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Ki Teitzei: Could Divorce be a “Mitzvah”?

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Can there ever be anything positive about a divorce – which shatters lives and homes?

Can divorce be anything other than a bad thing?

And yet, if divorce is such an evil, why does the Torah permit it? And even calls it a “mitzvah

Part of the answer is that the Torah does not retreat from any painful issue, and it takes on this one in this week’s reading. But most astonishing is the fact that the Torah devotes a full section – four verses – to the procedures of divorce, in contrast to the laws of marriage which get not even one verse. In fact, the laws of marriage had to be deciphered by the sages from hints and allusions within the very verses that pertain to divorce!

Divorce is one of the 613 commandments enumerated in the Torah, albeit it’s hardly considered a “good deed.” Nevertheless, divorce surprisingly does have a positive lesson and role to play in making us appreciate love and marriage.

Indeed, divorce – when examined on the spiritual/cosmic level – can teach us much about betraying ourselves and our calling, about reconnecting our own souls and destinies, and about coming closer to G-d. And therefore it is an apt topic to consider as the High Holidays approach … when we seek to renew a connection we might have neglected or even severed.

 

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