Pisqa’ 193

Pisqa’ 1931


But HASHEM your God is marching with you” (Dt.20:4).

The One who was with you in the wasteland

is the very One who will be with you

in times of trouble.

And so He says:

“HASHEM will do battle on your behalf, so you must be silent” (Ex.14:14).


“To do battle with your enemies on your behalf, to deliver you” (Dt.20:4)—

[from human enemies, but also]

from poisonous snakes,

scorpions, and evil spirits.


“And the officers shall speak” (Dt.20:5)—

till this point, the speaker is the Priest Anointed for War.

From this point and on,

“And the officers shall continue speaking” (Dt.20:8) .


“Who is the man. . .who has betrothed a woman” (Dt.20:7)?

Even if he betrothed a widow;

even if she is awaiting the levir’s decision

[to either marry or release her];

even if the levir heard

that his [childless] brother

was killed in battle

[thus releasing her to marry anyone]—

all these may return from war.2


“He shall go and return to his home” (Dt.20:7)—

all heed the words of the Warrior Priest
and return home,

where they supply their brothers

with water and food,

and help pave the roads. 3


“And the officers shall continue speaking” (Dt.20:8).

Is it possible to say that

the officers used other words?

When He states:

“And the officers shall continue speaking to the people” (Dt.20:8),

this teaches that these are their very words.

So, what does the Teaching add by

“And the officers shall speak” (Dt.20:5)?

When the officer begins his charge,

then the Priest explains the exemptions to them.

  1. H:214:JN2:81.
  2. Cf. Pisqa’ 196.1 for a more complete annotation of the levir and the woman awaiting his decision.
  3. // M. Sotah 8:2. The smaller type represents material unevenly attested in mss and early editions. F:234, n.3.