Sometimes we feel like the challenges of life are insurmountable. When the going gets tough, even the tough want to give up.
The Torah portion this week opens with a surprising dispensation for the soldier in the midst of war. “…you see among the prisoners a beautiful woman; if you desire her, you may take her as your wife” (Deut 21:11). Rashi, in his classic Torah commentary, writes that the Torah is addressing our base nature (Yetzer Hara). If G-d would not permit this relationship, the soldier would succumb to the challenge and transgress by having it anyways.
Rabbi Yechezkal Abramsky zt”l derives an encouraging insight from this unique Mitzvah (Commandment). He points out that this is the only Mitzvah where G-d does not expect a person to overcome the challenge. What about the other challenges to G-d’s standards of morality and fortitude, which we face all the time? In those cases, it must be that we have been given the ability to emerge victorious. If it were too much for us, then like that soldier, G-d wouldn’t expect us to overcome.
Admittedly, we don’t always emerge victorious and it’s only human to make mistakes from time to time, but it’s G-d’s promise that we have everything we need to be successful. Those challenges are always within our reach!
Rabbi Mordechai Dixler
Program Director, Project Gensis – Torah.org
Allowing this, it also seems that these women would then be protected and not raped or killed by others. Not only does the soldier gain a wife, but she gains all the privileges and safety of being his wife.
It’s a pleasure to find someone who can think so clearly
I like this encouragement as I have been undergoing an audit in my profession as a Medical Transcriptionist and know that I am instructed to do all to the honor of G-d. Shalom Shabbat to you.
My mother’s favorite saying was “when the going gets tough the tough get going”! I use that thought a lot.
A Jewish man saw a beautiful women in a bad situation and did something to better her life physically and spiritually-angel on earth…to me.
The important point here is that the female prisoner may be taken as a wife, not raped, sexually or otherwise abused. However, despite this, the more noble path is offered to man through choice. To protect and care for the female prisoner without desiring to receive anything in return, but out of respect for the dignity of human life. Today, this is what we would expect of a soldier.
Perhaps the inner meaning of the Mitzva points to the divinely sanctioned marriage of ZA and Nukva, even when the inner conflict takes hostages within ones own nature.
Why should this woman be treated any different than the other prisoners (the elderly, children) because this man finds he desires her body? To be married to one who has destroyed her family, friends maybe even her husband may be repugnant and unbearable for her at that moment. This women most certainly did not start nor fight in the war. She is guilty of nothing more than of being a beautiful woman. Asking this woman to become One (which is holy in itself) with this man may not be her desire at the moment. Yet, in this instance this women is treated as lowly property such as a farm animal. Are we not more humane than this? Why not treat this beautiful woman the same as the other not so attractive captives. Later, If this man chooses to court her and he finds that he feels love for her and not just sexual desire….And if she consents to a union of Oneness with him….I say, Blessings upon it.