Just Go Out…. – Parashat Ki Teitzei

“….If you go out to war against your enemies, and G-d, your G-d, will deliver him into your hands, and you will take his captives….” (Devarim 21:10)

כִּי תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל אֹיְבֶיךָ וּנְתָנוֹ ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ וְשָׁבִיתָ שִׁבְיוֹ – דברים כא, י

The wars addressed in this verse are not only those fought on the physical battlefield.

Ki Teitzei

The number one enemies that a Jew must battle are the enemies from within – the coarseness of the body and the gluttonous animal soul that challenge our dedication and devotion to G-d and His worship.

True, the goal in this battle is not to devastate these enemies, but to refine them and redirect their energies toward the fulfillment of our G-dly mission and purpose in this world. This too is nevertheless a battle, and a difficult one at that, for the body and animal soul fiercely resist such transformation.

We are promised certain victory, however, even before we enter the throes of war and the thick of the fight. As soon as we set ourselves to the task and just “go out to war” to transform our inner enemy, the Torah states as a matter-of-fact, “G-d, your G-d, will deliver him into your hands”. Not only will you not succumb to the enemy’s threats, you will even succeed in “taking his captives” – harnessing the G-dly energies found in the material world, granting even greater means to your disposal than those available for you until now.

—Likutei Sichos, vol. 2, p. 384

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