Separation vs. Unity
In this week’s Torah portion ‘Ki Tetzeh’, the following verse refers to the process of a divorce:
…וְכָתַב לָהּ סֵפֶר כְּרִיתֻת וְנָתַן בְּיָדָהּ, וְשִׁלְּחָהּ מִבֵּיתוֹ….
…that he writeth her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house… (Deuteronomy 24:1)
The Torah refers to the divorce document as ספר כריתות SEFER KRITUT, which actually means ‘The book of “amputation”’, because this document cuts off the bond of marriage between husband and wife.
In the Talmud this document is called גט – ‘GET‘
In its original translation the word גט ‘GET‘ simply means a document, bill.
However, our sages suggest a deeper understanding of this word.
In Hebrew, examining all the words and the letter combinations in those, one will not find a single word in which the letters ג (Gimmel) and ט (Tet) are found in a vicinity one with the other.
There is always a separating letter between those.
So, the only word in which these letters are found one next to the other is just the word גט – ‘GET’.
Thus, this word represents the ultimate separation between husband and wife.
But, let us focus on unity, rather than on separation.
Our portion starts with the following verse:
כִּי תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל אֹיְבֶיךָ וּנְתָנוֹ ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ
“When you go out to war against your enemies, and God your God will deliver them into your hands.” (21:10)
Our Sages noticed that in this verse it is written “when you (sg.) go out” in the singular.
In Hebrew we have a distinction between singular and plural forms related to verbs.
It says כי תצא KI TE’TZEH (sg.) and not
כי תצאו KI TE’TZOO (pl.)
Therefore, one needs to learn from here that it is possible to beat the enemies only when the nation of Israel is united, becoming “one person“.
And now a little bit of Hebrew:
Let’s take a look at the Hebrew root אחד representing unity.
This word appears, of course in the most famous verse in the Jewish tradition, manifesting G-d’s unity:
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ ה’ אֶחָד
Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one
One – אחד – ‘EKHAD’
One on One – אחד על אחד – ‘EKHAD AL EKHAD’
Hypocrisy– (Say one thing and think another)
– אחד בפה ואחד בלב – ‘EKHAD BA’PEH VE’EKHAD BA’LEV’
(Lit. One thing in the mouth, while another one – in the heart).
United – מאוחד – ‘ME’UKHAD’ (Derived from the same root – אחד – one)
Uniform– אחיד – ‘AKHID’
To unite – לאחד – ‘LE’AKHED’
Let us stay united!
Yoel & Orly
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And the LORD will take away from you all sickness;