[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S> X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or s’tuma respectively. X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the parsha; (Z) is the number of p'sukim in the parsha.
Kohen - First Aliya - 12 p'sukim - 21:10-21
[S>21:10 (5)] The "beautiful captive": A Jewish soldier must resist the "normal" temptations of battle, but is permitted to take a captive woman only according to the approved Torah procedures [532,A221 21:11].
Looking at this mitzva from both ends, we first see it as a "concession to the base inclinations of a man", in the heat of battle. On the other hand, it demands more of the Jew than is common of soldiers all over the world, who are notorious for immoral and atrocious behavior of all sorts.
To illustrate: NC told me of an incident in Lebanon during the "first" war. He and some comrades went into a local makolet for some groceries. (He actually found Peter Pan Peanut Butter with an OK hashgacha there!) When they approached the counter to pay, they found the owner of the store cowering in fear. It took them a while to convince him that not only did they not intend to harm him, but they wanted to pay for their groceries. He was incredulous. But that is how Jewish soldiers are supposed to behave.
If he decides after the one-month waiting period not to marry her, he must release her without abusing, humiliating, or selling her [533, 534; L263,264 21:14]. A Jew's marriage to a Y'FAT TO'R is also conditional on her conversion to Judaism. If she does not want to, he must release her. If she does convert and they want to marry, then it is a full, regular Jewish marriage, with K'dushin and Ketuba, etc.
[S>21:15 (3)] A man may not favor the son of his beloved wife over his firstborn from a "less-loved" wife. (Implication from the juxtaposition of these two topics is that marrying for the wrong motive is likely to lead to a "hated wife".)
This passage is the source of the firstborn's inheritance. Ramban counts two mitzvot here - the positive command to give the firstborn a double portion and the prohibition of not giving it to him. Rambam and the Chinuch include the rules of the firstborn as part of the laws of inheritance from Parshat Pinchas and not separately here. This is just one of many examples of different countings among the Sages who attempted to identify the traditional 613 mitzvot.
SDT: The Vilna Gaon sees a hint to the double portion of the B'chor in the letters of the word B'CHOR: BET-KAF-RESH. Each letter is double the letter before it - BET (2) is double ALEF (1), KAF (20) is double YUD (10), REISH (200) is double KUF (100). (No other letter is double its predecessor.)
[S>21:18 (4)] The "rebellious son" is warned by his parents to mend his ways. If he continues to defy them, violates certain mitzvot, engages in a specific sequence of actions, and if he is of a specific age and at a particular stage of physical development, and his parents are healthy, normal, and deemed to be on equal levels of character, then, and only then, would it be possible to execute him as a "Ben Sorer U'moreh". Although it is (almost) impossible to reach that ultimate point - and sources indicate that there never actually was a case of "the rebellious son" - this portion of the Torah serves as a stern warning to wayward children AND their parents! Some mitzvot seem to be intended primarily as deterrent and Mussar.
Just as one example of the improbability of there actually being a BEN SORER UMOREH, the boy in question would have to be between 13 and 13 years old and would have to be at the beginning stage of puberty. If that three month window of time does not coincide with the onset of puberty, he cannot be an "official" rebellious son. There are so, so many other technical conditions that must be met that it seems obvious that we were not expected to actually execute a BEN SORER UMOREH...
Levi - Second Aliya - 9 p'sukim - 21:22-22:7
[S>21:22 (2)] Those executed by stoning were hung after death [535,A230 21:22] for a brief period before sunset. They were then buried [536,L66 21:23] (with the hanging post) to avoid extra embarrassment to the Divine image in which we were all created.
The hanging of the body after execution (which is done in some cases, not all) serves as a deterrent for others and is part of the atonement process for the soul of the guilty party.
Using "Kal VaChomer" (if this is the respect shown the body of an executed felon, how much more so...), we are taught that burial, in general, and "as soon as is feasible", in particular, is the proper procedure for the dead [537,A231 21:23]. This is part of the Torah law.
[S>22:1 (3)] One is required to return identifiable lost objects to their rightful owners [538,A204 22:1], even if doing so is difficult. One cannot ignore this responsibility [539,L269 22:3] even if it is easier to just leave the object alone.
Technically, the laws of LOST & FOUND apply to possessions of fellow Jews. However, with the potential for Kiddush HaShem and its opposite, depending upon what one does, it is important to go out of one's way to return a lost item to a non-Jew as well (and even more so!). This too is part of halacha, not just a nice thing to do.
[S>22:4 (1)] Nor may one ignore a fellow's beast of burden that has collapsed under its load [540,L270 22:4]. One is required to help his fellow load his animals [541,A203 22:4].
Sefer HaChinuch points out that this mitzva-pair applies to other animals, not just donkey, and it applies to people as well, by reasoning a KAL VACHOMER. If you see a fellow human over- loaded with what he/she is carrying (or trying to carry), it is a mitzva to help out. Furthermore, if you are approached by friend or neighbor who offers to help you carry some of your packages, you should consider letting him/her, rather than the typical, “It’s okay, I got it.” It allows your burden to be eased while the other person does a mitzva. Everyone benefits.
[S>22:5 (5)] Men and women may not interchange apparel [542,543; L39,40 22:5] nor do certain things that are specific to the opposite sex.
R' Yonatan b. Uziel in his Aramaic translation/commentary on Torah, "defines" the prohibition of a woman wearing a man's garb, as the mitzvot of Talit and T'filin. Not everyone agrees, but it's something to think about.
[P>22:6 (2)] When one happens upon a (kosher) bird's nest (in the wild), it is forbidden to take the mother bird alone or with her eggs or chicks [544, L306 22:6], but one may (must? this is the subject of a dispute with a decidedly kabalistic flavor on the side that suggests it is an imperative rather than the assumed "if you want the eggs...") take the eggs/chicks if one first sends the mother bird away [545,A148 22:7]. This is an enigmatic mitzva that defies logic. It is shrouded in mysticism, more so than most mitzvot.
Although our Sages attribute kindness to animals as the reason (or part of the reason) for some mitzvot - e.g. not muzzling an animal that is working with food, helping to unload a beast of burden, not plowing with an ox and a donkey together - they (our Sages) were more cautious with this mitzva of SHILU’ACH HAKEN. It can be argued that it is far kinder to leave a nest alone than to chase away the mother bird (which is simultaneously kind and cruel - one way of looking at it). This mitzva is more CHOK-like than other mitzvot involving animals. See Lead Tidbit for more on this.
Shlishi - Third Aliya - 29 p'sukim - 22:8-23:7
[S>22:8 (2)] One is required to build a protective fence around one's (habitable) roof [546,A184 22:8]. It is forbidden to leave safety hazards on one's property [547, L298 22:8].
Oral law defines these mitzvot as more inclusive than just one's roof. Rabbinic law, "taking the Torah's lead", extends "safety & health" rules further into many areas, e.g. secondary smoking. Rambam says that a person may not tell others: "Don't tell me what to do; if I want to risk my health or life, it's my business". Saying this can make a person liable to the punishment of MAKAT MARDUT. This is something to keep in mind when you decide to "talk to" your favorite smoker. With secondary smoking, it is most definitely your business too. But even when it’s not, it is - All Israel are responsible for each other.
One may not plant mixed grains in a vineyard [548,L216 22:9], nor may one eat the resulting products [549,L193 22:9].
"Strangely", these two mitzvot - MAAKEH and Mixed Grain - share a single parsha. What connects them to each other more than other mitzvot?
[S>22:10 (2)] Plowing with ox and donkey together is forbidden, as is the tying together of any noncompatible animals (or humans) for any purpose [550,L218 22:10].
Rambam holds that the Torah prohibits any combination of a kosher and non-kosher animal, based on the fact that the Torah's example is one of each. Rambam says that combinations of two kosher or two non-kosher animals is forbidden by Rabbinic law. Many authorities challenge Rambam's distinction and say that it is all Torah law.
Do not wear Shaatnez (garments of wool and linen) [551,L42 22:11].
Can a person wear linen pants at the same time he wears a wool jacket? The answer is Yes, because each garment can be removed independently of the other. A linen shirt with a wool jacket over it? No, because they are not independent of each other. They are considered Shaatnez-like.
[S>22:12 (1)] ...put tzitzit on all four-cornered garments that you wear. [counted elsewhere]
[S>22:13 (7)] It is a mitzva to marry according to Jewish Law and for the husband to write a K'TUBA for his wife with various promises and assurances [552,A213 22:13].
The juxtaposition of tzitzit to marriage seems to be the source of the minhag of many Ashkenazi Jews of starting to wear a Talit when one marries.
If a man had falsely accused his (betrothed) wife of infidelity, he may not divorce her (unless she so desires) [553,554; A219,L359 22:19]. Penalties are also paid to the girl's family for the insult.
[S>22:20 (2)] If the betrothed maiden did, in fact, willfully, intentionally have relations with another man, and there are kosher witnesses and properly administered warning, and all the other rules of evidence. then she is an adulteress and can be executed (by stoning).
[S>22:22 (1)] If a man and married woman has relations (knowing full-well the married status of the woman), and neither was forced, then they are both subject to the death penalty for adultery. [This prohibition is counted from Commandment #7]
[S>22:23 (2)] The same applies if the woman is “just” betrothed (this is more than engagement in our time). The specific incident of stoning is generalized to the mitzva upon the court to carry out the punishment of "stoning" whenever required [555, A220 22:24].
[S>22:25 (3)] Both consenting parties to a forbidden relationship are culpable. However, if it is possible to consider the woman an unwilling partner, then she must not be punished. We must not punish anyone who might not be responsible for their actions [556, L294 22:26]. This is the source of giving people the benefit of the doubt. This does not mean that the person always deserves the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they actually sinned. The answer, it will have to be left to G-d to punish them; we are obligated to explain the situation as in this example - certainly the girl screamed but there was no one to save her.
[S>22:28 (2)] A man who forces himself on an unmarried maiden must pay a fine to her father. If the girl wants to be married to the man, he must marry her and never initiate divorce (she, of course, may insist that she wants nothing to do with him and then the court will force him to divorce her had they married) [557,558; A218,L358 22:29].
[S>23:1 (1)] A man may not marry his father's former wife (even after his father's death).
[S>23:2 (1)] Castrated men (not all - it depends on how their situation happened) have marriage restrictions [559,L360 23:2].
[S>23:3 (1)] A "mamzer" has marriage restrictions [560,L354 23:3]. Mamzer is the offspring of a union that is prohibited by the Torah, with a death penalty. This includes incestuous and adulterous relationships. A mamzer has marriage restrictions. He may, however, marry a mamzeret or a female convert to Judaism. And vice versa for a mamzeret.
[S>23:4 (4)] Amonite and Moabite males may not marry into the "Congregation of G-d" [561,L53 23:4], because of the cruel, inhospitable behavior of those two nations towards Israel. And also because they hired Bil’am to “bless” us. Nor may we ever offer those two nations peace as an alternative to war, as is required of our other enemies [562,L56 23:7].
Note that the Torah is giving a reason for a mitzva, something that it rarely does. (We are supposed to do mitzvot because they are G-d's commands, not for other reasons.) However, in this case, it is precisely the reason that allowed our Sages to declare Ruth the Moavite able to marry into the Jewish Nation. It was the Moavite men who displayed that unforgivable behavior, not the women, who did not "go out" and confront Bnei Yisrael.
R'VI'I - Fourth Aliya - 17 p'sukim - 23:8-24
[S>23:8 (2)] OTOH, converts from Edom and Egypt are not to be discriminated against, but can fully integrate only from the 3rd generation on [563,564 L54,55 23:8].
[S>23:10 (6)] A military camp must be kept spiritually and physically clean. Sanitary facilities must be provided outside the camp and soldiers must be equipped with appropriate tools for maintaining proper sanitation [566,567; A192, 193 23:13,14].
An offshoot of this mitzva: entry to Har HaBayit (referring to the area where the Beit HaMikdash and its courtyard DID NOT stand) by people with certain types of ritual impurity is forbidden [565,L78 23:11]. (The area where the Mikdash stood - or might have stood - is off-limits to all T'MEI'IM.)
Conceptually, we must realize that G-d's presence among us is affected by our moral behavior. Thus, these mitzvot have ramifications to Jewish society as a whole, and not merely in a military setting.
[S>23:16 (2)] A slave who runs from his master to us for protection, may not be returned. Nor may we abuse a slave who seeks haven in Eretz Yisrael [568,569;L254, 255 23:16,17].
[S>23:18 (2)] Prostitution is forbidden [570,L355 23:18] and its revenues may not be used for sacred matters [571,L100 23:19]. (Some sources consider the prohibition sex between unmarried people as part of mitzva #570.)
[S>23:20 (2)] Although interest on personal loans may not be taken from a Jew, it is acceptable (and correct) to lend to non-Jews with interest [572,573; L236,A198 23:20,21]. This is so because society in general accepts the reasonableness of moderate interest on loans. Since a non-Jew can charge a Jew interest, the Torah gives us permission to take interest from them. Usury, loan sharking, would be recognized as a "universal" wrong-doing; the ban against any interest at all is a special spiritual requirement of the Jew.
[S>23:22 (3)] Pledges to the Mikdash must be fulfilled within the cycle of the three festivals [574, L155 23:22].
It is advisable to refrain from making promises, but once made, a person must keep them [575,A94 23:24]. (Hatarat N'darim provides an "out" for certain ill-advised promises, within limits. Consult a Rav for specific cases.)
Chamishi - Fifth Aliya - 6 p'sukim - 23:25-24:4
[S>23:25 (1)] Workers are entitled to eat of the food they are working with [576,A201 23:25], but may not take extra (home) without permission [577, L268 23:25].
[S>23:26 (1)] Workers mustn't eat while they are working [578, L267 23:26]. In other words, their right to eat  is restricted to their breaks.
We see a beautiful balance in the area of Torah Law as it relates to boss-worker relations. On the one hand, the worker is allowed to eat from that which he picks. On the other hand, he cannot do this while he is actually working, as this would reduce his efficiency, thereby shortchanging his boss. On the other hand, the boss must provide breaks during the day, when the worker is allowed to eat. On the other hand, the worker may not take any of the fruits home with him, without permission. Talmudic law adds to this list for both sides. For example, it advises a worker not to overdo the eating, although it is permitted, lest the word get out and people will stop hiring him. Boss may not take advantage of worker, and worker may not take advantage of their boss.
[S>24:1 (4)] If a married couple wants to end their marriage, it must be done with a proper "get" [579,A222 24:1]. If a divorcee has remarried, and is subsequently widowed or divorced, she cannot remarry her first husband [580, L356 24:4].
Shishi - Sixth Aliya - 9 p'sukim - 24:5-13
[S>24:5 (2)] A man is exempt from military service during the first year of his marriage [581, L311 24:5], during which time he is to see to it that his wife is happy [582,A214 24:5].
One may not take vessels used for preparing food as a security against a loan [583,L242 24:6]. We must be sensitive to the needs of the borrower.
Another example of two different mitzvot that share a parsha. This is noteworthy because Ki Teitzei has so many parshiyot as it is, one wonders why these were not each in their own parsha. Is there an extra connection?
[S>24:7 (1)] Kidnapping and selling the victim is a capital offense. Kidnapping is already counted as a prohibition from Commandment #8, LO TIGNOV (i.e. stealing a person) in Yitro. That was the "warning"; this is the "punishment". Both are needed.
[S>24:8 (2)] We must not remove signs of "Tzora'at" [584,L308 24:8].
A blemish is TZORAAT iff (if and only if) declared so by a kohen. If this happens, then using medicines or surgery to remove the affliction is forbidden, as well as counter-productive. A person's spiritual and religious growth is triggered by the NEGA. It needs not surgery or medication, but rather introspection and repentance.
Always remember what happened to Miriam. [Although Rambam and Chinuch do not count this ZACHOR among the 613, other mitzva-counters do.] What happened to Miriam is that she was punished for speaking ill of her brother Moshe and she was afflicted with Tzoraat; hence, the connection between these two p’sukim that share a parsha.
[S>24:10 (4)] We must not be overly forceful in the taking of a security from a poor person who has borrowed from us [585,L239 24:10]. We must not withhold that which has already been taken from him; if he needs it, we must return it to him [586,587; L240,A199 24:12,13]. Another positive-prohibition pair of mitzvot.
Think about this: We are commanded to lend money to our fellow Jew if he is in need and if we can afford it. We may not take interest on that loan. But, we may take something of value from him as security for the loan. There are certain types of things we may not take as security. And we must observe certain protocol when we take a security. AND we are commanded to return the security if the person needs it. Even though he hasn't repaid the loan yet. And even though the purpose of taking a security is to have something of value in case the borrower defaults on the loan. So why am I giving him back the security? It isn't logical. Right, it isn't logical. But mitzvot are G-d's commands, regardless of whether they make sense to our limited finite brains or not. Worried about the loan? Have some faith in G-d. You believe He created the world - you can believe He knows what He's doing with loans and everything else.
Sh'VII - Seventh Aliya - 28 p'sukim - 24:14-25:19
[S>24:14 (2)] We may not take unfair advantage of our less-fortunate workers. A day-laborer must be paid on time [588, A200 24:15]. The prohibition of delaying his wages is counted elsewhere. Another 2- sided mitzva.
[S>24:16 (1)] Close relatives may not testify against (or for) one another in criminal cases [589, L287 24:16]. There is also the implication here that a person will not be punished for deeds of his parents or children. This is an example (one of many) of a pasuk teaching us two or more quite different things. In this case, one is a mitzva among Taryag, the other is a teaching (for lack of a better word).
[S>24:17 (2)] One must not pervert justice even on behalf of an orphan [590,L280 24:17]. Securities for a loan must not be taken from a widow [591, L241 24:17]. Our experience in Egypt is to be remembered as the motive for many of these "sensitizing" mitzvot.
[S>24:19 (1)] That which is forgotten in the fields after harvesting must be left for the poor; one should not return for it himself [592,593; A122,L214 24:19].
[S>24:20 (3)] The previous parsha set down the rules of SHICH’CHA; this parsha adds rules for proper kind behavior when picking olives and grapes. Again we are reminded of our Egyptian experience. Even though Egypt was unspeakably cruel to us, our experience there is supposed to make us kinder and more sensitive.
[S>25:1 (4)] The punishment of makot (whipping) is to be administered by the courts to those found guilty of sins punishable thusly, but care must be exercised not to exceed the required number of lashes [594, 595; A224, L300 25:2,3].
The prohibition of not exceeding the approved number of lashes, also includes the more general prohibition of striking a fellow Jew.
Do not muzzle an animal when it is working with food [596,L219 25:4].
[S>25:5 (6)] The widow of a man without children is forbidden to marry anyone else [597,L357 25:5] until... She either "marries" her brother-in-law (Yibum) [598, A216 25:5] or the relationship is severed by chalitza [599,A217 25:9], in which case she may marry anyone else (but not a kohen).
The Torah speaks of a man dying without having had a BEN. Does that mean "son" or "child"? Is the word BEN in this context, exclusive or inclusive? This is a very important question. Sometimes BEN means male child and sometimes it includes sons and daughters. In the case of a man dying, the word BEN includes any offspring. If a man has no sons, only a daughter, and he dies, his widow is free to marry anyone except a Kohein Gadol. And she may not marry her late husband's brother. That is a high level prohibition. If the man had no offspring, his widow must* marry his brother (*or receive Chalitza). Total opposites, depending upon exactly what BEN means. How do we know? Torah She'b'al Peh, the Oral Law.
[S>25:11 (2)] If person "A" is pursuing "B" to kill him, we must save B's life even if it means killing "A" [600,A247 25:12]. We cannot show mercy to the pursuer, "A" [601,L293 25:12]. If it is possible to stop "A" without killing him, we must do so - to kill him in this case would be an act of murder.
[S>25:13 (4)] (Not only may one not use false measures, but) mere possession of false dry or liquid measures or weights is forbidden [602,L272 25:13]. Honest weights and measures is one of the pillars of society; G-d despises those who cheat in business.
[P>25:17 (3)] The final portion of the sedra is "Zachor". We are commanded to remember what Amalek did to us on our way out of Egypt [603,A189 25:17]. The Jewish People as a whole are commanded to destroy the remnant of Amalek from this world [604, A188 25:18]. We must never forget what Amalek did [605,L59 25:19].
Technically, these mitzvot apply to the specific Amalek nation. The idea, however, must be extended to the Amalek-types that have plagued us throughout Jewish history.
These final 3 p'sukim of the sedra are reread for the Maftir.
Haftara - 10 p'sukim - Yeshayahu 54:1-10
This is the 5th of the 7 haftarot of consolation. It prophesies an end to the Exile, a reconciliation between the People of Israel and G-d. G-d is likened to the husband of His estranged wife, Israel. The couple will reconcile, so to speak. G-d says that the Exile is to Israel as the Flood was to No'ach. He promises no more exile. No more anger. The Exile was temporary. His Love is everlasting.
Ki Teitzei's haftara is the shortest of them all, only 10 p'sukim. It, together with the haftara of R'ei make up No'ach's haftara. And what else?