Parashat Ki Thetze

TONIGHT at 7PM please join us for Kaballat Shabbat

Cantor Ben-Moshe’s Parashat Hashavua:

We come closer to the High Holidays with the reading of Parshat Ki Thetze, which begins with a mention of the abhorrent custom of regarding captured women as spoils of war. This was the custom in most of the world until quite recently-a conquering soldier would simply take any enemy woman he had a mind to. The Torah however modifies the practice-of a soldier’s wishes, he can take a captive woman as a wife, but only after letting her mourn her captivity (and the probable death of her family) for a month. If the soldier upon reflection changes his mind about marrying her, he must set her free and not sell her into slavery. Thus, the Torah seeks to modify the base impulse to take humans as loot.

Of course, this custom is no longer permitted-such an action would rightly be considered a war crime, and thankfully human society has, for the most part, evolved past such barbarity. But is there a lesson for us in this law even now. Rabbi Alan Lew, of blessed memory, suggested that there is. When we are possessed by a powerful desire, we should perhaps not act on it immediately, but wait. Emotions can be fleeting things, and perhaps upon reflection we might find that what we so greatly desired is actually not what we really need, nor in the long term want. Patience can often lead us away from our base impulses, our yetzer hara’, and lead us toward greater nobility of spirit. As we come closer to the Days of Awe, when we are bid to undertake a spiritual accounting, we should examine our desires and impulses, and make sure that we are living up to what is best in us. Shabbat Shalom.

Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe

Shabbat candle lighting at 7:21 p.m.

Check out the High Holiday Schedule at Beth El!

The next sisterhood book! Get your copy and start reading this fascinating book.

“And There Was no King In Israel – A Journey Through the Book of Judges”

New and exciting class presented by Cantor Ben-Moshe starting October 29. Save your spot. Free, but register early.

Please consider sponsoring a kidush lunch. Send us a note at and we can plan to cook your favorite treats.

Sunday School This Sunday was so much fun and so much learning.

Our children loved reconnecting and meeting new friends!

Welcome back BERS!

Image may contain: 11 people, people smiling, indoor


Community News: Austin Chapter of Hadassah Annual Luncheon