Tithes and Suspensions

A tenth part of all crops should be taken to the holy city Jerusalem and eaten "before the L-rd your G‑d."

And if the way be too long for you, that you are unable to carry it, for the place which the L-rd your G‑d will choose to establish His Name therein is too far from you...

Then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and you shall go to the place the L-rd your G‑d will choose.

There the money can be turned back into "whatever your soul desires" — "cattle, sheep, new wine or old wine... and you shall eat there before G‑d, and you shall rejoice, you and your household" — remembering to invite also the Levite "for he has neither portion nor inheritance with you."

Every seventh year is shemitah, during which all work in fields ceases, and all debts are suspended. Though these laws seem to pose financial hardship to the Jew, G‑d promises that, "there will be no needy among you... if you hearken to the voice of the L-rd your G‑d, to be careful to do all this commandment, which I am commanding you today... you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you."


If there will be among you a needy person, from one of your brothers in one of your cities... you shall not harden your heart, and you shall not close your hand from your needy brother.

Rather, open, open your hand to him, and you shall lend him sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking...

You shall surely give him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him; for because of this thing G‑d will bless you in all your work and in all your endeavors.

Our parshah concludes with the laws requiring the giving of a gift to a freed servant, the offering of firsborn animals to G‑d, and the three pilgrimage festivals — Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.