Tidbits of Torah

The Ties that Bind Us Together           

Shabbat Parashat Ki Tetse 

September 17, 2016 – 14 Elul 5776   headshot white 2015cropped

Dear Friends,

Of  the Torah’s 613 mitzvoth [commandments], over 70 are mentioned in this week’s Torah portion of Ki Tetse!

Some of the mitzvoth mentioned have to do with civil law; others have to do with criminal law.  Some have to do with ethics; others have to do with ritual.  Some have to do with times of war; others have to do with times of peace.  Some have to do with our work relationships; others have to do with our familial relationships.  What a wide array of mitzvoth!

What do they all have in common?

There is one mitzvah mentioned in our parsha [Torah portion] that hints at the answer to this question.  I am referring to the mitzvah of donning a tallit [prayer shawl].   A tallit is a garment with four square corners – each corner sporting fringes tied in a very particular manner with five double knots separated by an ever increasing number of rings….

How does the tallit answer the question of what all 70 plus mitzvoth have in common?

Our Sages suggested that in a metaphorical sense, the five double knots on the fringes of the tallit remind us of the five Books of Moses.  And, the fringes themselves remind us that we are all bound together – with the Torah being the glue that connects us all.

In other words, our attention to such a wide array of mitzvoth influences the kind of people we are and, ultimately, the kind of society we hope to form.

May we enjoy our encounter with Torah and may our Torah study help us bring greater blessing into our lives and into the lives of those around us!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror