Parshas Behar
Leviticus 25:1 - 26:2
Thank Hashem For Jubilee!
Our Beautiful Torah! Our Beautiful Heritage! ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated by the family of Akiva G. Belk in the loving memory of Mrs. Ethel Channah Sakash Belk, may she rest in peace.\

At the beginning of our parsha we read, "G-d spoke to Moshe at Mount Sinai, saying..."Leviticus 25:1 This unusual preface {the Torah recording G-d speaking from Mt. Sinai} is followed by the laws of Shemitta, the Sabbatical year, and Yovelthe, the Jubilee year.

"For six years you shall plant your field and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and you shall harvest its produce. But the seventh year shall be a Shabbos of rest for the land, a Shabbos for Hashem, you shall not plant your field and you shall not prune your vineyard." Leviticus 25:3,4

"You shall count for yourself seven Sabbatical years, seven years, seven times and it shall be for you, the days {period} of the seven Sabbatical years, forty-nine years. You shall make a proclamation with the shofar on the tenth day of the seventh month. On Yom Kippur shall this shofar-proclamation be made, throughout all your land. You shall sanctify the year of the fiftieth year and proclaim freedom in the land for all of its inhabitants; it shall be for you a Jubilee and each man shall return to his ancestral land and each man shall return to his family. It is a Jubilee, {that} the year of the fiftieth year shall be for you. You shall not plant and you shall not reap {even} crops that grew on their own; and you shall not gather the {grapes of} its untended vineyard For it is a Jubilee, it shall be holy to you..." Leviticus 25:8-12

The Halacha of Shemittat Karka'ot {the Sabbatical year as regards agricultural work in Eretz Yisroel} have two distinct types of prohibitions. One must not work the land and one must not gather in / store the agricultural produce of Eretz Yisroel.

Dear reader, we see Hashem in His Majesty of ownership. Hashem is saying that the land, Eretz Yisroel, is His, the produce of Eretz Yisroel is His. And as owner His terms of ownership for use of His land are every seventh year Eretz Yisroel MUST receive a complete rest.

Several weeks ago in our study lesson we learned why Eretz Yisroel is termed the "Holy Land" in parshas Acharei Mos. I stated, "Hashem established boundaries for men living within Eretz Yisroel. The observance of these prohibitions makes the Land of Yisroel a very special place. Those that suggest that the Tenach {The Old Testament} is completed fail to understand that the observance of these prohibitions written within the Torah are what make Eretz Yisroel "SEPARATED". The observance of these prohibitions make Eretz Yisroel the Holy land that it is! If they are discarded, if there were a failure to observe them, then the land in Israel would lose its separated status! Its land would no longer be different from the land in the rest of the world!

So here again we observe several more mitzvahs that separate Eretz Yisroel from the rest of the world. Even if other nations of the world followed the same commands given by Hashem for their own country land, it would not have the same effect because Hashem as Creator separated Eretz Yisroel from the rest of the land in His Creation. Hashem separated Kal Yisroel from the other nations of the world.

As a result if we, G-d forbid, were to do away with the Torah that instructs us in the steps of holiness for Eretz Yisroel, we would disobey Hashem's commands. And in so doing we would soil the holiness of Eretz Yisroel, G-d forbid! Observing the Halacha of Shemittat Karka'ot establishes our acceptance of Hashem's ownership and Majesty over Eretz Yisroel and over all His Creation. Any attempt by any person, any religion or any philosophy to remove the "LAWS", meaning the Torah {they are the same}, is in effect a denial of Hashem as Creator, is a rejection of His ownership and is an attempt to discredit His Majesty as ruler and King over all Creation!

As a result B'nei Yisroel lifts high the LAWS, the Torah, because of what they STAND FOR and because they show HONOR to Hashem as He has prescribed!

Kal Yisroel is tied to Eretz Yisroel because of our blessed agreement with Hashem. Hashem as Creator / Owner established this special bond / this blessed agreement between Eretz Yisroel and the Jewish people. The agreement only exists between these three entities. The terms of this agreement are ONLY IN THE TORAH. The Torah is endless and perpetual!

In our agreement with Hashem and with Eretz Yisroel, we the Jewish People have a very special clause called "THE YEAR OF JUBILEE." The year of Jubilee is a TORAH COMMAND. Jubilee is a mitzvah! Jubilee and the laws of Jubilee are special ONLY TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE! Jubilee is when all Jewish servants are freed and land is returned to the original owner. {There are certain exceptions regarding these matters that we are not going into here.}

The Torah does NOT encourage slavery. We do not use the word slave. Being a servant is permitted under certain situations.

When a Jew is caught stealing, that Jew has a debt, a damage to pay to the injured party that he / she stole from. This debt can be satisfied by paying damages or by serving the injured party until the debt is satisfied. A close relative may redeem their brother / sister by paying the damages which is in effect a redemption fee.

A very poor Jew may sell himself as a servant to satisfy debts or as a means of survival. The Jewish master would become responsible for all his Jewish servant's needs while he is in his service. Again the intent here is for one's close relative to have a heart of compassion. The close relative should assist their brother / sister who is in need.

The Torah's intent here is a form of embarrassment to the relative that would allow their brother / sister to be sold as a servant. The intent here is that we are to assist our needy family members in love and fear of G-d! However, if we fail in our spiritual responsibility, then our brother / sister has a course of action that is looked on very unfavorably by the Jewish community, i.e., selling themselves as a servant. Sometimes this is also necessary because a wealthy redeemer does not exist, G-d forbid!

A very poor Jew may sell their child as a servant with the intention of redeeming the child as quickly as possible. Sometimes this is done with the intent that a kind, wealthy master would be able to better provide for the needs of a child until the parents get reestablished...

Unfortunately things do not always turn out as one may desire.. That is why G-d established the Jubilee year. If that happens to be the situation then the Jewish servant still has a light at the end of the tunnel, still has hope of redemption. That light is the Jubilee year.

If this very unfortunate situation would arise which would force a Jew into service for an hour or even years, G-d forbid, the Torah has strict laws that govern their "GOOD" treatment.

Now to go from the Covenant ,where the term of being a servant is limited, to a "New Covenant," where no limit exists, is wrong! G-d as the Loving Creator would NEVER APPROVE OF SUCH AN ACTION! To go from a Covenant / agreement where laws meticulously govern a servant's good care to a "New Covenant" where NOTHING IS GUARANTEED IS WRONG! G-D would never allow such an agreement as the Caring Creator. However this is exactly what the New Testament does.

Jubilee is NOT mentioned once in the New Testament. In fact Paul, the major writer of the New Testament, a follower of Jesus and other disciples strongly supported slavery without limits. They also instructed slaves to return to their abusive masters. The Torah would not permit such an action. If a servant were abused that servant would go free immediately and the Jewish master would required to answer for his actions.

"Slaves {servants}, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the L-rd." Colossians 3:22

"Slaves {servants}, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart..." Ephesians 6:5

"Teach slaves {servants} to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and to not steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted..." Titus 2:9

In addition to this Paul required that Onesimus, a runaway slave, return to his master, Philemon.

Peter a disciple of Jesus taught,

"Slaves {servants} submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh..." 1 Peter 2:18

The point is only the Torah has limitations for servants / slavery. The New Testament has no limitation for slavery!! Only the Torah given by Hashem has clearly established laws enforceable in a Jewish court {Bais Din} regarding the responsibility and required conduct of slave owners in the treatment of their slaves. The New Testament does not. Christians / Messianics insist that these Jewish laws of kindness establishing a limit to the period of slavery and requiring proper treatment of slaves ARE DONE AWAY WITH. Thank G-d they are incorrect! Again in their lack of understanding Christians / Messianics claim that we Jews are legalistic, not understanding our G-d commanded purposes in life. They do not understand the beauty of our Torah!

Dear reader, holy reader, it is the observance of our Torah that makes Eretz Yisroel holy!! It is the wonderful observance of our laws that uplifts holiness. The Torah requires that in the year of Jubilee all Jewish slaves be freed. The mitzvah of freeing Jewish slaves is bound directly to the observance of the Halacha of Shemittat Karka'ot. The Sanhedrin {the Great Bais Din} was required to count year by year, Sabbatical year by Sabbatical year until the fiftieth year when it would proclaim the Jubilee year.

We have a wonderful heritage. Our belief system requires special kindness and attention to every aspect of Jewish life. The poor, the slave, the stranger, the animal, the land, etc. All benefit from our basic 613 laws. The observance of our Torah provides for and protects the quality of every aspect of Jewish life. The Torah makes us a very special people, a holy people and our land, Eretz Yisroel, a very holy land. Thank G-d! This is all possible because of the Torah and those that observe its holy teachings!

...I would really appreciate it if you would join with us by sharing in the mitzvah of JewishPath.

Thank you!

Related Subjects: The Bible View Of Slavery

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

Weekly Studies

JewishPath is a sponsor of B'nai Noach Torah Institute. As a sponsor we are permitted to offer one FREE E-Mail course on a limited basis per individual from BNTI's Introduction Courses. We invite you to visit and choose an E - Mail Intro Course. BNTI offers Intro Courses in Judaism and Spirituality {7 Noaich Laws}. BNTI Responses are NOT AUTO!!

B'nai Noach Torah Institute offers dozens of tuition e - mail courses. Please visit BNTI's Tuition Courses page.
For Jewish Classmates: Gematria, Parsha, Tehillim, Medos, High Holidays and many more...
For Spiritualist Classmates: Bereishis, Torah, Blessings, Intro. Hebrew and many more...

B'nai Noach Torah Institute

Colorado Jewish Community Directory

  Study The Seven Noach Commandments

The Learning Store 
Weekly Parsha 


  High Holy Days

Messianic Refute


 Other Links

 Jewish Links



  Torah Or Bust!

 Membership at J P

  Support J P

 About J P

  E - Mail J P


Search JewishPath

JewishPath Search is for Active JewishPath Membership and Tuition Classmates at BNTI only.