This week’s Torah portion is Ki Teitzei. This portion has the largest number of the Commandments in the Torah. One of the Commandments is (Chapter 23, v. 18): “no Israelite woman shall be a cult prostitute, nor shall any Israelite man be a cult prostitute.” Verse 19 says, “You shall not bring the fee of a whore or the pay of a dog, into the house of the Lord your God [JPS translation]” or, “You shall not bring a whore’s pay nor a dog’s price to the house of the Lord your God [Robert Alter translation].” What does that mean?
Probably, the word “dog” refers to male prostitute. Our ancestors did not keep dogs as pets; our ancestors despised dogs. Our ancestors thought dogs were unpleasant scavengers. The Commandment in verse 19 refers to banning the profits of female and male prostitutes for donations to the Temple.
Nowadays, charitable institutions have a dilemma. To receive donations from a criminal enterprise poses a moral quandary. Some charitable institutions have given money back from donors, where the money was tainted. Some charitable institutions have changed their name, because the former name reflects a dishonorable person. The Torah’s Commandment works many years later.