Vol 32.26 - Bechukotai 1      Spanish French Audio  Video

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(5749) Rashi (Lev. 26:42): "I will remember My covenant with Yaakov". "Why are they =the Patriarchs listed in reverse order?". The differences in Rashi compared to the wording of Torat Kohanim and the difference between Rashi and Torat Kohanim in the need for merits and merots of the Patriarchs for the Geulah of Yisroel  



Behar, the first of this week's two Torah portions, contains the laws of Shemita (the Sabbatical year), the commandment to allow the land to lie fallow every seventh year. Our Sages taught that the mitzva of Shemita strengthens a Jew's faith in G-d. For six years the Jew earns his bread by working the soil; in the Shemita year he must trust in G-d alone.

The mitzva of Shemita drives home the idea that G-d sustains the world without intermediaries. When the Jew returns to his agricultural pursuits after the Shemita year, it is with the renewed recognition that G-d is the source of all blessing.

The Talmud relates that the Jew is characterized by the fact that "He believes in G-d, yet he sows." The Jew plants seeds in the ground not because he trusts in nature, but because he has faith that G-d will send him his livelihood if he does so.

This faith in G-d exists on two levels. On the lower level, the Jew trusts that G-d will continue to cause the laws of nature (which He set in place) to operate. He recognizes that all blessing comes from G-d, yet the laws of nature still have to be taken into consideration.

A higher level of faith is when a Jew "bypasses" the laws of nature, and perceives that G-d perpetually creates the world from nothingness each and every moment. Natural phenomena exist, but only because G-d desires that these phenomena exist this very minute. On this level the Jew sows the ground only because G-d has commanded him to, as a means of providing a channel for His blessing.

There is, however, a level of faith that is superior to even this, and that is the level of the Shemita year. During the six years the Jew works, regardless of how much he senses that G-d is the source of all blessing, working within nature contributes to the illusion that "natural forces" somehow play a role in the results. The Jew may correctly perceive his direct relationship with G-d, but externally it still appears as if his bread is derived through a "natural" process.

It is precisely in the Shemita year, when the Jew is freed from the responsibility of working and can devote himself to studying Torah without interruption, that the full magnitude of his faith in G-d is revealed. This faith is so pure that it transcends the limitations of the human mind. Indeed, this level of faith is required of all Jews, and will be attained by all on "the day that is entirely Shabbat" - in the Messianic era, with the Full and Complete Redemption. http://www.lchaimweekly.org/lchaim/5759/567.htm







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