servants of HaShem (short)

At the yovel (50th) year, slaves go free. The Torah gives a reason for this law; HaShem says it is 'because Bnei Yisrael are MY servants...' (25;45) and not anyone else's. But why can we not be both servants to a human master in this world and also servants to…

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Shmittah; more far-reaching than you thought!

It comes once in seven years, this year is one of them, and it is mentioned in our sedra; the obvious choice to speak about this week is Shmittah. We’ll open with two questions. Firstly, Shmittah is called a ‘Shabbes’ (25;2) - apart from the idea of resting [land ‘rests’…

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BEHAR/BECHUKOSAI – integrating concepts

The mitzvah of shemita requires every Jew (in the Land of Israel) to refrain from working the land during every 7th year.

This was not just an enforced sabbatical to recharge the batteries or an agricultural method to maximise long-term output.

Few mitzvahs make as significant a demand on the…

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Look after your own torah study and prayer!

"Because they are my servants - whom I took out of the land of Mitzrayim, do not sell them the way slaves are sold." Vayikra 25:42)
The Divrei Yisrael explains this verse that a person should not be enslaved to his work - that the job should not be…

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Do you reap and sow?

"If you will say: What will we eat in the 7th year, when we may neither sow nor gather our crop? I will ordain My blessing for you in the 6th year and it will yield a crop sufficient for the three years. You will sow in the 8th year…

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Shmittah at Har Sinai?

The opening pasuk of Behar singles out that the mitzvah of Shmittah - and all of its details - was relayed to Moshe at Har Sinai. Though this was true of all mitzvos, Shmittah has one difference to it. Whilst the full details of other mitzvos were told to Moshe…

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Parashas Behar/Bechukosai – The Gift and The Curse

Parashas Behar/Bechukosai – The Gift and The Curse :
This week we have another double Parasha which also happens to be the final instalment from the book of Vayikra. Parashas Behar begins with the rules of the Shemittah and Yovel year (the 'sabbatical' and 'jubilee' years for the land) and…

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BEHAR "If your brother becomes impoverished...............(25:35)

The first half of Parshat Behar deals with various laws regarding "Shmita" . In short, the commandment of "Shmita" is that in the 7th year all agricultural activities ceases, and the land of Israel lies fallow.( There are numerous laws regarding "Shmita" which is…

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