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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Ki Tetzeh 49-1

When you go out

Deuteronomy 21:10-21

and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.

Deut. 21:13 NIV

Why wait for a whole month?

An immature person doesn't know how to wait. Children don't understand the meaning of the word "later", they want everything right now. The Torah was given to forge a mature character in the Israelite people. An important feature of approved character is self-control. It is the fruit of the Spirit promoted by the Torah. The fact of having to wait and not to enjoy whatever pleasure right away is good for the development of maturity. If c hildren get everything they want immediately, they will have problems in the future, because many things in life are not accessible in the short but only in the long run. The one who knows to wait and endures the pressure of immediate desires is a mature person who is able to reach high in the scale of spirituality and responsibility.

A soldier who falls in love with a prisoner of war has no right to have an intimate relationship with her without having a testing time of a month. The Torah doesn't allow him to follow his immediate impulses because they may create important problems later on.

A soldier's impulse has to be submitted to the rules of the Torah. He has to let her cry for a month in his house so that he can get to know her closer before getting married. He will have to learn not to be driven by his immediate impulses, and wait a whole month to be able to come to her. It is forbidden to touch her before marriage!

The one who gives free rein to his sexual desires acts like a beast, not as a man. Strong men are those who know how to control their minds and emotions and channel them within the parameters set by the Torah. A person enslaved by his impulses is inconstant, unfaithful, and dangerous. A person who superimposes the divine principles over his emotions will be constant, f aithful, and loving. A society in which the citizens haven't learned self-control from their parents becomes poor, corrupt, and violent. A society guided by the principles of the Torah becomes rich, free, and safe.

Study the Torah everyday and learn to control your desires. Don't buy anything on the spur of the moment. Don't follow your eyes or your emotions. Be constant, faithful, and fulfill your duties before the Eternal and men. Think well before the decision of marriage. Marriage is for life.

Shavua tov,


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