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Ki Teitzei Question 1

Weekly Parsha Questions

Ki Teitzei Question 1

Yechiel Shaffer

At the start of our Parsha we are told of the unfortunate realities of war:

דברים פרשת שופטים – כי תצא פרק כא

י) כי־תצא למלחמה על־איביך ונתנו יקוק אלהיך בידך ושבית שביו

10. If you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord, your God, will deliver him into your hands, and you take his captives

The stage is set for what is an important conversation on our attitude towards captives of war.

When referring to your enemies the Torah uses the word איביך. Why does the Torah begin the sentence with the singular tense of כי־תצא “When you go out” and continue with the plural tense of על־איביך “against your enemies”?

If the Torah is making a statement of the unity required in the Jewish people when waging war, what is the reassurance the Torah offers about the weakness of our enemies?

Many have suggested that the plural tense of על־איביך is referring to both a physical and spiritual battle that is being waged. How do the Pesukim (21:11-14) that follow our above introductory Pasuk frame this conversation?