Torah Thoughts on Parashat Ki Tetze 5780
By Rabbi Rami Pavolotzky
This week we read parashat Ki Tetze. Like in other sections in Deuteronomy, we can find in this parasha a paragraph that instruct us on how to improve the society and discipline its members. At the end of some of these paragraphs, especially when an exemplary punishment is described, we can find the phrase, “And you shall wipe out the evil from among you, and all Israel will listen and fear” (for example, in this week’s parasha, on Deuteronomy 21:21).
In the original Torah text in Hebrew, the “among you” is conjugated in the second person singular (bekirbecha). Therefore, the phrase could be paraphrased as, “first you need to clean out your own evil (singular) and then all Israel will hear and fear.”