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Links for our Shabbat Services

inks for our Shabbat Services

Parashat Behar

Leviticus 25:1–26:2; Jeremiah 32:6-27; Luke 4:16-21

Possibly the most famous part of Parshat Behar is the discussion of the laws of Shemittah — the command that once every seven years, we are instructed to let the land rest. We don't work the land, don't sow or plow — we just enjoy the fruits that grow naturally and hope that we've saved up enough to get us through the year! It seems like a beautiful idea.

But the question is: Why should land need to rest? In his video, "Why Does Land Have To Rest?", Rabbi Fohrman tackles this question and points out that part of the answer has to do with the theme of "Sabbath" which rears its head in the law of Shemittah – notice the idea of seven, the idea of rest. He offers a nd also shows the central connection between the laws of Shemittah and the laws of Yovel ("Jubilee") — which occurs in the fiftieth year, and which we observe by freeing slaves and returning land to its ancestral holder.

Erev Shabbat Service: 18h15 - 19h45


Parashat Behar

Leviticus 25:1–26:2; Jeremiah 32:6-27; Luke 4:16-21

Lev 26:3-5

3 "'If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands,

4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit.

5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.

The medieval chazal (sage) Rashi, asks the question, what does the first verse of this week's parasha mean? Since the phrase, 'If you follow my statutes' is followed by 'and observe My commandments,' the latter cannot be the meaning of the former! Of course, modern biblical scholars would disagree. In fact, that is exactly what biblical poetry does all the time: it repeats an idea in different language; it says the same thing with different words. But Rashi, with his classical approach, offers a different interpretation. The phrase: 'If you follow my statutes' means that we must labour in the study of Torah.

I'm not sure where Rashi gets this idea, but implicit in Rashi's interpretation is that 'following God's statutes' is, in fact, not identical to 'observing God's mitzvot.' And so, this first verse seems to say, not only must you try to do the mitzvot, but don't forget to walk in God's way too.

Shabbat Morning Torah Service: 10h00 -12h00

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