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5 elements pertinent to this week's Torah portion, haftarah, and the month of Elul

שיעור לפרשת כי תצא תשפג

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

  1. The Torah portion of Ki Teitzei is the sixth parasha in the book of Deuteronomy (Devarim). It is a continuation, in its entirety, of Moshe Rabbeinu's farewell speech to the nation.
  2. This Torah portion lists more mitzvot than any other parasha, 77 from the 613 total mitzvot that are included in the Torah.
  3. There is no single subject that is the focus of the Ki Teitzei parasha. Instead, we see how the Torah (meaning "instruction") is a guidebook for how to live. Every area of life is covered, including treatment of workers, marriage and divorce, interest on loans, leaving portions of your crops for the poor, returning lost objects, employing safety measures, and many others.
  4. The haftarah we will read on Shabbat is one of the seven haftarot of consolation from the prophet Isaiah that are read following Tisha B'Av. These haftarot offer comfort and reassurance, as expressed in the following words from this week's haftarah: "For right and left shall you prevail . . . Fear not, for you shall not be shamed."
  5. We read this week's Torah portion in the midst of the month of Elul. Among Sephardic communities, recitation of Selichot or penitential prayers started this past week. During this month, the shofar is blown at the conclusion of morning prayers. We also check tefillin and mezuzot and follow other customary practices associated with Elul. This period is a truly special gift, providing ample opportunity to prepare for the coming year of 5784.

Shabbat shalom.

The Weekly Shiur for Ki Teizei

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