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    A beautiful woman & her gods – Ki Tetzei

    cry weep sadThe 21st chapter of D’varim tells us that when there is a war on and a female is amongst the captives, an Israelite may marry her once she has had a month to weep for her father and mother.

    The Zohar says that this month is Ellul which leads up to Rosh HaShanah.

    This comment is already a puzzle, but an additional puzzle is implicit in a remark by Rabbi Akiva in the halachic Midrash known as Sifrei that the father and mother for whom she weeps are, figuratively, the idols which she has now left behind.

    There must be a lesson we can derive from the combination of these two views.

    Perhaps the beautiful woman is every one of us – an attractive potential asset to the Jewish community, which in turn is symbolised by the Israelite soldier.

    During Ellul we all need to sort ourselves out and to struggle to give up the habits and commitments that have kept us away from God all the year.

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