Parshat Ki Tetzei

Ki Teitzei

This week’s Parsha is Parshat Ki Teitzei. This Parsha describes seventy four of the six hundred and thirteen mitzvot of the Torah. These include the laws of the inheritance, rights of the first born, burial and dignity of the dead, returning a lost object, sending away the mother bird before taking her children, and making a safety fence around ones rooftop. Also included are the judicial procedures and penalties, as well as laws governing the purity of the military camp.
Every day I fight battles. I fight exhaustion in order to force my eyes open in the morning. I fight laziness to ride my bike instead of watching T.V. I fight my cravings to avoid unhealthy snacks and choose nourishing food. Every day, every hour, every minute, I undergo countless battles. This week’s Parsha begins by telling us about our battles and gives us vital knowledge in how to succeed from them.

When the Torah talked about going to war it mentions, “When you go out to war on your enemies, the L rd your G d shall deliver them into your hands and you shall capture from them captives.” The Torah doesn’t write, if you go out to war, but rather when. Struggle is inevitable.

Over the years, I have found three important things to remind me to keep my head up and stay positive while fighting my battles.

My battles don’t define me. Just because I am constantly engaged in struggle, doesn’t mean that I am defined by them. I win and I lose, but I can’t focus on my losses; I am more than my conflicts. I have a divine soul that is perfect and untarnished in spite of my struggles. So I need to remember to just get back up, and begin each day as a new day and each moment as a new moment.

I am not fighting alone. When my battles become overwhelming, I need to take a step back, think for a minute, and remind myself that there is no true existence other than G d. And thus, nothing has any real power over me. I must fight my struggles with the optimism and the confidence that “G d shall deliver them into [my] hands,” in order to succeed. G-d wants me to be successful and he only gives me battles that he knows I have the potential to succeed at.
I can grow from my experiences. Anything negative in man or in the world can be utilized for the good. I understand that my battles and struggles were given to me for a reason. I know I must find a lesson in every situation.

My most recent struggle is adjusting to seminary. I am in a new country, with seventy new classmates, attending a new school. It is all out of my comfort zone. I am 6,208 miles away from home and my family. I don’t get to see my friends, whom I have spent Pre nursery through High School with, everyday. I have to meet and befriend seventy girls whom I have never met before. I am learning from nine in the morning till nine thirty at night. These are all changes for me. Yet I know, although change is scary, change is good. And in the long run, this is going to better me as a person. Being far away from home will teach me how to be independent. Meeting seventy new girls will better my communication skills. Despite the fact that seminary may be a struggle for me right now, I know that with the help of Hashem, in a few weeks time, I will be adjusted and enjoying my year while learning and growing.

Student studying in Midreshet Moriah