Parshat Ki Tetze


Tamar Pelleg

Since then, a lot of water has flowed in the river of my life. Today, apart from my everyday writing in my “Morning  Diary”, I write regularly on topics related to the Hebrew Bible’s portion of the week, from a psycho-spiritual perspective and on topics  related to relationships that I post on  Facebook, blog, digital story collections and recently I am engaged in writing a  book and my  dream begins to come true.


 Parshat Ki Tetze

Ki Tetze – the portion of the week — opens as follows:

   “When you go out to war against your enemies, and God enabled you to overcome them and take them prisoner…”

     My associations lead me to “A tale of the Lost Princess” by Rebbe Nachman, and in this spirit, I read the text and ask:

    Who are our enemies? Are they external enemies or can this be understood as going to war against internal enemies?

   Who are we at war with? Usually with the forces of the “bad/evil ” that live in our “shadow” world.

    But as we have learned in Kabbalah, “Greater is the light that comes from the darkness then the light that comes from the light”

     Our dark qualities also have a spark of light at their root, and our role is to redeem them from the winds of darkness.

     Such is the beautiful woman taken captive from the enemy forces, and brought into our homes, recounted in the Parsha.

      But her redemption requires a process:

     First of all, it is a process that takes time (“Yerach” in Hebrew means a month but also a moon).    And the moon too has a bright side and a dark side.

     On top of that, it is stated that she should be allowed to cry and mourn for her father’s house; there is a process of parting from her previous home.

     Even if it was the “bad/evil” place — there were things there that were good — or in other words: Our bad sides also have good intentions for us.

    Like a certain defense mechanism — for example, denial, which is not good if used all the time but whose purpose is to protect us.

      And if we let go of it in the process of our growth, then at least in the initial “weaning” phase we have a hard time “separating” from it and maybe even miss it a bit.

    Another interesting point in the process is to make the coveted woman the least coveted, as if there is a test here for depth of intent:

    Even when she is less coveted, and her beauty dimmed (she shaved her head and cut her nails) — do you still want her for a wife?

     If not – release her to be free!   In other words, in our growth process, when we bring the rejected parts to light, and they may seem in a less attractive and less flattering light — do we still want to take ownership of them? “Bring them home”?

   In this spirit I also read the rest of the text (verses 15-17):

  “For a man shall have two wives; And it shall come to pass in that day, that he shall cause his sons, whom he shall not be able to bear, to bring forth the son of the beloved upon the face of the earth.   For the firstborn son of the hated one, you shall know how to give him a portion of everything that is lawfully assigned to him, because he is the firstborn.”

    The beloved and hated woman are basically one woman, they are basically us! Our bright (beloved) and dark (hated) sides.

    And the sons of each one is basically the results, the manifestation of these parts of our psyche, and the way they are expressed in our behavior.

    And so, we are commanded not to prefer what we naturally want to prefer (the bright side, the “beloved son”) but to give the “hated wife” her due and even give her twice as much!

    What does this mean?

    Perhaps this meant, we must remember that indeed the dark side of our souls, the depths of our unconscious, is the one that leads us, Is the driving force behind our behavior. We must acknowledge it and respect it.

     By the very fact that we recognize it, (our dark side), we are on the path to redemption, to growth — the beginning of the growth of our redemption.   This is the “first part” we give to the “hated son”,

    And the “second part” (twice as much) is when we are really willing to do work to bring light into the darkness, to bring the darkness into the light and redeem the “Princess” from her captivity.

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