Ki Tisa – Shishi

Something Old, Something New

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

G-d replied that He would make an unprecedented pact with the nation. The Canaanite nations would be most impressed. They will be in awe of G-d, Who will drive them out, so the Jews must not forge treaties with them. To do so would be to invite idolatry. Instead, they must eradicate all traces of idol worship from the land. Intermarriage is also out.

G-d reiterated several mitzvos here, including Shabbos, the Festivals, that first-born animals are sanctified to Him and first fruits be offered to Him, and that meat and milk not be prepared together. He also added here that when the Jews make their thrice-yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem, they need not worry about leaving their homes unprotected. Why did G-d repeat these particular mitzvos here and now? Read on!

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