B’Har(On the Mountain)Vayikra/Leviticus 25:1-26:2
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 32:6-27
Tonight I want to begin our time together by looking at a set of holidays that we seldom take time to study indepth. These include Shabbat, the Shmitah year and Jubilee year. What do these three teach us and why are they important to remember?
Torah Portion: Behar (On the Mountain) Leviticus 25:1-26:2
HafTorah: Jeremiah 32:6-27
Let us start with a question. What do the concepts of Shabbat, Shmitah and Jubilee have in common? What do they teach us spiritually? Two of the three have the same root in Hebrew. Shabbat and Sabbatical or Shmitah come from the word to rest. The Shabbat comes once each week and the other once every seventh year. Even Jubilee teaches us the same principle. G-d is our provider. All things belong to Him. He expects us to live in a way that reflects Him in society. We tend to compartmentalize life and in doing that relegate G-d to certain places and time. We may only relate to Him in this meeting or one like it. Some of us may allow Him into our personal lives. We don’t hurt people, we try to live upright lives but fewer are those who let Him into our business or pocketbooks. We may say, “I’ll pray, I’ll study scripture but really business is business. I can’t take off a day or a week much less a year. I can’t tithe. That’s a lot of money. What would I do without it? Everybody cheats a little especially with Uncle Sam. I need it more than they do.”