Parshat Ki Tetze


כִּי-תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה, עַל-אֹיְבֶיךָ; וּנְתָנוֹ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּיָדֶךָ וְשָׁבִיתָ שִׁבְיוֹ.

When you will go out to war against your enemies, and God will deliver them into your hand, and you will capture its captivity.

This is what Rabbi Twerski writes about this verse:

Torah commentaries are unanimous in interpreting this verse as referring also to the internal war a person must serve against the yetzer hara.

The yetzer hara, evil inclination, is unfortunately something all of us must always fight against, a kind of constant battle. Besides in the month of Elul we are expected to be even more focused on our faults, regret them and strive not to repeat the same mistakes again.

Sadly as we grow up we also realize that we are continuously fighting the same battles and this may seem daunting and discouraging.

As if to make things worse, the first part of this line shows that our own willingness to engage in action must come first. No miracle will come from heaven, or elsewhere, unless we “go out to war”.

However the rest of this verse assures us that, as long as we are willing to defeat the yetzer hara in our lives, we are not alone: God will assist us. Progress is possible provided we make God an assistant in our efforts to be different and better people.


9 thoughts on “Parshat Ki Tetze

  1. I like this idea. Once we take that first – and most difficult – step, Hashem will assist us with the rest.

    It fits in with the famous Mishnah (Avot 2:21):
    “It is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but you are not free to absolve yourself from it.”

  2. I will have to read more about this verse. You got me interested.

    I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said “God helps those who help themselves.”

    I liked Mrs. S’s mishnah quote.

    Beautiful photo – I see you called it “faraway.jpg” – fitting, for wherever it is.

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