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"וידבר ה' אל משה בהר סיני... ושבתה הארץ שבת לה'... ובשנה השביעת שבת שבתון" “G‑d spoke to Moshe on Mount Sinai... the land shall observe a Shabbat rest for G‑d... the seventh year shall be a complete rest for the land.” (25:1-4) QUESTION: What is the conne...
An Essay on Parshat Bechukotai
It is only natural for a person to automatically justify the practices to which he has grown accustomed.
1. On the surface, the Torah portion of Bechukotai is divided into two sections. It starts with the wonderful blessings and rewards that are in store for us for observing the Torah laws. Later on, the Torah shows us the “other side of the coin.” This sect...
1. The parshah starts with discussing the laws of Shemitah — the Sabbatical year — and incidentally tells us that Hashem conveyed this to Moshe “behar Sinai” — “on Mount Sinai.” Rashi explains that this is to teach us that just as the commandment of Shemi...
Do we work merely to acquire more, consume more, vacation more—and then once again begin the cycle anew? Or is there a more meaningful, underlying goal to our lives?
It’s a fundamental question that has been debated endlessly.
Metaphorically, the seven-year shemittah cycle corresponds to the seven millennia of history.
Seventh Reading: Leviticus 27:16–34
Every tenth animal born must be offered up as a sacrifice, its meat eaten by the owner and his family. The owner is not allowed to substitute another animal for the tithed animal, but if he nevertheless does, both animals must be treated as having been ti...
Sixth Reading: Leviticus 27:1–15
G-d then instructed Moses regarding the various forms of donations that individuals may make to the Temple or to the priests. One type of donation is when someone pledges the monetary value of a person or article. In such cases, the priest must first asse...
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