The Torah Portion for this week is called Ki Teitzei. As in all other weeks, it is read in every synagogue throughout the world on this Shabbat. It is Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19. Here is a short commentary by Baruch:
In this week’s Torah reading there are numerous commandments that appear on a variety of subjects. One of these commandments concerns sexual purity. Moses states,
“There shall not be a promiscuous woman from the daughters of Israel and there shall not be a promiscuous man from the sons of Israel.” Deuteronomy 21:18
The word which was translated “promiscuous” is often related to idolatrous practices that involve sexual immorality. Of course whether or not such behavior involves idolatry, it is still a violation of the Word of G-d. While there are many places in the Hebrew Bible that speak against sexual immorality, believers need to also realize that there are also numerous places in the New Covenant that likewise strongly warn that such behavior is in conflict with our faith in Messiah Yeshua. Even though these admonitions are clearly seen in the New Covenant, unfortunately they seem to be commonly ignored today. I am amazed by the number of young believers who live together before marriage and travel together on trips and vacations sharing the same hotel room. Way too often these acts are ignored by others and leaders choose to be silent.
This matter is not one that is open to a variety of interpretations; rather it is most straightforward. This being the case, why is it so frequently being tolerated by the believing community? The answer is that most people have a different view on the subject from that which is recorded in the Scriptures. Paul states most clearly to believers, “Flee sexual immorality…” (See I Cor. 6:15-20). Sadly today among many believers, views towards the Biblical standards of sexual purity are seen as archaic and not reasonable expectations. Often time parents expect their adult children to delay marriage until the mid or latter twenties for educational reasons and/or career considerations, placing the couple in a difficult position.
Relationships move through a series of steps. If a given relationship approaches the level of sexual intimacy then a decision must be made, either end the relationship or enter into the marriage covenant where that intimacy can be expressed with thanksgiving to HaShem based on faith in Messiah Yeshua.
It is clear that those who violated the Scriptural parameters were cut off from the Children of Israel so as not to bring contempt on G-d’s people. Such standards are certainly no less for believers in Messiah Yeshua today. Leaders should demand that those who will not obey HaShem’s definition of sexual purity not fellowship in their congregations.