The Portion of Behar

Leviticus 25:1-26:2

Our portion this week deals with the laws of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years as they pertain both to the land and the people. The Sabbatical occurs every seven years, with the Jubilee taking place after every seventh seven, or once in fifty years. During both the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, the Children of Israel may not work the land, but God promises they will never go hungry if they follow His statutes. Land that has been sold reverts to its previous owner, and Hebrew slaves are freed. Finally, God reminds the people that they must not serve idols. Rather, He says, they should keep his Sabbaths and revere His sanctuary.

 

 

Topic 1: Sabbatical and Jubilee

Our portion delves into the details of some of the laws which have already been mentioned. Its opening line, “And the LORD spoke unto Moses in Mount Sinai, saying” (25:1), is cited by the Sages to demonstrate that not only the broad strokes of the Ten Commandments, but all the laws of the Torah, were… Read More »

 

 

Topic 2: Land Leases and Redemption

The Torah next addresses the issue of land sales in Israel. According to the text, the nature of the sale is more akin to a lease, as the land must revert to its original owner in the Jubilee year, as it is a heritage from God. The price of the land must be set according… Read More »

 

 

Topic 3: Hebrew Slaves, Revisited

The Torah now deals again with the laws of the Hebrew slave. We are told the reason one might be reduced to slavery is financial ruin. The Torah commands the Children of Israel not to charge interest to one another, to enable those less fortunate to make it in the world. If this is not… Read More »
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