Rabbis, however, explain that [although the verse clearly means that one must not ignore them, nevertheless, the verse is alluding to] situations when one is, in fact, permitted to ignore them [for example, if he is a Kohen, and the animals have wandered into a cemetery, where Kohanim may not enter, or if he is an honored Sage, and it it is beneath his dignity to lead animals or carry packages in public placesóhe may "ignore" them, and he is not obligated to return them to his brother].
22:2 If your brother is not near you and you do not know him, then you shall bring it inside your house, and it shall remain with you until your brother's inqiring about it, then you shall return it to him.
Rashi on 22:2 AND IT SHALL REMAIN WITH YOU UNTIL YOUR BROTHER'S INQUIRING ABOUT IT. Would you imagine that one should return it to him before he asks for it? Rather, [the meaning is that you must keep the animal] until you investigate him, [verifying] that he is is not a swindler [by demanding that he produce identifying signs].
THEN YOU SHALL RETURN IT TO HIM. That there shall be something left in it to return, that it should not consume its [whole] value in your house, so you should claim it from him [from the owner]. From here, [the Rabbis] said: Any animal that works and eats, should work and eat [the proceeds of its work]; and [any animal] that does not work, yet still eats, should be sold [by the finder, and the money restored to the owner].
22:3 So shall you do for his donkey, and so shall you do for his garment, and so shall you do for any lost article of your brother that may become lost from him and you find it; you cannot hide yourself.
Rashi on 22:3 YOU CANNOT HIDE YOURSELF. You must not cover your eyes, pretending not to see it.
22:4 You shall not see the donkey of your brother or his ox falling on the road and hide yourself from them; you shall surely raise [it] with him.
Rashi on 22:4 YOU SHALL SURELY RAISE [IT]. This is [the obligation of] teinah, "loading'" [i.e.,] to load up a burden that has fallen off it [the animal, as opposed to perikah, "unloading" a burden too heavy for the animal, delineated in Shemot 23:5].
[YOU SHALL SURELY RAISE IT] WITH HIM. [I.e.,] with the owner. However, if the owner walks away, sits down, and says, "Since the commandment is incumbent upon you, if you want to load, [go ahead and] load!" you are exempt.
22:5 A man's garb shall not be on a woman, nor shall a man wear a woman's garment, for anyone who does so is an abomination of Hashem.
Rashi on 22:5 A MAN'S GARB SHALL NOT BE ON A WOMAN making her appear like a man, thereby enabling her to go among men, for this can only be for the [purpose of] adultery.
NOR SHALL A MAN WEAR A WOMAN'S GARMENT to go and sit among women. Another explanation: [In addition to not wearing a womanís garment,] a man must also not remove his pubic hair or the hair of his armpits [for this is a practice exclusive to women].
FOR... IS AN ABOMINATION. The Torah forbids only [the wearing of] clothes that would lead to abomination [i.e., immoral and illicit behavior].
22:6 If a bird's nest happens to be before you on the road, on any tree or on the ground - young birds or eggs - and the mother is roosting on the young birds or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother on the young.
Rashi on 22:6 IF A BIRD'S NEST HAPPENS TO BE BEFORE YOU. This excludes [a bird nest that is] ready at hand.
YOU SHALL NOT TAKE THE MOTHER ON THE YOUNG [whereas if she is only hovering overhead, you may take her from upon her young].
22:7 You shall surely send away the mother and take the young for yourself, so that it will be good for you and you will prolong [your] days.
Rashi on 22:7 SO THAT IT WILL BE GOOD FOR YOU AND YOU WILL PROLONG [YOUR] DAYS. If in the case of a commandment easy [to fulfill, like this one] for which there is no monetary expense, Scripture says, "[Do this] in order that it should be good for you, and that you should lengthen your days," then how much greater is the reward for [the fulfillment of] commandments that are more difficult to observe [or for which there is a monetary expense].
22:8 If you build a new house, you shall make a fence for your roof, so that you will not place blood in your house if one who falls shall fall from it.
Rashi on 22:8 IF YOU BUILD A NEW HOUSE, YOU SHALL MAKE A FENCE FOR YOUR ROOF. If you have fulfilled the commandment of shiluach haken, "sending away [the mother bird from her] nest," you will eventually build a new house and fulfill the commandment of maakeh, guard-rail, because [the fulfillment of] one commandment pulls along with it [an opportunity to fulfill] another commandment [i.e., one commandment leads to another]. You will then come to [possess] a vineyard, a field, and fine clothes. Therefore, these passages are juxtaposed [that is, those just discussed, and the ensuing passages pertaining to vineyards, fields, and garments].
A FENCE. Onkelos renders: teyaka, like a sheath (tik), which protects what is inside it.
IF ONE WHO FALLS SHALL FALL. That one [who would fall] deserves to fall [to his death on account of his sins]; nevertheless, you should not be the one to bring about his death, for meritorious things are executed through meritorious people, while things of ill-fortune are executed through guilty people.
22:9 You shall not sow your vineyard with a mixture, lest you set apart the growth of the seed that you plant and the produce of the vineyard.
Rashi on 22:9 YOU SHALL NOT SOW YOUR VINEYARD WITH A MIXTURE. [For example,] sowing in the same hand-throw [of seeds] wheat and barley, [the sowing together of which already constitutes one prohibition of kilayim -"mixed variety of species" (see VaYikra 19:19)], and grapeseeds [the total combination of which now constitutes an additional prohibition of sowing the two diverse species in a vineyard].
LEST YOU SET APART, as the Targum [Onkelos ] renders: tistaev, literally, become unclean. To anything repulsive to man, either in a positive sense, e.g., something holy, or in a negative sense, e.g., something forbidden, the term kadosh applies. For instance, "Do not come near me, lest I contaminate you (kedashticha)" (Yeshayahu 65:5).
THE GROWTH. This is the fullness miluy and increase, which a seed increases.
22:10 You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.
Rashi on 22:10 YOU SHALL NOT PLOW WITH AN OX AND A DONKEY. The same law applies to any two species in the world. [Similarly,] this law applies [also] to [merely] leading them together when they are bound to each other as a pair, for transporting any load.
22:11 You shall not ware combined fibers, wool and linen together.
Rashi on 22:11 COMBINED FIBERS. Hebrew: shaatnez. An expression denoting a mixture. Our Rabbis explained [this term to be an acronym of the terms]: shua, combed, tavuy, spun, and nuz, woven. [Thus, our Rabbis explain that the Torah prohibition of shaatnezapplies only to materials combed, spun, and woven together.]
22:12 Twisted threads you shall make for yourselves on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself.
Rashi on 22:12 TWISTED THREADS YOU SHALL MAKE FOR YOURSELVES even from a mixture [of wool and linen]. For this reason, Scripture juxtaposes them [these two commandments: shaatnez and tzitzit].
22:13 If a man marries a wife, and comes to her and hates her,
Rashi on 22:13 IF A MAN MARRIES A WIFE, AND COMES TO HER [is intimate with her]AND HATES HER in the end he will...
22:14 and he makes a wanton accusation against her, spreading a bad name against her, and he said, "I married this woman, and I came near to her and I did not find signs of virginity on her."
Rashi on 22:14 SPREADING A BAD NAME AGAINST HER. One sin leads to another sin. He transgressed [the negative commandment of] "You shall not hate [your brother in your heart]" (VaYikra 19:17); so eventually he will come to [commit the sin of] slander (lashon hara).
THIS WOMAN. We learn from here that he says nothing except in the presence of his opponent.
22:15 Then the father of the girl and her mother should take and bring proofs of the girl's virginity to the elders of the city, to the gate.
Rashi on 22:15 THEN THE FATHER OF THE GIRL AND HER MOTHER SHOULD TAKE AND BRING PROOFS. Let those who raised this evil offspring be disgraced because of her.
22:16 The father of the girl should say to the elders, "I gave my daughter to this man as a wife, and he hated her.
Rashi on 22:16 THE FATHER OF THE GIRL SHOULD SAY TO THE ELDERS. [The father, but not the mother.] This teaches us that a woman is not permitted to speak in the presence of her husband [when others are present].
22:17 Now, behold! he made a wanton accusation against her, saying, 'I did not find signs of virginity on your daughter' - but these are the signs of virginity of my daughter!" And they should spread out the cloth before the elders of the city.
Rashi on 22:17 AND THEY SHOULD SPREAD OUT THE CLOTH. This is a figurative expression, meaning: they shall clarify the matter as ["clear"] as a [new] garment.
22:18 The elders of the city shall take that man and punish him.
Rashi on 22:18 AND PUNISH HIM [with] lashes.
22:20 But if this matter was true, signs of the girl's virginity were not found,
Rashi on 22:20 BUT IF THIS MATTER WAS TRUE [as corroborated] by witnesses, and there was warning, [proving] that she had committed adultery after her betrothal.
22:21 then they shall take the girl to the entrance of her father's house and the men of her city shall pelt her with stones and she shall die, for she had committed an outrage in Yisrael, to have illicit relations in her father's house, and you shall destroy the evil from your midst.
Rashi on 22:21 THEY SHALL TAKE THE GIRL OUT TO THE ENTRANCE OF HER FATHER'S HOUSE [as if to say:] "Look at the children you have reared!"
HER FATHER'S HOUSE. Hebrew: beit aviha, [to be understood as] [beveit [aviha]," in her fatherís house."
THE MEN OF HER CITY. [I.e.,] in the presence of all the men of her city.
22:22 If a man will be found lying with a woman who is married to a husband, they shall die, even both of them, the man who lay with the woman and the woman; and you shall remove the evil from Yisrael.
Rashi on 22:22 THEY SHALL DIE, EVEN BOTH OF THEM. [The words "both of them" come] to exclude unnatural acts in which the man makes contact with the woman wihout intercourse], from which the woman derives no pleasure [thus not including "both of them" in the act].
EVEN, literally, also. This comes to include those who have relations after them. [I.e., after these two people have already been tried and sentenced to death for adultery, and before they are put to death, other people commit further adultery with them, these new people are also to be put to death for adultery, and we do not consider this couple as dead people.] Another explanation [of the expression gam-sheneihem]: To include the fetus. [I.e.,] if she was pregnant, they do not wait for her until she gives birth [but put her to death immediately, while still pregnant].
22:23 If there will be a virgin girl who is betrothed to a man, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her,
Rashi on 22:23 AND A MAN FINDS HER IN THE CITY. Therefore, he lay with her. A breach [in a wall] invites a thief; had she remained at home, this would not have happened to her.
22:26 But you shall do nothing to the girl, the girl has committed no capital sin, for like a man who rises up against his fellow and murders him, so is this thing;
Rashi on 22:26 FOR LIKE A MAN WHO RISES UP AGAINST HIS FELLOW AND MURDERS HIM, SO IS THIS THING. According to the simple meaning, this is the explanation: For she was coerced, and the man overpowered her, just like the case of someone who overpowers another person to kill him. Our Rabbis, however, interpreted it [as follows]: This one comes to teach, but instead he learns. [That is, it would seem at first glance, that the case of the murderer in the verse is cited in order to teach us something about the case of the betrothed girl who was raped, namely, that just as the murdered person was overpowered, so was this girl overpowered and coerced. However, with further examination, we learn something new from the case of this girl, which can be applied to the case of the murderer. And that is: just as in the case of the girl, we may save her from sin by killing her assailant, so it is, in the case of a murderer overpowering someone with the intent of murder, anyone is permitted to kill his assailant in order to save the life of the intended victim].
23:1 A man shall not take the wife of his father; and he shall not uncover the robe of his father.
Rashi on 23:1 SHALL NOT TAKE. [I.e.,] betrothal has no effect on her [even after the fatherís death], and he cannot legally marry her.
AND HE SHALL NOT UNCOVER THE ROBE OF HIS FATHER. [This seemingly superfluous phrase comes to include] the shomeret yavam of his father [i.e., the widow of his fatherís brother who died without children, who awaits (shomeret) her brother-in-law (yavam) to either wed her or release her through the rite of chalitzah [see Devarim 25:5-10.]. She is [thus] intended for his father [who is her brother-in-law]. But has he not already been admonished regarding her by [the verse] "[You shall not uncover] the nakedness of [i.e., commit incest with the wife of] your fatherís brother" (VaYikra 18: 14)? However, [the prohibition is repeated here] to make the transgressor liable on her account for two negative commands, and to juxtapose it to "A bastard (mamzer) shall not enter [the assembly of Hashem," to teach us that a mamzer, "bastard," is only [a child of] a forbidden union punishable by karet, ["excision," as is the case with a child born of one who takes his fatherís shomeret yavam]. All the more so [does it apply to one born] from a forbidden union punishable by the death sentence by the court, for in forbidden unions incurring the death penalty by the court, there is no case that does not [also] incur the penalty of karet.
23:2 One who is injured, crushed or severed of spilling shall not enter the congregation of Hashem.
Rashi on 23:2 ONE WHO IS INJURED, CRUSHED. [I.e.,] one whose testicles have been injured or crushed.
OR [ONE WHO IS] SEVERED OR SPILLING, one whose male organ is cut, [to the extent] that his semen no longer shoots forth in a continuous flow, but rather drips and trickles, and thus he cannot produce children.
23:3 A mamzer shall not enter the congregation of Hashem, even his tenth generation shall not enter the congregation of Hashem.
Rashi on 23:3 A MAMZER SHALL NOT ENTER THE CONGREGATION OF HASHEM. [I.e.,] he shall not marry an woman of Yisrael.
23:4 An 'Ammoni or Moavi shall not enter the congregation of Hashem, even their tenth generation shall not enter the congregation of Hashem, to eternity.
Rashi on 23:4 AN 'AMMONI OR MOAVI SHALL NOT ENTER THE CONGREGATION OF HASHEM. [I.e.,] he shall not marry an woman of Yisrael.
23:5 because of the fact that they did not greet you with bread and water on the road when you were leaving Egypt, and because he hired against you Bilam son of Beor, of Petor, Aram-naharayim, to curse you.
Rashi on 23:5 BECAUSE [literally, "because of the word," i.e.,] because of the [word of] advice they gave you (sic), to cause you to sin.
ON THE ROAD when you were in [a state of] extreme exhaustion.
23:7 You shall not seek their peace or welfare, all your days, forever.
Rashi on 23:7 YOU SHALL NOT SEEK THEIR PEACE OR WELFARE...FOREVER. Since it says [in the case of a runaway slave], "He may reside with you in your midst" (v17), one might assume that this one [the 'Ammoni or the Moavi] is the same. Therefore, Scripture states: "You shall not [forever] seek thier peace or welfare.
23:8 You shall not abhor an Edomi, for he is your brother; you shall not labor an [Mitzrian] Egyptian, for you were a sojourner in his land.
Rashi on 23:8 YOU SHALL NOT ABHOR AN EDOMI. Completely, [but only the first two generations,] even though it is appropriate for you to despise him, because he went forth against you with the sword (see BaMidbar 20:18-21).
YOU SHALL NOT LABOR AN EGYPTIAN. Absolutely, [but only the first two generations,] even though they cast your male [infants] into the Nile. What is the reason [that you may not despise them]? Because they hosted you in a time of dire need; therefore:
23:9 Children who are born to them in the third generation may enter the congregation of Hashem.
Rashi on 23:9 CHILDREN WHO ARE BORN TO THEM IN THE THIRD GENERATION. But other nations, are allowed [to marry Jews] immediately [after their conversion]. Thus, you learn from here that someone who causes a person to sin does worse to him than one who kills him, for one who kills him, kills him [only] in this world, whereas one who leads him to sin removes him from [both] this world and from the world-to-come. Therefore, Edom, who came forth against them with the sword was not [completely] despised. Similarly, Egypt, who drowned them. These, however, who caused them to sin, were [completely] despised.
23:10 When a camp goes out against your enemies, you shall guard against anything evil.
Rashi on 23:10 WHEN A CAMP GOES OUT AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES, you shall beware for the Satan accuses in time of danger [thus extra care must be taken in time of war, when danger prevails].
23:11 If there will be among you a man who will not be pure because of a nocturnal occurance, he shall go outside the camp; he shall not enter the midst of the camp.
Rashi on 23:11 IF THERE WILL BE AMONG YOU A MAN WHO WILL NOT BE PURE BECAUSE OF A NOCTURNAL OCCURANCE. Scripture is speaking here in terms of that which usually occurs. [Emissions usually occur at night. However, the law applies equally if it occurs during the day.]
HE SHALL GO OUTSIDE THE CAMP. This is a positive commandment.
23:12 When it will be toward evening, he should immerse himself in the water, and when the sun sets, he may enter the midst of the camp.
Rashi on 23:12 WHEN IT WILL BE TOWARD EVENING, HE SHOULD IMMERSE [in the mikvah] close to sunset, since he does not become clean without the sunset.
23:13 You shall have a place outside the camp and you shall go out there, outside.
Rashi on 23:13 YOU SHALL HAVE A PLACE... as the Targum [Onkelos] renders: [vaatar, a place], like "each man in his place (yado)" (BaMidbar 2:17).
OUTSIDE THE CAMP. [I.e.,] outside the cloud [which surrounded the camp].
23:14 You shall have a shovel in addition to your weaponry, and it will be that when you sit outside, you shall dig with it; you shall go back and cover your excrement.
Rashi on 23:14 YOU SHALL HAVE A SHOVEL IN ADDITION TO YOUR WEAPONRY. [I.e.,] besides your other items of equipment.
23:15 For Hashem, your G-d, walks in the midst of your camp to rescue you and to deliver your enemies before you; so your camp shall be holy, and He will not see among you a shameful thing and turn away from behind you.
Rashi on 23:15 AND HE WILL NOT SEE. [That is,] the Holy One, Blessed is He, [will not see] anything unseemly.
23:16 You shall not turn over to his master a slave who is rescued from his master to you.
Rashi on 23:16 YOU SHALL NOT TURN OVER TO HIS MASTER A SLAVE. As the Targum [Onkelos] renders it [a Jewish servant who had been sold to a gentile]. Another explanation: even a Kenaani servant of one of Yisrael who fled from outside the land to the Land of Yisrael.
23:18 There shall not be a promiscuous woman among the daughters of Yisrael, and there shall not be a promiscuous man among the sons of Yisrael.
Rashi on 23:18 THERE SHALL NOT BE A PROMISCUOUS WOMAN, one who is unbridled, prepared (mekudeshet), and ready for prostitution.
AND THERE SHALL NOT BE A PROMISCUOUS MAN, one [i.e., a male] ready for homosexual relations. Onkelos, however, renders: "A woman of the daughters of Yisrael shall not become a wife to a slave." [Nevertheless, Onkelos' explanation does not contradict that given above, for] such [a woman] is also susceptible to illicit relations, since this sort of marriage [between a Jewess and a slave] is not legally binding. For [slaves] are compared to donkeys, as it says, "Stay here with the donkey (im-hachamor)" (Bereishit 22:5). [The choice of the word] im [rather et, [denotes] those compared to a donkey. [Avraham said this to his lads when he left them to take Yitzchak to offer him as a sacrifice. The lads were both slaves, both Elazer and Yishmael, the son of his handmaid, Hagar. Similarly, the second half of the verse is rendered by Onkelos as follows:] "And no man of Yisrael shall take a maidservant as a wife," since he too, becomes a kadesh ["one reserved for illicit relations"] through her, because every time he cohabits with her, it is considered prostitution, since his marriage to her is not binding.
23:19 You shall not bring a harlot's fee or the price of a dog to the House of Hashem, your G-d, for any vow, for both of them, too, are an abomination to Hashem, your G-d.
Rashi on 23:19 A HARLOT'S FEE. [For example,] if one gave her a lamb as her fee, it is unfit to be offered up as a sacrifice.
THE PRICE OF A DOG. If one exchanged a dog for a lamb [this lamb is unfit for a sacrifice].
FOR BOTH OF THEM, TOO, ARE AN ABOMINATION TO HASHEM, YOUR G-D. [The extra word gam,literally, "also," comes] to include [a prostituteís fee or the price of a dog, which has been] converted [to another form]. For example, wheat, which he (sic) made into flour. [Sefer Yereim ch. 207 reads: which she made into flour.]
23:20 You shall not cause your brother to take interest, interest of money or interest of food, interest of anything that he may take as interest.
Rashi on 23:20 YOU SHALL NOT CAUSE YOUR BROTHER TO TAKE INTEREST. This is an admonition to the borrower that he should not pay interest to the lender. Afterwards is the admonition to the lender, [in the verse:] "You shall not give him your money with interest" (VaYikra 25:37).
23:21 You may cause a non-Jew to take interest, but you may not cause your brother to take interest, so that Hashem, your G-d, will bless you in your every undertaking on the land to which you are coming, to possess it.
Rashi on 23:21 YOU MAY CAUSE A NON-JEW TO TAKE INTEREST. But not to your brother. A negative commandment that is derived by inference from a positive commandment [such as this,] is considered a positive commandment. [Thus, in this passage we have the positive commandment (born out of the inference: "a non-Jew," i.e., but not to your brother, plus two negative commandments: 1) "You shall not cause your brother to take interest" (v20), and 2) "but you may not cause your brother to take interest" (v21). Hence, one who borrows from a Jew with interest] transgresses two negative commandments and one positive commandment.
23:22 When you make a vow to Hashem, your G-d, you shall not be late in paying it, for Hashem, your G-d, will demand it of you, and there will be a sin in you.
Rashi on 23:22 WHEN YOU MAKE A VOW... YOU SHALL NOT BE LATE IN PAYING IT for three Festivals. Our Rabbis learned this from a Scriptural verse [see Devarim 16:16].
23:24 You shall keep what emerges from your lips and do [it], just as you vowed a voluntary gift to Hashem, your G-d, whatever you spoke with your mouth.
Rashi on 23:24 YOU SHALL KEEP WHAT EMERGES FROM YOUR LIPS. This adds a positive commandment [i.e., to pay oneís vows in time,] to the [aforementioned] negative commandment [expressed in v22, namely, "you shall not delay in paying it"].
23:25 When you come into the vineyard of your fellow, you may eat grapes as is your desire, your fill, but you may not put into your vessel.
Rashi on 23:25 WHEN YOU COME INTO THE VINEYARD OF YOUR FELLOW. Scripture is speaking of a worker [who enters his employerís vineyard to work there].
AS IS YOUR DESIRE. As many as you wish.
YOUR FILL. But not excessive eating.
YOU MAY NOT PUT INTO YOUR VESSEL. From here [we learn that] Scripture is referring only to the period of the vintage, when you place [grapes] into the ownerís vessel. However, if the worker is entering [the vineyard] in order to hoe or or cover the exposed roots [with earth], he may not eat [any of the grapes].
23:26 When you come into the standing grain of your fellow, you may pluck ears with your hand, but you may not lift a sickle against the standing grain of your fellow.
Rashi on 23:26 WHEN YOU COME INTO THE STANDING GRAIN OF YOUR FELLOW. This [verse] too, is speaking of a worker [who enters his employerís grain field, to work there].
24:1 If a man marries a woman and lives with her, and it will be that she will not find favor in his eyes, for he found in her a matter of immorality, and he wrote her a bill of divorce and presented it into her hand, and sent her from his house,
Rashi on 24:1 IF A MAN MARRIES A WOMAN...AND IT WILL BE THAT SHE WILL NOT FIND FAVOR IN HIS EYES, FOR HE FOUND IN HER A MATTER OF IMMORALITY. [In this case] he has an obligation to divorce her, lest she find favor in his eyes [and he might consequently wish to keep her, which he must not do, since she had committed an act of impropriety].
24:2 and she left his house and went and married another man,
Rashi on 24:2 AND WENT AND MARRIED ANOTHER MAN who differs from her first husband, for that one sent the evil woman out of his home, whereas this [man] has taken her in[to his home].
24:3 and the latter man hated her and wrote her a bill of divorce and presented it into her hand and sent her from his house, or when the latter man who married her to himself will die -
Rashi on 24:3 AND THE LATTER MAN HATED HER. Scripture informs him that eventually he will [come to] despise her, and if not, she will bury him, for it says, "or when the latter man...will die."
24:4 her first husband who divorced her shall not again take her to become his wife, once she has been defiled, for it is an abomination before Hashem. You shall not bring sin upon the land that Hashem, your G-d, gives you as an inheritance.
Rashi on 24:4 ONCE SHE HAS BEEN DEFILED. [This unusual expression comes] to include a sotah [a woman suspected of adultery] because she secluded herself [with another man]. [Until her trial ceremony takes place (see BaMidbar 5:11-31) and it is yet unknown whether she has indeed committed adultery, he may not have relations with her.]
24:5 When a man marries a new wife he shall not go out to the army, nor shall it obligate him for any matter; he shall be free for his house for one year, and he shall gladden his wife whom he has married.
Rashi on 24:5 WHEN A MAN MARRIES A NEW WIFE [i.e., one] who is new to him, even if she is a widow [i.e., she was previously married to someone else], but this excludes [a man who] remarries his divorcee.
NOR SHALL IT OBLIGATE HIM, literally, nor shall it pass over him, [referring to] the order of the army.
FOR ANY MATTER that is required by the army: [For instance,] he must not supply water and food or repair the roads [for the army]. However, men who return from the battlefield by the order of the Kohen because they either built a house but did not yet dedicate it, or betrothed a woman but did not yet take her [as a wife] [see Devarim 20:5-7], are required to supply water and food and repair the roads [for the army].
HE SHALL BE FREE FOR HIS HOUSE. If he built a new house and dedicated it, or if he planted a vineyard (see Devarim 20:6) and redeemed it [i.e., he just began to partake of its fruits in the fourth year by redeeming them and eating their value in Yerushalayim], he does not move from his home for the needs of war.
HE SHALL BE FREE FOR HIS HOUSE. [This] comes to include his vineyard [as explained above].
HE SHALL GLADDEN. [The word et, in this phrase, vesimach et-ishto, can mean "with," or it can introduce the direct object, namely, "his wife." Thus, this phrase can either mean "he shall rejoice with his wife," or it could mean "he shall delight his wife." Here, Rashi decides that the meaning is] "He shall gladden his wife" [that is, the verb is in the piel (intensive causative) conjugation]. Thus, the [correct] rendering is as it appears in the Targum [Onkelos]: "and he shall make his wife happy." One who renders: "he shall rejoice with his wife," is mistaken, for this is not the translation of vesimach [in the piel, causative conjugation], but [the translation] of vesamach, [the kal, simple intransitive conjugation].
24:6 One shall not take a mill or a grindstone as a pledge, for he would be taking a life as a pledge.
Rashi on 24:6 ONE SHALL NOT TAKE A MILL OR A GRINDSTONE AS A PLEDGE. If [a creditor] comes to the court to demand security for a debt [for which no security had previously been required], he may not take as security articles used in the preparation of food.
A MILL. This is the lower [millstone].
GRINDSTONE. This is the upper [millstone].
24:7 If a man is found kidnaping a person of his brothers among the Children of Yisrael, and he enslaves him and sells him, that kidnaper shall die, and you shall destroy the evil from your midst.
Rashi on 24:7 IF A MAN IS FOUND. By witnesses, and after he was warned [not to kidnap]. Likewise, every [instance of] yimatze, "[if someone is] found," in the Torah.
AND HE ENSLAVES HIM. The perpetrator is not liable [to the death penalty] until he uses [his victim as a slave].
24:8 Take care about the tzaraat affliction, to be very careful and to act; according to everything that the Kohanim and the Leviim shall instruct you - as I have commanded them - you shall be careful to perform.
Rashi on 24:8 TAKE CARE ABOUT THE TZARAAT AFFLICTION that you do not remove any of the signs of uncleanness [e.g., by peeling off the skin], and that you do not cut off a baheret, bright spot.
ACCORDING TO EVERYTHING THAT THE KOHANIM AND LEVIIM SHALL INSTRUCT YOU whether to quarantine [the person with tzaraat ], whether to make a decisive diagnosis [of tzaraat], or whether to declare him clean.
24:9 Remember what Hashem, your G-d, did to Miryam on the way, when you were leaving Egypt.
Rashi on 24:9 REMEMBER WHAT HASHEM, YOUR G-D, DID TO MIRYAM. If you wish to take precautions against being stricken with tzaraat, then do not speak lashon hara [slander, derogatory remarks]. Remember what was done to Miryam, who spoke against her brother [Moshe] and was stricken with lesions [of tzaraat ] (see BaMidbar 12:1-16).
24:10 When you hold against your fellow a debt of any amount, you shall not enter his home to take his security.
Rashi on 24:10 WHEN YOU HOLD AGAINST YOUR FELLOW [JEW] A DEBT, literally, when you obligate your friend.
ANY AMOUNT, literally, a debt involving anything.
24:12 If he is a poor man, you shall not lie down [to sleep] with his security.
Rashi on 24:12 YOU SHALL NOT LIE DOWN [TO SLEEP] WITH HIS SECURITY. You shall not lie down [to sleep] while you have his security in your possession.
24:13 You shall return the security to him when the sun sets, and he will lie down [to sleep] in his garment and bless you, and for you it will be an act of righteousness before Hashem, your G-d.
Rashi on 24:13 YOU SHALL RETURN THE SECURITY TO HIM WHEN THE SUN SETS if it is a garment worn at night. And if it is a garment worn by day, return it in the morning. This has already been written in parashat Mishpatim, where the verse says, "until sunset you shall return it to him" (Shemot 22:25), meaning that you shall return it to him for the entire day, and when the sun sets, you may take it [back].
AND BLESS YOU. And if he does not bless you, it will nevertheless "be counted for you as merit."
24:14 You shall not cheat a poor or destitute hired person from among your brothers or from among your converts who are in your land, in your cities.
Rashi on 24:14 YOU SHALL NOT CHEAT A POOR OR DESTITUTE HIRED PERSON. But has this not already been written [in the verse, "You shall not withhold what is due your fellow [Jew]" (VaYikra 19:13)]? However, this [negative commandment] is [repeated here] to [make one] transgress two negative commandments for [withholding the pay due] a destitute person: [First, here,] not to withhold the wages of a worker who is poor or destitute, and [secondly,] concerning [even] the well-to-do worker, one was already admonished (VaYikra 19:13)], "You shall not [unjustly] withhold what is due your fellow [Jew, which includes the destitute as well]."
DESTITUTE, one who longs for everything [because he has nothing.
OF YOUR CONVERTS. This [refers to] a righteous proselyte [who converts to Judaism out of genuine conviction and pure motives].
WHO ARE IN YOUR LAND. This [expression] comes to include the hire of animals or utensils.
IN YOUR CITIES. This [expression refers to] a convert who [has undertaken not to practice idolatry, but] eats animals that have not been ritually slaughtered.
24:15 You shall pay his hire on its day; the sun shall not set upon him, for he is poor, and he risks his life for it; let him not call out against you to Hashem, and there be a sin in you.
Rashi on 24:15 AND HE RISKS HIS LIFE FOR IT. For this wage he risks his life. [For instance,] he climbed up a ramp or suspended himself from a tree.
AND THERE BE A SIN IN YOU in any case, [even if he does not cry out to Hashem against you]. However, punishment is meted out faster by virtue of one who cries out.
24:16 Fathers shall not be put to death because of sons, and son shall not be put to death because of fathers; a man should be put to death for his own sin.
Rashi on 24:16 FATHERS SHALL NOT BE PUT TO DEATH BECAUSE OF SONS. [I.e.,] by the testimony of [their] sons. But, if you say [that it means that fathers shall not be put to death] because of the sins of their sons, it has already been stated, "each man shall be put to death for his own transgression." However, one who is not yet a man may die on account of his fatherís transgressions. [Therefore,] minors may die at the hands of Heaven on account of their parentsí sins.
24:17 You shall not pervert the judgment of a convert [or] an orphan, and you shall not take the garment of a widow as a pledge.
Rashi on 24:17 YOU SHALL NOT PERVERT THE JUDGMENT OF A CONVERT [OR] AN ORPHAN. And concerning a wealthy person, [meaning anyone, not necessarily poor], one has already been warned, "You shall not pervert justice" (Devarim 16:19). However, [Scripture] repeats this prohibition here in reference to the poor man to [make one] transgress two negative commandments [for perverting the justice due a poor man]. Since it is easier to pervert the judgment of a poor man than that of a rich man, [Scripture] admonishes and then repeats [the admonition].
AND YOU SHALL NOT TAKE THE GARMENT OF A WIDOW AS A PLEDGE [for a loan] not at the time of the loan, [but when the debtor has defaulted].
24:18 And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and Hashem, your G-d, redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this thing.
Rashi on 24:18 AND YOU SHALL REMEMBER THAT YOU WERE A SLAVE IN EGYPT, AND HASHEM, YOUR G-D, REDEEMED YOU FROM THERE. [G-d says:] On that condition I redeemed you, [namely, on the condition] that you observe My statutes, even if you incur monetary loss in the matter.
24:19 When you reap your harvest in your field, and you forget a bundle in the field, you shall not go back to take it; it shall be for the convert, the orphan, and the widow, so that Hashem, your G-d, will bless you in all your handiwork.
Rashi on 24:19 AND YOU FORGET A BUNDLE but not a stack of bundles. [That is, if someone forgot a stack of grain bundles, he may go back to retrieve.] Hence, [our Rabbis] said: ( Peah 6:6) A bundle containing two seah, which someone forgot, the harvester is permitted to go back and retrieve it].
[WHEN YOU REAP YOUR HARVEST IN YOUR FIELD, AND YOU FORGET A BUNDLE] IN THE FIELD. [Why the repetition of the word "field"? This comes to include shikchah of standing grain, part of which the harvester had forgotten to reap, [not only bound up sheaves standing in the field].
YOU SHALL NOT GO BACK TO TAKE IT. From here, [our Rabbis] said: Whatever is behind him is considered shikchah, "forgotten" [and may not be retrieved]. Whatever is in front of him, is not considered "forgotten" [and may still be retrieved], since it does not come under the law of "you shall not go back to take."
SO THAT HASHEM, YOUR G-D, WILL BLESS YOU. Although [the forgotten sheaf came into his hand without intention [of the owner]. How how much more so [will one be blessed] if he did it liberately. Hence, you must say that if someone dropped a sela, and a poor man found it and was sustained by it, then he [who lost the coin] will be blessed on its account.
24:20 When you beat your olive tree, do not remove all the splendor behind you; it shall be for the proselyte, the convert, and the widow.
Rashi on 24:20 WHEN YOU BEAT YOUR OLIVE TREE, DO NOT REMOVE ALL THE SPLENDOR BEHIND YOU. [This word is derived from peer or tiferet, "splendor." The "splendor" of an olive-tree is its fruit. Thus, the meaning is: "You shall not take its splendor" (tiferet,) from it. [I.e., do not remove all its fruit.] Hence, [our Rabbis derive that [in addition to the harvest of grain and produce, in fruit-bearing trees also], one must leave behind peah, [fruits at the end of the olive harvest]
BEHIND YOU. This refers to shikchah, forgotten fruit [in the case of a fruit-bearing tree, that one must leave the forgotten fruit for the poor to collect].
24:21 When you harvest your vineyard, you shall not harvest the young grapes behind you; it shall be for hte convert, the orphan, and the widow.
Rashi on 24:21 WHEN YOU HARVEST YOUR VINEYARD, YOU SHAL NOT HARVEST THE YOUNG GRAPES, i.e., if you find olelot, small clusters therein, you shall not take them. Now what constitutes olelot, [thus necessitating them to be left for the poor]? Any cluster of grapes which has neither a katef, "shoulder" or a natef, "drippings." But if it has either one of them, it belongs to the householder. I saw in the Talmud Yerushalmi (Peah 7:3): "What is a katef, shoulder?" It is [a cluster of grapes] in which the sprigs of grapes pile one on top of the other [at the top of the cluster, together taking on the shape of a shoulder. And what is] a natef, "drippings?" These are the grapes suspended from the central stalk [of the cluster, as though dripping down].
25:1 When there will be a dispute between people, and they have recourse to judgment, and they judge them, and they vindicate the righteous one and find the wicked one guilty;
Rashi on 25:1 WHEN THERE WILL BE A DISPUTE they will eventually go to court. We learn from this, that peace cannot result from quarrel. [Just think,] what caused Lot to leave the righteous man [Avraham] (Bereishit 13:7-12)? Clearly, it was quarrel.
AND FIND THE WICKED ONE GUILTY. [Since the next verse continues, "the judge shall... strike him,"] one might think that all those convicted by the court must be flogged. Therefore, Scripture teaches us, "and it will be that if hte wicked one ought to be beaten..." (v2). [From here, we see that] sometimes [a convicted party] is given lashes, and sometimes he is not. Who receives lashes is derived from the context, as follows: [Some negative commandments are mitigated by positive commandments which relate to the same matter, for example, the law of sending away the mother bird (Devarim 22:6-7). Scripture (22:6) states the negative commandment: "you shall not take the mother upon the young," and immediately, Scripture (22:7) continues to state the positive commandment of: "You shall send away the mother." Here, the negative commandment is mitigated by the positive commandment. How so? If someone transgressed the negative commandment and took the mother bird from upon her young, he may clear himself of the punishment he has just incurred, by fulfilling the positive commandment of sending the mother bird away from the nest. This is an example of "a negative commandment mitigated by a positive commandment." Now, in our context, immediately after describing the procedure of flogging in court, the next verse (4) continues with the negative commandment of:] "You shall not muzzle an ox in its threshing [of the grain]," a negative commandment which is not mitigated by a positive one. [Therefore, from the very context of these verses, we learn that only for transgressing a "negative commandment which is not mitigated by a positive commandment," is one punished by lashes.]
24:2 it will be that if the wicked one ought to be beaten, the judge shall cast him down; and he shall strike him, before him, according to his wickedness, by a count.
Rashi on 25:2 THE JUDGE SHALL CAST HIM DONW. This teaches [us] that they [the judges] do not flog [the guilty party while [the latter is] standing or sitting, but, [when he is] leaning over.
AND HE SHALL STRIKE HIM, BEFORE HIM, ACCORDING TO HIS WICKEDNESS. Hebrew: kedei rishato [singularómeaning one punishment before him] and behind him twice that number. From here they [the Rabbis] said: "They must give him two thirds [of his lashes] behind him [i.e., on his back], and one third in front of him [i.e., on his chest]"
BY A COUNT. Hebrew: bemispar but it is not vowelized bamispar, in the count. This teaches us that the word bemispar is in the construct state, [qualifying the word following it which is the first word of the next verse, namely, arbaim], to read: bemispar arbaim, that is, "[and strike him...] the number of forty," but not quite a full quota of forty, but the number that leads up to the full total of forty, i.e., "forty-minus-one."
25:3 Forty shall he strike him, he shall not add; lest he continue to strike him many blows beyond these, and your brother will be degraded in your eyes.
Rashi on 25:3 HE SHALL NOT ADD. From here, we derive the admonition that one may not strike his fellow man.
AND YOUR BROTHER WILL BE DEGRADED. All day [that is, throughout the entire procedure], Scripture calls him rasha, "wicked," but, once he has been flogged, behold, he is "your brother."
25:4 You shall not muzzle an ox in its threshing.
Rashi on 25:4 YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE AN OX. Scripture is speaking here in terms of what usually occurs [i.e., one usually uses an ox for threshing grain]. However, the law applies equally to any species of domestic animal, non-domesticated animal, or bird, and in any area of work in the process of preparing food. If so, why does Scripture specify an ox? To exclude man [from this law. That is, if it is a human who is performing the work, his employer is permitted to "muzzle" him, that is, to prevent the worker from eating from the produce. Nevertheless, it is a mitzvah to allow him to eat from the employerís produce.]
IN ITS THRESHING. One might have thought that it is permissible to muzzle the animal outside [the work area, i.e., before it starts threshing]. Therefore, Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox!"ói.e., at any time [even before the actual threshing]. Why then, is threshing mentioned? To tell you that, just as threshing [has two specific features]: a) It is a thing that does not represent the completion of its process [rendering the product liable for tithing and challah], and b) it [namely, grain] grows from the ground, likewise, any [work] which resembles it [in these two features, is included in this law]. Thus, excluded [from this prohibition] is the labor of milking, cheese-making, or in churning [milk, to produce buttermilk], all of which deal with an item that does not grow from the ground. Also excluded is the labor of kneading [dough], or in rolling out the dough to shape, for these procedures do in fact complete the process, rendering the product liable for challah to be taken. A further exclusion to this prohibition is the labor of separating dates and figs [that is, when spreading out dates and figs on a roof or the like, so that they dry, the fruit may adhere into one mass. Here, the procedure is to separate individual dates or figs from the mass, a procedure] which completes the preparation process, rendering the fruit liable for tithing.
25:5 When brothers live together and one of them dies, and he has no child, the wife of the deceased shall not marry outside to a strange man; her brother-in-law shall come to her, and take her to himself as a wife, and perform levirate marriage.
Rashi on 25:5 WHEN BROTHERS LIVE TOGETHER [meaning] that they were both alive at the same time, [literally, that they had one dwelling in the world]. It excludes the wife of his brother who was no longer in the world [when he was born]. [This means as follows: If a man dies, and his brother is born after his death, his widow may not marry the brother of her deceased husband.]
TOGETHER. [This law applies only to brothers] who share in the inheritance "together" [namely, paternal brothers]. This excludes maternal brothers.
AND HE HAS NO CHILD. [Literally, "and he has no son." Here, the word ein can be read also as ayin, meaning to "investigate," because an alef is interchangeable with an ayin. Thus, the verse also teaches us:] Investigate him [if he has progeny of any sort]ówhether he has a son or a daughter, or a sonís son or a sonís daughter, or a daughterís son or a daughterís daughter. [And if he has any of these, the law of yibumdoes not apply.]
25:6 It shall be that the firstborn son whom she will bear shall stand in the name of his dead brother, and his name will not be blotted out from Yisrael.
Rashi on 25:6 THE FIRSTBORN SON. However, here it means that] the eldest brother [of the deceased] should perform the levirate marriage with the widow.
SHE WILL BEAR [literally, "who will give birth."] This excludes a woman incapable of conception.
SHALL STAND IN THE NAME OF HIS DEAD BROTHER [literally, "will rise in the name of his brother."] The one who marries his wife, is to take the share of his deceased brotherís inheritance of their fatherís property [in addition to his own share].
AND HIS NAME WILL NOT BE BLOTTED OUT. This excludes [from the obligation of yibum] the wife of a eunuch whose name [was already] obliterated.
25:7 But if the man will not wish to marry his sister-in-law, then his sister-in-law shall ascend to the gate, to the elders, and she shall say, "My brother-in-law refuses to establish a name for his brother in Yisrael, he did not consent to perform levirate marriage with me."
Rashi on 25:7 TO THE GATE. [Not to the gate of the city, but,] as the Targum [Onkelos] renders it: to the gate of the court.
25:8 Then the elders of his city shall summon him and speak to him, and he shall stand and say, "I do not wish to marry her."
Rashi on 25:8 HE SHALL STAND. [He must make this declaration] in a standing position.
AND SAY in the Holy Language. She too shall make her statement in the Holy Language.
25:9 Then his sister-in-law shall approach him before the eyes of the elders; she shall remove his shoe from on his foot and spit before him; she shall speak up and say, "So is done to the man who will not build the house of his brother."
Rashi on 25:9 AND SPIT BEFORE HIM on the ground, [not in his face].
SO IS DONE TO THE MAN WHO WILL NOT BUILD THE HOUSE OF HIS BROTHER. From here, [we learn] that one who has undergone the rite of chalitzah [described in these verses], cannot change his mind and marry her, for it does not say, "[So is done to the man who did not build the house of his brother]," but, "who will not build the house of his brother]." Since he did not build it up [when he was obliged to do so], he will never again build it up.
25:10 Then his name shall be proclaimed in Yisrael, "The house of the one whose shoe was removed!"
Rashi on 25:10 THEN HIS NAME SHALL BE PROCLAIMED IN YISRAEL. It is the duty of all those standing there to proclaim: chalutz hanaal - "you, who have had your shoe removed!"
25:11 If men quarrel with one another, a man and his brother, and the wife of one of them approaches to rescue her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and she stretches out her hand and grasps his embarrassing place,
Rashi on 25:11 IF MEN QUARREL WITH ONE ANOTHER they will eventually come to blows, as it is said: "[to rescue her husband] from his assailant." [The moral here is:] Peace cannot result from strife.
25:12 you shall cut off her hand; your eye shall not show pity.
Rashi on 25:12 YOU SHALL CUT OFF HER HAND. [This verse is not to be understood literally, but rather, it means:] She must pay monetary damages to recompense the victim for the embarrassment he suffered [through her action. The amount she must pay is calculated by the court,] all according to the [social status] of the culprit and the victim. But perhaps [it means that we must actually cut off] her very hand? [The answer is born out from a transmission handed down to our Rabbis, as follows:] Here, it says lo tachos, "do not have pity," and later, in the case of conspiring witnesses (Devarim 19:21), the same expression, lo tachos, is used. [And our Rabbis taught that these verses have a contextual connection:] Just as there, in the case of the conspiring witnesses, [the literal expressions in the verse refer to] monetary compensation (see Rashi on that verse), so too, here, [the expression "You shall cut off her hand" refers to] monetary compensation.
25:13 You shall not have in your pouch a stone and a stone - a large one and a small one.
Rashi on 25:13 A STONE AND A STONE [two different weights]. [This term is not to be understood literally as "stones," but rather, it refers to specific stones, namely:] weights [used to weigh merchandise in business].
A LARGE ONE AND A SMALL ONE [literally, "big and small." This means:] the big stone "contradicts" [i.e., is inconsistent with] the small one. [That is to say, you must not have two weights which appear to be the same, but in fact, are unequal, allowing you] to purchase goods with the larger weight [thereby cheating the purchaser], and to sell with the smaller one [thereby cheating the buyer].
25:14 You shall not have in your house a measure and a measure - a large one and a small one.
Rashi on 25:14 YOU SHALL NOT HAVE. That is, the verse literally reads: "If you keep... two different weights, you will not have." This teaches us that] if you do this, You will not have anything! [However,]
25:15 A perfect and honest stone shall you have, a perfect and honest measure shall you have, so that your days shall be lengthened on the land that Hashem, your G-d, gives you.
Rashi on 25:15 A PERFECT AND HONEST STONE SHALL YOU HAVE.[Literally, "If you keep a full and honest weight, you will have." That is to say,] if you do this, you will have much.
25:17 Remember what 'Amalek did to you, on the way, when you were leaving Egypt,
Rashi on 25:17 REMEMBER WHAT 'AMALEK DID TO YOU. [The juxtaposition of these passages teaches us that] if you use fraudulent measures and weights, you should be worried about provocation from the enemy, as it is said: "Deceitful scales are an abomination of Hashem" (Mishle 11:1), after which the [next] verse continues, "When willful wickedness comes, then comes disgrace." [That is, after you intentionally sin by using deceitful scales, the enemy will come to provoke you into war, and this will be a disgraceful matter to you].
25:18 that he happened upon you on the way, and he killed among you, all the weaklings at your rear, when you were faint and exhausted, and he did not fear G-d.
Rashi on 25:18 THAT HE HAPPENED UPON YOU ON THE WAY, an expression denoting a chance occurrence (mikreh. Alternatively, an expression denoting seminal emission (keri and defilement, because 'Amalek defiled the Jews by [committing] homosexual acts [with them]. Yet another explanation: an expression denoting heat and cold (kor. He cooled you off and made you [appear] tepid, after you were boiling hot, for the nations were afraid to fight with you, [just as people are afraid to touch something boiling hot]. But this one, [i.e., 'Amalek] came forward and started and showed the way to others. This can be compared to a bathtub of boiling water into which no living creature could descend. Along came an irresponsible man and jumped headlong into it! Although he scalded himself, he [succeeded to] make others think that it was cooler [than it really was].
AND HE KILLED AMONG YOU, ALL THE WEAKLINGS AT YOUR REAR. [The word vayezanev is derived from the word zanav, meaning "tail." Thus, the verse means: 'Amalek] "cut off the tail." This refers to the fact that 'Amalek cut off the members [of the male Jews,] where they had been circumcised, and cast them up [provocatively] towards Heaven [exclaiming to G-d: "You see! What good has Your commandment of circumcision done for them?"]
ALL THE WEAKLINGS AT YOUR REAR. Those who lacked strength on account of their transgression. [And because these Jews had sinned,] the cloud [of glory] had expelled them [thereby leaving them vulnerable to 'Amalekís further attack].
YOU WERE FAINT AND EXHAUSTED from thirst, as it is written, "The people thirsted there for water" (Shemot 17:3), and [immediately] afterwards it says, "'Amalek came [and fought with Yisrael]" (v17:8).
AND EXHAUSTED from the journey.
HE DID NOT FEAR G-D i.e., 'Amalek did not fear G-d [so as to refrain] from doing you harm.
25:19 It shall be that when Hashem, your G-d, gives you rest from all your enemies all around, in the land that Hashem, your G-d, gives you as an inheritance to take possession of it, you shall wipe out the remembrance of 'Amalek from under the heaven - you shall not forget!
Rashi on 25:19 YOU SHALL WIPE OUT THE REMEMBRANCE OF 'AMALEK. Both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep [camel and donkey] (G-dís command to King Shaul: see 1Shmuel 15:3), so that the name of 'Amalek should never again be mentioned, even regarding an animal, to say: "This animal was from 'Amalek."
Rashi - The Sapirstein Edition [Devarim]
Complete Tanach with Rashi CD
Return to Parsha Index