Updated: Oct 11
[8-14 Sept 2024]
Theme of the Book of Deuteronomy:
Possessing the Promised Land
Meaning of "ki teitzei" = "when you go out"
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Deuteronomy 21:10-21
Monday: Deuteronomy 21:22-22:7
Tuesday: Deuteronomy 22:8-23:7
Wednesday: Deuteronomy 23:8-24
Thursday: Deuteronomy 23:25-24:4
Friday: Deuteronomy 24:5-13
Shabbat: Deuteronomy 24:14-25:19 & Isaiah 54:1-10
1 Corinthians 5:1-5
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
2 Chronicles 2-6
There's only 5 more portions left after this one, then we will be restarting the 2023/2024 reading cycle!
In this week's portion we are bombarded with a WHOLE LOT of instructions! Phew! It might feel a bit overwhelming to read about so many instructions! And it might be slightly hard to discern how this still applies to our lives today and what the spiritual principle behind all of this could be.
From this portion we can make the conclusion that Abba's instructions are there for us - not to confuse or overwhelm us. This portion is called Ki Teitzei and it means "when you go out." In other words - when we go out into the world. The instructions which is given in this portion are there to guide us "when we go out"... When we live life in the world.
The overhanging theme of the Bible is to pursue life! Thus the instructions we read about in the Bible, is not a set of rules / laws; it's a guideline of how Abba wants us to live so that life would be able to sprout forth!
When we pursue life, it should not only be with regards to our own lives. In the process of pursuing life (as we follow His instructions) - it will not only lead to life for ourselves but also for others! The way in which you and I live should not only cause us to live, but also respect the lives of others which will enable them to live and experience life!
From this perspective, when we take another look at the instructions which are mentioned in this week's portion - we see that each one of these instructions have to do with how we treat others. Thus we are reminded that the Torah (first five books of the Bible) is about pursuing life. And here we are reminded that the way we live should be in such a way that others will also experience the life which we do.
This instructions was given to the Israelites for when they were already in the Promised Land. In other words - it applied to their day-to-day living / normal everyday circumstances. When we live with a community mindset or with the best interest of those around us - there is no space for selfishness.
How often do we see that when people experience life (blessings) in their own lives, they are not willing to share it with others. In our fleshly mindsets, we are so accustomed to live only for ourselves and our own benefit. What we often fail to realise is that it is completely unbiblical and against Abba's heart for His people!
Our lives and our blessings are never only for ourselves!
In the last part of this week's portion, we read how Moses reminded the Isralites what Amalek did to them when they got out of Egypt (Deut 25:17-19). Remember that whenever the Israelites traveled from Egypt, through the desert, to the promised land - they always traveled in a certain formation.
In Parashat Nasso we briefly took a look at this formtaion.
Whenever they traveled, they held the same formation as they did when they were camping around the tabernacle in the desert (see the picture).
The children, elderly and the weak of each tribe travelled at the back of the groups. As the young and fit were in front - ready for battle to protect the tribes.
The entire nation of Israel moved at the pace of the slowest person as they travelled through the desert. Remember that they did not have vehicles to travel with - they did it all by foot and/or camels. Thus they could only move as far and as fast as the slowest person was able to move. In this lies a beautiful concept to grasp!
Abba does not care how fast we can move forward in life! He cares about how many people we are bringing along with us as we pursue life!
When Moses told the Israelites in this portion to remember what Amalek did to them - he reminded them that Amalek attacked them from behind - and they killed the weak and the elderly.
Moses did not remind the Israelites about Amalek's actions to make them bitter about the past. He reminded them about it to tell them that they had to no longer travel in that formation. The weak and the elderly should not travel at the back - they had to travel in the middle of the group so that they were protected at all times.
From this portion we can learn a valuable lesson! We always have to treat those who are in a less desirable position than ourselves (regardless if it's in health / finances / jobs / houses / no matter the circumstances) in a way that they will be protected from attacks from the outside.
The weak and the elderly died because they were at the back and unprotected. Thus we have learned that we have the responsibility protect the "weak and elderly" to remain alive. Life is not only about ourselves staying alive, but also ensuring that others stay alive as well. Life according to Abba's will is to consider those around us and to ensure that they also have what we have.
This does not mean that we'll all have the same quality of life. It simply means that each and every person must have enough to be able to live.
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Portion 43: Ki Teitzei (The blog you are reading now)