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Ki Teitzei, Ki Tetzei, Ki Tetse, Ki Thetze, Ki Tese, Ki Tetzey, or Ki Seitzei (כי תצא — Hebrew for “when you go,” the first words in the parshah) is the 49th weekly Torah portion (parshah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the sixth in the book of Deuteronomy. It constitutes Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19. Jews in the Diaspora generally read it in late August or September.

Jews also read the part of the parshah about Amalek, Deuteronomy 25:17–19, on Shabbat Zachor, the special Sabbath immediately before Purim.

“Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.” (Deuteronomy 25:4.) (illustration by James Shaw Crompton)


The beautiful captive

Moses directed the Israelites that when God delivered enemies into their power, the Israelites took captives, an Israelite saw among the captives a beautiful woman, he desired her, and wanted to marry her, the Israelite was to bring her into his house and have her trim her hair, pare her nails, discard her captive's garb, and spend a month lamenting her father and mother. (Deuteronomy 21:10–13.) Thereafter, the Israelite could take her as his wife. (Deuteronomy 21:13.) But if he should find that he no longer wanted her, he had to release her outright, and not sell her for money as a slave. (Deuteronomy 21:14.)

Inheritance among the sons of two wives

If a man had two wives, one loved and one unloved, both bore him sons, but the unloved one bore him his firstborn son, then when he willed his property to his sons, he could not treat the son of the loved wife as firstborn in disregard of the older son of the unloved wife; rather, he was required to accept the firstborn, the son of the unloved one, and allot to him his birthright of a double portion of all that he possessed. (Deuteronomy 21:15–17.)

impalement of Judeans in a Neo-Assyrian relief

The wayward son

If a couple had a wayward and defiant son, who did not heed his father or mother and did not obey them even after they disciplined him, then they were to bring him to the elders of his town and publicly declare their son to be disloyal, defiant, heedless, a glutton, and a drunkard. (Deuteronomy 21:18–20.) The men of his town were then to stone him to death. (Deuteronomy 21:21.)

The corpse of an executed man

If the community executed a man for a capital offense and impaled him on a stake, they were not to let his corpse remain on the stake overnight, but were to bury him the same day, for an impaled body affronted God. (Deuteronomy 21:22–23.)

Found property

If one found another's lost ox, sheep, ass, garment, or any other lost thing, then the finder could not ignore it, but was required to take it back to its owner. (Deuteronomy 22:1–3.) If the owner did not live near the finder or the finder did not know the identity of the owner, then the finder was to bring the thing home and keep it until the owner claimed it. (Deuteronomy 22:2–3.)

If one came upon another's ass or ox fallen on the road, then one could not ignore it, but was required to help the owner to raise it. (Deuteronomy 22:4.)

mother sandpiper and egg in nest


A woman was not to put on man's apparel, nor a man wear woman's clothing. (Deuteronomy 22:5.)

If one came upon a bird's nest with the mother bird sitting over fledglings or eggs, then one could not take the mother together with her young, but was required to let the mother go and take only the young. (Deuteronomy 22:6–7.)

When one built a new house, one had to make a parapet for the roof, so that no one should fall from it. (Deuteronomy 22:8.)


One was not to sow a vineyard with a second kind of seed, nor use the yield of such vineyard. (Deuteronomy 22:9.) One was not to plow with an ox and an ass together. (Deuteronomy 22:10.) One was not to wear cloth combining wool and linen. (Deuteronomy 22:11.)

One was to make tassels (tzitzit) on the four corners of the garment with which one covered oneself. (Deuteronomy 22:12.)

Sexual offenses

If a man married a woman, cohabited with her, took an aversion to her, and falsely charged her with not having been a virgin at the time of the marriage, then the woman's parents were to produce the cloth with evidence of the woman's virginity before the town elders at the town gate. (Deuteronomy 22:13–17.) The elders were then to have the man flogged and fine him 100 shekels of silver to be paid to the woman's father. (Deuteronomy 22:18–19.) The woman was to remain the man's wife, and he was never to have the right to divorce her. (Deuteronomy 22:19.) But if the elders found that woman had not been a virgin, then the woman was to be brought to the entrance of her father's house and stoned to death by the men of her town. (Deuteronomy 22:20–21.)

If a man was found lying with another man's wife, both the man and the woman with whom he lay were to die. (Deuteronomy 22:22.)

If in a city, a man lay with a virgin who was engaged to a man, then the authorities were to take the two of them to the town gate and stone them to death — the girl because she did not cry for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife. (Deuteronomy 22:23–24.) But if the man lay with the girl by force in the open country, only the man was to die, for there was no one to save her. (Deuteronomy 22:25–27.)

If a man seized a virgin who was not engaged and lay with her, then the man was to pay the girl's father 50 shekels of silver, she was to become the man's wife, and he was never to have the right to divorce her. (Deuteronomy 22:28–29.)

No man could marry his father's former wife. (Deuteronomy 23:1.)

Membership in the congregation

God's congregation could not admit into membership anyone whose testes were crushed, anyone whose member was cut off, anyone misbegotten, anyone descended within ten generations from one misbegotten, any Ammonite or Moabite, or anyone descended within ten generations from an Ammonite or Moabite. (Deuteronomy 23:2–4.) As long as they lived, Israelites were not to concern themselves with the welfare or benefit of Ammonites or Moabites, because they did not meet the Israelites with food and water after the Israelites left Egypt, and because they hired Balaam to curse the Israelites — but God refused to heed Balaam, turning his curse into a blessing. (Deuteronomy 23:5–7.)

The Israelites were not to abhor the Edomites, for they were kinsman, nor Egyptians, for the Israelites were strangers in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 23:8.) Great grandchildren of Edomites or Egyptians could be admitted into the congregation. (Deuteronomy 23:9.)

Camp hygiene

Any Israelite rendered unclean by a nocturnal emission had to leave the Israelites military camp, bathe in water toward evening, and reenter the camp at sundown. (Deuteronomy 23:11–12.) The Israelites were to designate an area outside the camp where they might relieve themselves, and to carry a spike to dig a hole and cover up their excrement. (Deuteronomy 23:13–14.) As God moved about in their camp to protect them and to deliver their enemies, the Israelites were to keep their camp holy. (Deuteronomy 23:15.)

More ordinances

If a slave sought refuge with the Israelites, they were not to turn the slave over to the slave's master, but were to let the former slave live in any place the former slave might choose among the Israelites’ settlements and not ill-treat the former slave. (Deuteronomy 23:16–17.)

Israelites were forbidden to act as harlots, sodomites, or cult prostitutes, and from bringing the wages of prostitution into the house of God in fulfillment of any vow. (Deuteronomy 23:18–19.)

Israelites were forbidden to charge interest on loans to their countrymen, but they could charge interest on loans to foreigners. (Deuteronomy 23:20–21.)


Israelites were required promptly to fulfill vows to God, whereas they incurred no guilt if they refrained from vowing. (Deuteronomy 23:22–24.)

A visiting Israelite was allowed to enter another's vineyard and eat grapes until full, but the visitor was forbidden to put any in a vessel. (Deuteronomy 23:25.) Similarly, a visiting Israelite was allowed to enter another's field of standing grain and pluck ears by hand, but the visitor was forbidden to cut the neighbor's grain with a sickle. (Deuteronomy 23:25.)

A divorced woman who remarried and then lost her second husband to divorce or death was not allowed to remarry her first husband. (Deuteronomy 24:1–4.)

A newlywed man was exempt from army duty for one year so as to give happiness to his wife. (Deuteronomy 24:5.)

Israelites were forbidden to take a handmill or an upper millstone in pawn, for that would be equivalent to taking someone's livelihood in pawn. (Deuteronomy 24:6.)

One found to have kidnapped a fellow Israelite was to die. (Deuteronomy 24:7.)

In cases of a skin affection, Israelites were to do exactly as the priests instructed, remembering that God afflicted and then healed Miriam’s skin after the Israelites left Egypt. (Deuteronomy 24:8–9.)

An Israelite who lent to a fellow Israelite was forbidden to enter the borrower’s house to seize a pledge, but was required to remain outside while the borrower brought the pledge out to the lender. (Deuteronomy 24:10–11.) If the borrower was needy, the lender was forbidden to sleep in the pledge, but had to return the pledge to the borrower at sundown, so that the borrower might sleep in the cloth and bless the lender before God. (Deuteronomy 24:12–13.)

“The Gleaners” (illustration by Gustave Doré)

Israelites were forbidden to abuse a needy and destitute laborer, whether an Israelite or a stranger, and were required to pay the laborer's wages on the same day, before the sun set, as the laborer would urgently depend on the wages. (Deuteronomy 24:14–15.)

Parents were not to be put to death for children, nor were children to be put to death for parents: a person was to be put to death only for the person's own crime. (Deuteronomy 24:16.)

“The Olive Trees” (painting by Vincent van Gogh)

Israelites were forbidden to subvert the rights of the stranger or the fatherless, and were forbidden to take a widow’s garment in pawn, remembering that they were slaves in Egypt and that God redeemed them. (Deuteronomy 24:17–18.) When Israelites reaped the harvest in their fields and overlooked a sheaf, they were not to turn back to get it, but were to leave it to the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. (Deuteronomy 24:19.) Similarly, when Israelites beat down the fruit of their olive trees or gathered the grapes of their vineyards, they were not to go over them again, but were leave what remained for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, remembering that they were slaves in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 24:20–22.)

When one was to be flogged, the magistrate was to have the guilty one lie down and be whipped in the magistrate’s presence as warranted, but not more than 40 lashes, so that the guilty one would not be degraded. (Deuteronomy 25:1–3.)

Israelites were forbidden to muzzle an ox while it was threshing. (Deuteronomy 25:4.)

When brothers dwelt together and one of them died leaving no son, the surviving brother was to marry the wife of the deceased and perform the levir’s duty, and the first son that she bore was to be accounted to the dead brother, that his name might survive. (Deuteronomy 25:5–6.) But if the surviving brother did not want to marry his brother’s widow, then the widow was to appear before the elders at the town gate and declare that the brother refused to perform the levir’s duty, the elders were to talk to him, and if he insisted, the widow was to go up to him before the elders, pull the sandal off his foot, spit in his face, and declare: “Thus shall be done to the man who will not build up his brother’s house!” (Deuteronomy 25:7–9.) They shall then call him “the family of the unsandaled one.” (Deuteronomy 25:10.)

If two men fought with each other, and to save her husband the wife of one seized the other man's genitals, then her hand was to be cut off. (Deuteronomy 25:11–12.)

Israelites were forbidden to have alternate weights or measures, larger and smaller, but were required to have completely honest weights and measures. (Deuteronomy 25:13–16.)

Israelites were required to remember what the Amalekites did to them on their journey, after they left Egypt, surprising them and cutting down all the stragglers at their rear. (Deuteronomy 25:17–18.) The Israelites were enjoined not to forget to blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. (Deuteronomy 25:19.)

In classical rabbinic interpretation

Deuteronomy chapter 21

21:10–14 — the beautiful captive

The Gemara taught that Deuteronomy 21:10–14 provided the law of taking a beautiful captive only as an allowance for human passions. The Rabbis taught in a Baraita that taking a beautiful captive according to the strictures of Deuteronomy 21:10–14 was better than taking beautiful captives without restriction, just as it was better for Jews to eat the meat of a ritually slaughtered ill animal than to eat the meat of an ill animal that had died on its own. The Rabbis interpreted the words “and you see among the captives” in Deuteronomy 21:11 to mean that the provisions applied only if the soldier set his eye upon the woman when taking her captive, not later. They interpreted the words “a woman” in Deuteronomy 21:11 to mean that the provisions applied even to a woman who was married before having been taken captive. They interpreted the words “and you have a desire” in Deuteronomy 21:11 to mean that the provisions applied even if the woman was not beautiful. They interpreted the word “her” in Deuteronomy 21:11 to mean that the provisions allowed him to take her alone, not her and her companion. They interpreted the words “and you shall take” in Deuteronomy 21:11 to mean that the soldier could have marital rights over her. They interpreted the words “to you to wife” in Deuteronomy 21:11 to mean that the soldier could not take two women, one for himself and another for his father, or one for himself and another for his son. And they interpreted the words “then you shall bring her home” in Deuteronomy 21:12 to mean that the soldier could not molest her on the battlefield. Rab said that Deuteronomy 21:10–14 permitted a priest to take a beautiful captive, while Samuel maintained that it was forbidden. (Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 21b–22a.)

The Gemara taught that the procedure of Deuteronomy 21:12–13 applied only when the captive did not accept the commandments, for if she accepted the commandments, then she could be immersed in a ritual bath (mikvah), and she and the soldier could marry immediately. (Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 47b.) Rabbi Eliezer interpreted the words “and she shall shave her head and do her nails” in Deuteronomy 21:12 to mean that she was to cut her nails, but Rabbi Akiba interpreted the words to mean that she was to let them grow. Rabbi Eliezer reasoned that Deuteronomy 21:12 specified an act with respect to the head and an act with respect to the nails, and as the former meant removal, so should the latter. Rabbi Akiba reasoned that Deuteronomy 21:12 specified disfigurement for the head, so it must mean disfigurement for the nails, as well. (Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 48a.)

Rabbi Eliezer interpreted the words “bewail her father and her mother” in Deuteronomy 21:13 to mean her actual father and mother. But Rabbi Akiba interpreted the words to mean idolatry, citing Jeremiah 2:27. A Baraita taught that “a full month” meant 30 days. But Rabbi Simeon ben Eleazar interpreted Deuteronomy 21:13 to call for 90 days — 30 days for “month,” 30 days for “full,” and 30 days for “and after that.” thirty days. Rabina said that one could say that “month” meant 30 days, “full” meant 30 days, and “and after that” meant an equal number (30 plus 30) again, for a total of 120 days. (Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 48b.)

21:15–17 — inheritance among the sons of two wives

The Mishnah and the Talmud interpreted the laws of the firstborn's inheritance in Deuteronomy 21:15–17 in Mishnah Bava Batra 8:4–5, Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 122b–34a, Mishnah Bekhorot 8:9, and Babylonian Talmud Bekhorot 51b–52b. The Mishnah interpreted Deuteronomy 21:17 to teach that a son and a daughter have equal inheritance rights, except that a firstborn son takes a double portion in his father's estate but does not take a double portion in his mother's estate. (Mishnah Bava Batra 8:4; Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 122b.) The Mishnah taught that they disregarded a father who said, “My firstborn son shall not inherit a double portion,” or “My son shall not inherit with his brothers,” because the father's stipulation would be contrary to Deuteronomy 21:17. But a father could distribute his property as gifts during his lifetime so that one son received more than another, or so that the firstborn received merely an equal share, so long as the father did not try to make these conveyances as an inheritance upon his death. (Mishnah Bava Batra 8:5; Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 126b.)

21:18–21 — the wayward son

Chapter 8 of tractate Sanhedrin in the Mishnah and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of the wayward and rebellious son (ben sorer umoreh) in Deuteronomy 21:18–21. (Mishnah Sanhedrin 8:1–7; Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 68b–75a.) A Baraita taught that there never was a “stubborn and rebellious son” and never would be, and that Deuteronomy 21:18–21 was written merely that we might study it and receive reward for the studying. But Rabbi Jonathan said that he saw a stubborn and rebellious son and sat on his grave. (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 71a.)

The Mishnah interpreted the words “a son” in Deuteronomy 21:18 to teach that provision applied to “a son,” but not a daughter, and to “a son,” but not a full-grown man. The Mishnah exempted a minor, because minors did not come within the scope of the commandments. And the Mishnah deduced that a boy became liable to being considered “a stubborn and rebellious son” from the time that he grew two genital pubic hairs until his pubic hair grew around his genitalia. (Mishnah Sanhedrin 8:1; Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 68b.) Rav Judah taught in Rav's name that Deuteronomy 21:18 implied that the son had to be nearly a man. (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 68b.)

The Mishnah interpreted the words of Deuteronomy 21:20 to exclude from designation as a “stubborn and rebellious son” a boy who had a parent with any of a number of physical characteristics. The Mishnah interpreted the words “then his father and his mother shall lay hold on him” to exclude a boy if one of his parents had a hand or fingers cut off. The Mishnah interpreted the words “and bring him out” to exclude a boy who had a lame parent. The Mishnah interpreted the words “and they shall say” to exclude a boy who had a parent who could not speak. The Mishnah interpreted the words “this our son” to exclude a boy who had a blind parent. The Mishnah interpreted the words “he will not obey our voice” to exclude a boy who had a deaf parent. (Mishnah Sanhedrin 8:4; Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 45b, 71a.)

Deuteronomy chapter 22

The first two chapters of tractate Bava Metzia in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of lost property in Deuteronomy 22:1–3. (Mishnah Bava Metzia 1:1–2:11; Tosefta Bava Metzia 1:1–2:33; Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 2a–33b.) The Mishnah read the emphatic words of Deuteronomy 22:1, “you shall surely return them,” repeating the verb “return” in the Hebrew, to teach that Deuteronomy 22:1 required a person to return a neighbor's animal again and again, even if the animal kept running away four or five times. (Mishnah Bava Metzia 2:9; Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 30b31a.) And Raba taught that Deuteronomy 22:1 required a person to return the animal even a hundred times. (Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 31a.)

The Gemara read the emphatic words of Deuteronomy 22:4, “you shall surely help . . . to lift,” repeating the verb in the Hebrew, to teach that Deuteronomy 22:4 required a person to lift a neighbor's animal alone, even if the animal's owner was not there to help. (Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 31a.)

Chapter 12 of tractate Chullin in the Mishnah and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of sending the mother bird away from the nest (shiluach hakein) in Deuteronomy 22:6–7. (Mishnah Chullin 12:1–5; Babylonian Talmud Chullin 138b–42a.) The Mishnah read Deuteronomy 22:6–7 to require a person to let the mother bird go again and again, even if the mother bird kept coming back to the nest four or five times. (Mishnah Chullin 12:3; Babylonian Talmud Chullin 141a.) And the Gemara taught that Deuteronomy 22:6–7 required a person to let the mother bird go even a hundred times. (Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 31a.)

Tractate Kilayim in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Jerusalem Talmud interpreted the laws of separating diverse species in Deuteronomy 22:9–11. (Mishnah Kilayim 1:1–9:10; Tosefta Kilayim 1:1–5:27; Jerusalem Talmud Kilayim 1a–.)

Rabbi Joshua of Siknin taught in the name of Rabbi Levi that the Evil Inclination criticizes four laws as without logical basis, and Scripture uses the expression “statute” (chuk) in connection with each: the laws of (1) a brother's wife (in Deuteronomy 25:5–10), (2) mingled kinds (in Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:11), (3) the scapegoat (in Leviticus 16), and (4) the red cow (in Numbers 19). (Numbers Rabbah 19:5.)

Leviticus 18:4 calls on the Israelites to obey God's “statutes” (hukim) and “ordinances” (mishpatim). The Rabbis in a Baraita taught that the “ordinances” (mishpatim) were commandments that logic would have dictated that we follow even had Scripture not commanded them, like the laws concerning idolatry, adultery, bloodshed, robbery, and blasphemy. And “statutes” (hukim) were commandments that the Adversary challenges us to violate as beyond reason, like those relating to shaatnez (in Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:11), halizah (in Deuteronomy 25:5–10), purification of the person with tzaraat (in Leviticus 14), and the scapegoat (in Leviticus 16). So that people do not think these “ordinances” (mishpatim) to be empty acts, in Leviticus 18:4, God says, “I am the Lord,” indicating that the Lord made these statutes, and we have no right to question them. (Babylonian Talmud Yoma 67b.)

Chapter 3 of tractate Ketubot in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of seducers and rapists in Deuteronomy 22:25–29. (Mishnah Ketubot 3:1–4:1; Tosefta Ketubot 3:5–7; Babylonian Talmud Ketubot 29a–41b.)

Deuteronomy chapter 23

Rabbi Jose noted that the law of Deuteronomy 23:8 rewarded the Egyptians for their hospitality notwithstanding that Genesis 47:6 indicated that the Egyptians befriended the Israelites only for their own benefit. Rabbi Jose concluded that if Providence thus rewarded one with mixed motives, Providence will reward even more one who selflessly shows hospitality to a scholar. (Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 63b.)

The Mishnah taugh that a red cow born by a caesarean section, the hire of a harlot, or the price of a dog was invalid for the purposes of Numbers 19. Rabbi Eliezer ruled it valid, as Deuteronomy 23:19 states, “You shall not bring the hire of a harlot or the price of a dog into the house of the Lord your God,” and the red cow was not brought into the house. (Mishnah Parah 2:3.)

Tractates Nedarim and Shevuot in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of vows in Exodus 20:7, Leviticus 5:1–10 and 19:12, Numbers 30:2–17, and Deuteronomy 23:24. (Mishnah Nedarim 1:1–11:11; Tosefta Nedarim 1:1–7:8; Jerusalem Talmud Nedarim 1a–; Babylonian Talmud Nedarim 2a–91b; Mishnah Shevuot 1:1–8:6; Tosefta Shevuot 1:1–6:7; Jerusalem Talmud Shevuot 1a–; Babylonian Talmud Shevuot 2a–49b.)

Deuteronomy chapter 24

Tractate Gittin in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of divorce in Deuteronomy 24:1. (Mishnah Gittin 1:1–9:10; Tosefta Gittin 1:1–7:13; Jerusalem Talmud Gittin 1a–; Babylonian Talmud Gittin 2a–90b.)

The Gemara read the emphatic words of Deuteronomy 24:12–13, “you shall surely restore . . . the pledge,” repeating the verb in the Hebrew, to teach that Deuteronomy 24:12–13 required a lender to restore the pledge whether or not the lender took the pledge with the court's permission. And the Gemara taught that the Torah provided similar injunctions in Deuteronomy 24:12–13 and Exodus 22:25 to teach that a lender had to return a garment worn during the day before sunrise, and return a garment worn during the night before sunset. (Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 31b.)

The Gemara reconciled apparently discordant verses touching on vicarious responsibility. The Gemara noted that Deuteronomy 24:16 states: “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin,” but Exodus 20:4 (20:5 in NJPS) says: “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children.” The Gemara cited a Baraita that interpreted the words “the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them” in Leviticus 26:39 to teach that God punishes children only when they follow their parents’ sins. The Gemara then questioned whether the words “they shall stumble one upon another” in Leviticus 26:37 do not teach that one will stumble through the sin of the other, that all are held responsible for one another. The Gemara answered that the vicarious responsibility of which Leviticus 26:37 speaks is limited to those who have the power to restrain their fellow from evil but do not do so. (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 27b.)

Gleaners (watercolor by James Tissot)

Tractate Peah in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Jerusalem Talmud interpreted the laws of the harvest of the corner of the field and gleanings to be given to the poor in Leviticus 19:9–10 and 23:22, and Deuteronomy 24:19–21. (Mishnah Peah 1:1–8:9; Tosefta Peah 1:1–4:21; Jerusalem Talmud Peah 1a–73b.)

Rabbi Eliezer taught that one who cultivates land in which one can plant a quarter kav of seed is obligated to give a corner to the poor. Rabbi Joshua said land that yields two seah of grain. Rabbi Tarfon said land of at least six handbreadths by six handbreadths. Rabbi Judah ben Betera said land that requires two strokes of a sickle to harvest, and the law is as he spoke. Rabbi Akiba said that one who cultivates land of any size is obligated to give a corner to the poor and the first fruits. (Mishnah Peah 3:6.)

The Mishnah taught that the poor could enter a field to collect three times a day — in the morning, at midday, and in the afternoon. Rabban Gamliel taught that they said this only so that landowners should not reduce the number of times that the poor could enter. Rabbi Akiba taught that they said this only so that landowners should not increase the number of times that the poor had to enter. The landowners of Beit Namer used to harvest along a rope and allowed the poor to collect a corner from every row. (Mishnah Peah 4:5.)

Deuteronomy chapter 25

Tractate Yevamot in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of levirate marriage in Deuteronomy 25:5–10. (Mishnah Yevamot 1:1–16:7; Tosefta Yevamot 1:1–14:10; Jerusalem Talmud Yevamot 1a–; Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 2a–122b.)

Chapter 3 in tractate Makkot in the Mishnah and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of punishment by lashes in Deuteronomy 25:1–3. (Mishnah Makkot 3:1–16; Babylonian Talmud Makkot 13a–24b.)

The Gemara interpreted the apparent superfluity in Deuteronomy 25:13–15 to teach that both one's wealth and one's necessities depend on one's honesty. (Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 89a.)

Rabbi Judah said that three commandments were given to the Israelites when they entered the land: (1) the commandment of Deuteronomy 17:14–15 to appoint a king, (2) the commandment of Deuteronomy 25:19 to blot out Amalek, and (3) the commandment of Deuteronomy 12:10–11 to build the Temple in Jerusalem. Rabbi Nehorai, on the other hand, said that Deuteronomy 17:14–15 did not command the Israelites to choose a king, but was spoken only in anticipation of the Israelites’ future complaints, as Deuteronomy 17:14 says, “And (you) shall say, ‘I will set a king over me.’” (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 20b.)


According to Sefer ha-Chinuch, there are 27 positive and 47 negative commandments in the parshah.

(Sefer HaHinnuch: The Book of [Mitzvah] Education. Translated by Charles Wengrov, 5:155–413. Jerusalem: Feldheim Pub., 1988. ISBN 0-87306-497-6.)

Isaiah (painting by Michelangelo)


The haftarah for the parshah is Isaiah 54:1–10. The haftarah is the fifth in the cycle of seven haftarot of consolation after Tisha B'Av, leading up to Rosh Hashanah.

In the liturgy

At the formal beginning of the K’riat Sh’ma prayer service, the leader recites the Barchu, “Praise Adonai, the Exalted One.” The Sifre to Deuteronomy 306 connects this practice to Deuteronomy 32:3, where Moses says, “I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God.” (Reuven Hammer. Or Hadash: A Commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat and Festivals, 28. New York: The Rabbinical Assembly, 2003. ISBN 0-916219-20-8.)

The Weekly Maqam

In the Weekly Maqam, Sephardi Jews each week base the songs of the services on the content of that week's parshah. For parshah Ki Teitzei, Sephardi Jews apply Maqam Saba. Saba, in Hebrew, literally means "army.” It is appropriate here, because the parshah commences with the discussion of what to do in certain cases of war with the army.

Further reading

The parshah has parallels or is discussed in these sources:



  • Law Code of Gortyn. Columns 7–8. Crete, circa 480–450 B.C.E. Reprinted in, e.g., Adonis S. Vasilakis. The Great Inscription of the Law Code of Gortyn. Heraklion, Greece: Mystis O.E. (marriage of an heiress).

Early nonrabbinic


Classical rabbinic

  • Mishnah: Peah 1:1–8:9; Kilayim 1:1–9:10; Sheviit 10:2; Terumot 8:1; 9:3; Shekalim 1:1; Megillah 3:4; Yevamot 1:1–16:7; Ketubot 3:1–4:1, 3; Nedarim 1:1–11:11; Sotah 6:3; 7:2, 4; 8:4; Gittin 1:1–9:10; Bava Kamma 5:7; 8:1; Bava Metzia 1:1–2:11; 9:12–13; Sanhedrin 1:1–3; 2:1; 6:4; 7:9; 8:1–7; 11:1; Makkot 3:1–16; Shevuot 1:1–8:6; Chullin 12:1–5; Bekhorot 8:7; Arakhin 3:1, 4–5; Temurah 6:3–4; Yadayim 4:4. Land of Israel, circa 200 C.E. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, 14–36, 49–68, 91, 110, 113, 251, 321, 337–78, 381–85, 406–30, 457, 461, 466–87, 515, 520, 528–34, 555, 583, 585, 595, 599–602, 607, 616–39, 786–87, 806, 812–13, 834, 1129. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-300-05022-4.
  • Sifre to Deuteronomy 211:1–296:6. Land of Israel, circa 250–350 C.E. Reprinted in, e.g., Sifre to Deuteronomy: An Analytical Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, 2:111–266. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1987. ISBN 1-55540-145-7.
  • Jerusalem Talmud: Berakhot 54b, 59b; Peah 1a–73b; Kilayim 1a–84b; Maasrot 19a–20a; Challah 8b, 16a; Orlah 20a; Bikkurim 6b; Yevamot 1a–;Nedarim 1a–; Gittin 1a–; Shevuot 1a–. Land of Israel, circa 400 C.E. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, vols. 2–3, 5, 9, 11–12. Brooklyn: Mesorah Pubs., 2006–2009.


  • Babylonian Talmud: Berakhot 7a, 19b, 21b22a, 25a–b, 28a, 33b, 35a, 55b, 63b; Shabbat 15a, 23a, 25b, 27a, 29b, 32a, 50b, 54a, 56a, 66a, 132b–33a, 136a, 139a, 144b, 150a; Eruvin 13b, 15b; Pesachim 3a, 25a–b, 26b, 31b, 41b, 68a, 72b, 90a, 98a, 116b; Yoma 13b, 36a, 67b, 74b, 81a, 82a; Sukkah 9a, 24b, 29a; Beitzah 3b, 8b, 14b, 19b, 24b, 36b; Rosh Hashanah 4a, 5b–6b; Taanit 6b; Megillah 3b, 6b–7b, 8a, 18a, 25a, 29a; Moed Katan 2a–b, 4b, 8b, 9b, 14b, 18b, 21a, 25b; Chagigah 2b, 3b–4a, 15a, 16b; Yevamot 2a–122b; Ketubot 2b, 5a, 6b, 7b, 9a, 10a–11b, 22a, 29a–41b, 42b–43a, 44a–47a, 48b–49a, 51b, 53b, 54a, 66a, 72a, 74a, 77a–b, 80a, 82a–b; Nedarim 2a–91b; Nazir 2a, 23b, 30b, 37a, 41b, 58a, 59a, 66a; Sotah 2b, 3b, 5b, 9a, 16a, 18b, 20b–21b, 23a–25a, 26b, 31b, 33a, 35b, 43a–45a; Gittin 2a–90b; Kiddushin 2a–b, 3b–5a, 6a, 7a, 8b, 9a–10a, 11b, 13b–14a, 21b, 23a, 24b, 29b, 33b–34a, 40a, 41a, 44a, 51a, 56b, 63a–64a, 65b, 67a–69a, 70a, 72b, 74a, 75a, 76a–77a, 78a–b; Bava Kamma 4b–5a, 8a, 15b, 25a, 27a, 28a–b, 38b, 42a, 43a, 46a, 51a, 54a, 54b, 57a, 65b, 70b, 80b, 81b–82a, 83b–84a, 86b–87a, 88a, 92b, 100a, 110b, 113b; Bava Metzia 2a–33b, 48a, 54a, 56b, 60b–61a, 66a, 70b, 75b, 82a, 87b, 88b–89a, 90a, 91a–92a, 102a, 110b–11b, 113a, 114a–15a; Bava Batra 2b, 11a, 12b, 16b, 19b, 21b, 36a, 45b, 55a, 72b, 74a, 82b, 88b–89a, 108b, 110b, 111b, 113b, 116b, 119b, 122b, 123a, 124a–b, 126b–27b, 130a–b, 134a, 142b, 144b, 155b–56a, 168a, 175b; Sanhedrin 2a, 7b, 8b–9a, 10a, 18a–19a, 21a, 27b–28a, 31b, 33b, 34b, 35b, 36b, 41a, 44a, 45a–47b, 49a–50b, 51b, 53a, 54b, 56b–57a, 59b, 65b, 66b, 68b–75a, 82a, 85b–86a, 103b, 105b–06a, 107a; Makkot 2a–b, 4b–5b, 8b, 10b, 13a–24b; Shevuot 2a–49b; Avodah Zarah 17a, 20a, 26b, 37a, 46b, 54a, 62b; Horayot 10b, 12b; Zevachim 2a, 4b, 7b, 18b, 24b, 27b, 29a, 72a, 88a; Menachot 2a, 5b–6a, 10a, 15b, 32a–b, 39a–41a, 43a–44a, 50a, 58a–b, 69b, 90b, 101a, 103a; Chullin 2a, 11a, 26b, 48a, 62b, 68a, 74b, 78b, 83b, 87a, 109b, 115a–16a, 120a–b, 130b–31b, 136a–b, 138b–42a; Bekhorot 13a, 17a, 19b, 46a–b, 47b, 49b, 52a–b, 56a–57a; Arakhin 3b, 6a, 7a, 13b, 14b–15a, 19b, 25b; Temurah 4b–5a, 6a, 29b–30b, 33b; Keritot 2a, 3a, 14b–15a, 17b, 21a–b; Meilah 13a, 18a; Niddah 23b, 26a, 32a, 43a, 44a–b, 49b, 50b–51a, 52a, 55b, 61b, 69b–70a. Babylonia, 6th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr, Chaim Malinowitz, and Mordechai Marcus, 72 vols. Brooklyn: Mesorah Pubs., 2006.


  • Deuteronomy Rabbah 6:1–14. Land of Israel, 9th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Leviticus. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
  • Rashi. Commentary. Deuteronomy 21–25. Troyes, France, late 11th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashi. The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated. Translated and annotated by Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg, 5:221–65. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1997. ISBN 0-89906-030-7.
  • Judah Halevi. Kuzari. 2:58; 3:35. Toledo, Spain, 1130–1140. Reprinted in, e.g., Jehuda Halevi. Kuzari: An Argument for the Faith of Israel. Intro. by Henry Slonimsky, 119, 168. New York: Schocken, 1964. ISBN 0-8052-0075-4.



  • Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan, Review & Conclusion. England, 1651. Reprint edited by C. B. Macpherson, 724. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Classics, 1982. ISBN 0140431950.
  • Moses Mendelssohn. Jerusalem, § 2. Berlin, 1783. Reprinted in Jerusalem: Or on Religious Power and Judaism. Translated by Allan Arkush; introduction and commentary by Alexander Altmann, 129. Hanover, N.H.: Brandeis Univ. Press, 1983. ISBN 0-87451-264-6.
  • Abraham Isaac Kook. The Lights of Penitence, 14:33. 1925. Reprinted in Abraham Isaac Kook: the Lights of Penitence, the Moral Principles, Lights of Holiness, Essays, Letters, and Poems. Translated by Ben Zion Bokser, 108. Mahwah, N.J.: Paulist Press 1978. ISBN 0-8091-2159-X.
  • Thomas Mann. Joseph and His Brothers. Translated by John E. Woods, 55–56, 269–71. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-4001-9. Originally published as Joseph und seine Brüder. Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer Verlag, 1943.
  • Morris Adler. The World of the Talmud, 26–27, 71. B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundations, 1958. Reprinted Kessinger Publishing, 2007. ISBN 0548080003.
  • Martin Buber. On the Bible: Eighteen studies, 80–92. New York: Schocken Books, 1968.
  • Ben Zion Bergman. “A Question of Great Interest: May a Synagogue Issue Interest-Bearing Bonds?” New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 1988. YD 167:1.1988a. Reprinted in Responsa: 1980–1990: The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement. Edited by David J. Fine, 319–23. New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 2005. ISBN 0-916219-27-5.
  • Avram Israel Reisner. “Dissent: A Matter of Great Interest” New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 1988. YD 167:1.1988b. Reprinted in Responsa: 1980–1990: The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement. Edited by David J. Fine, 324–28. New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 2005. ISBN 0-916219-27-5.
  • Aaron Wildavsky. Assimilation versus Separation: Joseph the Administrator and the Politics of Religion in Biblical Israel, 3–4. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1993. ISBN 1-56000-081-3.
  • Marc Gellman. God’s Mailbox: More Stories About Stories in the Bible, 90–98. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1996. ISBN 0-688-13169-7.
  • Joseph Telushkin. The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living, 4–6. New York: Bell Tower, 2000. ISBN 0-609-60330-2.
  • Joseph Telushkin. The Ten Commandments of Character: Essential Advice for Living an Honorable, Ethical, Honest Life, 94–97. New York: Bell Tower, 2003. ISBN 1-4000-4509-6.
  • Judith Z. Abrams. “Misconceptions About Disabilities in the Hebrew Bible.” In Jewish Perspectives on Theology and the Human Experience of Disability. Edited by Judith Z. Abrams & William C. Gaventa, 81–82. Binghamton, N.Y.: Haworth Pastoral Press, 2006. ISBN 0-7890-3444-1.
  • U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report: June 2009.

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