Parshas Ki Seitzei

Words in bold represent changes to the traditional translation based on the Aramaic translation/commentary attributed to Onkelos the Ger.

Parshas Ki Seitzei

Rishon

10. When you go out to fight a war against your enemies, and Hashem your God gives them[1] in your hand and you take their captives,

11. and you see among the captives a woman of beautiful appearance[2] and you desire her and would take her to yourself as a wife,

12. you shall bring her into your house. She shall shave her head, and grow[3] her nails,

13. and remove the garments of her captivity from upon her. She shall dwell in your household and cry for her father and for mother (for) a month of days, and after this you may come to her and be her husband,[4] and she will be a wife to you.

14. It will be, if you don’t desire her, you shall free her to herself.[5] You may not sell her for money; do not treat her as merchandise[6] because you afflicted her.

15. If a man will have two wives, the one loved and the (other) one hated, and the loved and the hated delivered sons to him, and the first-born son is the hated’s,

16. it will be on the day he bestows to his sons what will be his, he doesn’t have permission to treat the son of the loved as the firstborn before the son of the hated, the first-born.

17. Instead, he shall separate[7] the first-born, son of the hated, to give him two portions[8] in all that will be found to him. Since he is the first of his strength, the birthright is fit for him.[9]

18. If a man will have a wayward and rebellious son, (who) doesn’t accept to the word of his father and the word of his mother[10] – they instruct him and he doesn’t accept (it) from them –

19. his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to before the elders of his city, and to the gate of his place’s court.

20. They shall say to the elders of his city, “This, our son, is wayward and rebellious. He does not accept our word; (he is) a glutton (of) meat and a drunkard (of) wine.”

21. All the men of his city shall stone him with stones, and he will die. You will remove the malefactor from among you, and all Israel will hear and be afraid.

Sheini

22. And if there will be in a man guilt for a judgment of death and he dies, you shall hang him on a pole.[11]

23. Do not let his corpse remain on the pole overnight; you shall surely bury it on that day because since he sinned before Hashem, he was hanged,[12] and you shall not defile your land that Hashem your God gives you (as) an inheritance.

Chapter 22

1. You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep that are lost and hide yourself from them; you shall surely return them to your brother.

2. And if your brother isn’t near to you and you don’t know him, you shall gather into your house and it will be with you until your brother seeks it, and you shall return it to him.

3. So shall you do to his donkey, and so shall you do to his garment, and so shall you do to any lost object of your brother that will be lost from him and you will find it. You do not have permission to hide it.[13]

4. Do not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen on the road and hide yourself from them; you shall surely pick it up with him.

5. A man’s decorative weaponry shall not be on a woman, and a man shall not wear a woman’s ornaments, because all who do these (things) is disgusting before Hashem your God.

6. If you encounter a bird’s nest before you on the road, in any tree or on the ground, (with) chicks or eggs and the mother hovering over the chicks or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young.

7. You shall surely send the mother away and take the young to yourself, in order that it will be good for you and you will lengthen (your) days.

Shlishi

8. When you build a new house, you shall make a railing for your roof, and you shall not place guilt for a judgment of death on your house if one who falls[14] will fall from it.

9. Do not plant your vineyard (with) mixtures (species), lest the produce of the seed that you sow and the produce of the vineyard become unclean.[15]

10. Do not plow with an ox and a donkey together.

11. Do not wear shaatnez[16] – wool and linen attached as one.

12. You shall make unwoven threads[17] on the four corners of your clothes, with which you cover (yourself).

13. When a man takes a woman (as a wife) and comes upon her, and hates her,

14. and places against her malicious charges, and he brings a bad name upon her and says, ‘I took this woman (as a wife) and I came to her, and I didn’t find virginity to her.’

15. The girl’s[18] father and her mother shall take, and they shall bring (proof of) the girl’s virginity before the elders of the city at the gate of the place’s court.

16. The girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man as a wife, and he hates her.

17. And behold, he has placed malicious charges, saying, ‘I didn’t find virginity to your daughter.’ And this is the (proof of) my daughter’s virginity!’ They shall spread the sheet[19] before the elders of the city.

18. The elders of that city shall take the man[20] and they shall chastise him.[21]

19. They shall collect from him 100 silver sela and they shall give it to the girl’s father, because he[22] brought a bad name against a virgin of Israel. She shall be a wife to him; he does not have permission to send her away all his days.

20. And if this matter was true, virginity was not found to the girl,

21. They shall bring the girl out to the door of her father’s house, and the people of her town shall stone her with stones and she shall die, because she did a disgraceful thing in Israel, act promiscuously (while in) her father’s house, and you will remove the malefactor from among you.

22. If a man is found lying with a woman (who is another) man’s wife, also both of them shall be executed[23] – the man who lay with the woman and the woman – and you will remove the malefactor from Israel.

23. In there will be a virgin girl[24] who is betrothed to a man, and (another) man will find her in the city and he will lie with her,

24. you shall take the two of them out to the gate of that city and stone them with stones, and they shall die – the girl on the matter that she didn’t cry out in the city, and the man on the matter that he violated his neighbor’s wife – and you will remove the malefactor from among you.

25. And if the man will find the engaged girl in the field, and the man will overpower her and he will lie with her, only the man who lay with her shall be executed.

26. And to the girl you shall not do anything. The girl doesn’t have guilt for a judgment of death, because like a man arises against his neighbor and murders his soul, so is this matter,

27. because he found her in the field; the betrothed girl cried out and there was no one to rescue her.

28. If a man will find a virgin girl who is not betrothed, and he will seize her and he will lie with her, and they are found,

29. the man who lay with her shall give the girl’s father 50 silver sela, and she shall be a wife to him, in exchange for that he violated her; he does not have permission to send her away all his days.

Chapter 23

1. A man may not take his father’s wife, and he may not uncover the corner of his father’s (garment).

2. One who is severed and one who is damaged[25] shall not be cleared to come into the community of Hashem.

3. A mamzer[26] shall not be cleared to come into the community of Hashem, also his tenth generation shall not be cleared for him to come into the community of Hashem.

4. Ammonites and Moabites[27] shall not be cleared to come into the community of Hashem, also their tenth generation shall not be cleared for them to come into the community of Hashem forever,

5. on the matter that they didn’t come before you with bread and water on the road in your exodus from Egypt, and that he[28] hired against you Balaam son of Beor, from P’sor of Aram that is on the Euphrates,[29] to curse you.

6. And Hashem your God didn’t want to accept (it) from Balaam. Hashem your God turned the curses over for you – into blessings – because Hashem your God loved you.

7. Do not seek their peace and their good all your days forever.

Revii

8. Do not distance an Edomite, because he is your brother. Do not distance an Egyptian, because you were a traveler in his land.

9. Children that will be born to them – the third generation to them will be cleared to come into the community of Hashem.

10. When (the) camp goes out against your enemies, you shall guard against every bad thing.

11. If there is among you a man who will not be pure from a nocturnal pollution,[30] he shall exit to outside the camp; he shall not come to within the camp.

12. It will be, towards evening, he shall wash in water, and when the sun comes (down) he shall come to within the camp.

13. You shall have a designated place for you outside the camp (for use as a latrine), and you shall go outside (to relieve oneself).

14. You shall have a spike with your weapons. It shall be, in your sitting outside, you shall dig with it, and you shall return, and you shall cover your excrement,

15. because Hashem your God, His presence travels in the midst of your camp to save you and to deliver those who hate you[31] before you. Your camp shall be holy, and there shall not be seen[32] a sinful[33] thing in you and turn His word away from benefiting you.

16. Do not hand over to his master a slave of the nations who seeks refuge before you from his master.

17. With you he shall dwell in your midst in the place that he shall choose in one of your cities – in where it will be good for him; do not oppress him.

18. A woman from the daughters of Israel shall not be (married) to a servant man, and a man from the sons of Israel shall not take a servant woman (as a wife).[34]

19. Do not bring the wages of a whore or the sale price of a dog (to) the Temple[35] of Hashem your God for any vow, because also both of them are disgusting before to Hashem your God.

20. Do not pay[36] interest to your brother: interest in money, interest of grain,[37] (or) interest of anything that for which interest can be paid.[38]

21. To a citizen of the nations[39] you shall pay interest and to your brother you shall not pay interest in order that Hashem your God will bless you in all the sendings of your hand on the land that you come there to inherit.

22. When you make a vow before Hashem your God, do not delay to fulfill it, because Hashem your God will surely seek it from you, and it will be a sin in you.

23. And if you refrain from vowing, there will not be a sin in you.

24. What comes out from your lips you must be careful and perform as you have vowed before Hashem your God – the donation that you said with your mouth.

Chamishi

25. When you are hired in your fellow’s vineyard, you may eat grapes as you desire, (to) your satiety, and in your vessel you shall not put.

26. When you are hired in your fellow’s standing (grain), you may pluck ears in your hand, and you shall not raise[40] a sickle against your fellow’s standing (grain).

Chapter 24

1. If a man takes a woman (as a wife) and becomes her husband,[41] and it will be if she doesn’t find favor in his eyes because he found something unseemly in her, and he shall write her a document of discharge[42] and give (it) in her hand, and he discharges her from his house,

2. and she will go out from his house and go, and she will be (wife) to another man,

3. and the latter[43] man will hate her, and he will write her a document of discharge, put (it) in her hand, and will discharge her from his house, or if the latter man who took her as a wife to him will die,

4. her first husband who discharged her does not have permission to return, to take her to be a wife to him, after that she had been defiled, because it is disgusting before Hashem. Do not bring sin upon the land that Hashem your God gives you as an inheritance.

Shishi

5. When a man will take a new wife, he shall not go out with the army and it[44] will not pass over him for any matter; he shall be free[45] to his household (for) one year, and he shall gladden his wife whom he took.

6. Do not take a lower millstone or[46] an upper millstone as collateral, because food for every soul is made with them.[47]

7. If a man is found stealing[48] a soul from his brethren, from the children of Israel, and he treats him as merchandise[49] and sells him, that thief shall be executed, and you will remove the malefactor from among you.

8. Be careful regarding the affliction of tzaraas, to observe thoroughly and to act according to all that the priests, the Levites, will instruct you; as I have commanded them, you shall observe to do.

9. Remember that which Hashem your God did to Miriam on the road in your exodus from Egypt.

10. When you lend your fellow a loan of anything, do not come in to his house to seize his collateral.[50]

11. You shall stand outside, and the man to whom you lent will bring the collateral out to you.

12. And if he’s a needy man, do not sleep with his collateral;

13. you shall surely return the collateral when the sun comes (down). He will sleep in his garment and he will bless you, and it will be a merit[51] to you before Hashem your God.

Shevii

14. Do not withhold (from) a poor and a destitute laborer from your brethren or from your converts who are in your land, in your cities.

15. On his day you shall give (him) his pay and not let the sun come (down) on it, because he is poor and he gives up his soul for it,[52] and he will not cry out against you before Hashem and it will be a sin in you.

16. Fathers shall not die by the mouth[53] of sons, and sons shall not die by the mouth of fathers; a man shall die[54] for his own sin.

17. Do not pervert (the) judgment of a convert and an orphan, and do not take a widow’s garment as collateral.

18. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and that Hashem your God redeemed you from there; therefore, I command you to perform this matter.

19. When you reap your harvest in your field and you forget a sheaf in the field, do not return to take it; it shall be for the convert, the orphan and the widow in order that Hashem your God will bless you in all the work of your hands.

20. When you beat your olive (tree), do not remove behind you;[55] it shall be for the stranger, the orphan and the widow.

21. When you harvest your vineyard, do pick the undergrown clusters behind you; it shall be for the convert, the orphan and the widow.

22. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, therefore I command you to do this thing.

Chapter 25

1. If there will be a court case[56] between the men and they draw near to the judgment, and they are judged and the innocent (one) is found innocent and guilty (one) is found guilty,[57]

2. it will be, if the guilty (one) is liable for lashes,[58] the judge shall make him lie down and they shall lash him before him, according to his evil, by count.

3. He shall lash him 40; he shall not increase lest he increase to beat him in addition to these – an excessive beating – and your brother will be degraded in your eyes.

4. Do not shut an ox’s mouth in its threshing.

5. When brothers will dwell together, and one of them dies and he has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be outside, to another man.[59] Her brother-in-law shall come unto her, and take her to him as a wife, and perform yibum with her.[60]

6. The firstborn that she will bear shall be established on the deceased brother’s name, and his name will not be erased from Israel.

7. And if the man doesn’t desire to take his sister-in-law, his sister-in-law shall ascend to the gate of the court, before the elders, and say, ‘My brother-in-law refuses to establish for his brother a name in Israel; he does not desire to perform yibum with me.’

8. The elders of his city shall call him and speak with him. He shall stands and say, “I don’t desire to take her,’

9. His sister-in-law shall draw near before him before the elders and she shall untie[61] his shoe from upon his foot. She shall spit in his face,[62] and answer and say, ‘So shall be done to the man who won’t build his brother’s house!’

10. His name shall be called in Israel ‘the house of the one of the untied shoe.’

11. If two men are fighting together – a man and his brother – and the wife of one comes near to save her husband from the hand of the one beating him, and she sends her hand and seizes (him) by his place of shame,[63]

12. you shall cut off her hand;[64] your eye shall not have pity.

13. You shall not have in your pocket a weight and (another) weight,[65] (one) large and (one) small.

14. You shall not have in your house a measure[66] and (another) measure, (one) large and (one) small.

15. You shall have completely true[67] weights (and) you shall have completely true measures,[68] in order that your days will be lengthened on the land that Hashem your God gives you.

16. Because everyone who does this, everyone who acts falsely,[69] is disgusting before Hashem your God.

17. Remember what Amalek did to you on the road, in your exodus from Egypt,

18. that he encountered you on the way and killed[70] among you all those who lagged behind you, and you were exhausted and weary, and he didn’t fear from before Hashem.

19. It shall be, when Hashem your God gives you rest from all your enemies all around in the land that Hashem your God gives you as a heritage to inherit, you shall erase the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens; do not forget!


[1] Rather than “him.”

[2] Rather than “of beautiful form.”

[3] From the Hebrew “do her nails,” it’s unclear whether the intention is to cut her nails or to let them grow.

[4] In the sense of to engage in marital relations.

[5] Chumash: “send her out to herself.”

[6] Rather than “do not enslave her.”

[7] Rather than recognize.

[8] As opposed to “a double portion.”

[9] Chumash: “the law of the birthright is his.”

[10] Rather than “(who) doesn’t listen to the voice of his father and the voice of his mother.”

[11] Chumash: eitz, which could be taken to mean a tree.

[12] As opposed to “one who is hanged is a curse of God.”

[13] Rather than hiding yourself, as in 22:1.

[14] Rather than “the faller.”

[15] The Chumash’s use of tikdash for “prohibited” might not be self-evident to readers.

[16] This is one of those words that has no translation; the rest of the verse defines it. Rashi explains it as “a language of mixture.”

[17] Rather than “twisted threads,” i.e., tzitzis.

[18] Hebrew: naarah, typically translated as “maiden” and referring to a girl between the ages of 12 and 12½.

[19] Rather than “the garment.”

[20] i.e., the girl’s husband.

[21] Rather than “chastise him.”

[22] Again, the girl’s husband.

[23] More specific than “shall die.”

[24] Again we refer to a “maiden” between the ages of 12 and 12½.

[25] Referring to the male organs.

[26] Another word that doesn’t translate, mamzer refers to the product of an adulterous or incestuous relationship.

[27] Onkelos pluralizes these words.

[28] Specifically, Moav.

[29] Rather than Aram Naharayim.

[30] Rather than “a nocturnal occurrence.”

[31] Rather than “your enemies.”

[32] As opposed to, “He will not see.”

[33] Rather than “unseemly.”

[34] Chumash: “There shall not be a prostitute from the daughters of Israel, and there shall not be a gigolo from the sons of Israel.”

[35] As opposed to “house.”

[36] See Rashi.

[37] Rather than “food.”

[38] Rather than taken.

[39] Rather than “a foreigner.”

[40] Rather than “wave.”

[41] Again, in the sense of having marital relations.

[42] Chumash: “a book of severing.” In either case, it refers to a bill of divorce.

[43] Literally, “the last”

[44] Referring to any military matter; see Rashi.

[45] Rather than “exempt.”

[46] Literally, “and.”

[47] Chumash: “because he (i.e., one who does so) takes a soul as collateral.”

[48] i.e., kidnaping.

[49] Rather than “enslaves him.”

[50] The Chumash more literally reads, “to take his collateral as collateral.”

[51] Rather than “righteousness.”

[52] i.e., he risks his life to earn it, as opposed to the Chumash’s “he raises his soul to it,” meaning that he anticipates it.

[53] i.e., the testimony.

[54] The Hebrew suggests being executed by the courts; Onkelos includes a “natural,” albeit Heavenly-decreed death.

[55] i.e., do not go back and do it again.

[56] Rather than “a dispute.”

[57] As opposed to “the righteous (one)” and “the evil (one),” respectively.

[58] Chumash: “is the son of lashes.”

[59] As opposed to “a strange man.”

[60] Referred to as “levirate marriage” in English; from “levir,” meaning a husband’s brother in Latin.

[61] Rather than “remove.”

[62] Despite the Torah’s harsh choice of words – which Onkelos does not emend – she actually spits in front of him.

[63] A euphemism for the genitals.

[64] Chumash: “palm.”

[65] Rather than “a stone and (another) stone.”

[66] Chumash: “an ephah” (a specific measure of volume).

[67] Rather than “complete and righteous.”

[68] Onkelos pluralizes these words.

[69] Rather than “unjustly.”

[70] As opposed to “cut off.”

© Copyright 2022 Rabbi Jack Abramowitz