Ki Tetse

In this portion part of the listing of the laws by which the Israelites are to live in the Promised Land is found. These chapters contain a wide variety of laws dealing with domestic life and interpersonal relations. In contradistinction to previous sections of the law code which dealt with broad areas of community structure, the focus here is on the countless details that make-up the daily life of the average Israelite. The Torah is making clear that every facet of every individual’s life is governed by the covenant. The concluding verses of the portion remind the Israelites of the dastardly attack by the Amelekites on the rear- most stragglers of the camp shortly after the crossing of the Red Sea. The people are commanded to remember the incident and utterly blot out the memory of Amelek. The contrast between the national character of a people living under God’s laws and that of the Amelekites based on glorification of military power is a statement that in God’s plan, right prevails over might.