Ki Teitzei – Shlishi

Moving Right Along…

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

* A railing must be placed on a flat roof to prevent accidental falls.

* One may not plant different species together. One may not plow with an ox and a donkey together. One may not wear a garment containing both wool and linen (shaatnez).

* Tzitzis must be placed on four-cornered garments.

This next bit is longer than most in this section, so we’ll forgo the bullets for a few moments.

If a man marries a woman and he is unhappy with her, it might occur to him to try and be rid of her by claiming she wasn’t the virgin she said she was. The matter will be investigated and if it is determined that the man is lying, he will be flogged and fined 100 silver shekels for defaming the girl’s reputation. He may then never divorce the girl against her will.

If it is determined that the charge is true and that she had consensual relations with another man after she was betrothed, then it is an act of adultery and a capital offense.

If a man has sex with another man’s wife (including betrothal), they are both liable to the death penalty for adultery. Rape is different, though, because the woman is a victim. In such a case, the man is guilty but she is innocent.

If a man rapes an unbetrothed minor, he must pay her father a fine of 50 silver shekels and marry the girl. He may never divorce her against her will. (The logical question is why a girl would want to marry a man who raped her. First, in some cultures, a girl who had been so violated would have extremely limited prospects. Second, rape could also be what we call “date rape,” such as a boyfriend forcing himself on her. In any event, the rapist had to marry the girl, but she did not have to marry him. In other words, he had no choice in the matter, but she did.)

* A man may not marry his father’s widow.

* A man with mutilated genitals is limited as to who he may marry.

* A mamzer, the product of a forbidden relationship, is likewise restricted in his marital leeway.

* A man descended from the nations of Ammon or Moab may not marry in because of the way those nations treated Israel after they left Egypt. Not only did they offer no assistance, despite the kindness of Avraham to their ancestor Lot, but they hired Balaam in an attempt to curse the Jews! (Women of these nations could marry in. King David was descended from Ruth, a Moabite convert.)

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