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Parashah 32 BeHar

Leviticus 25:1 – 26:2

By Dr. K. Blad  ©

Second edition 2013-14

Lucrative copying not permitted.  

Torah Readings (when BeHar is read separately):

1.      25:1-13

2.      25:14-18

3.      25:19-24

4.      25:25-28

5.      25:29-38

6.      25:39-46

7.      25:47 – 26:2

8.      Maftir: 25:55 – 26:2 

Haftarah: Jeremiah 32:6-27


means “on the mountain”


The First Aliyah, 25:1-13

25:2 “Speak to the children of Yisra'el, and tell them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a Shabbat to HaShem.’”(HNV revised) – Here the Torah presents a new theme: the Shabbat Year. Just as there are weeks made up of days, there are also weeks made up of years. Just as the seventh day of the week is a day off, HaShem has determined that every seventh year should be a year of rest for the land of Israel. This commandment, therefore, only applies to the land of Israel.

Rambam[1] says that Israel celebrated its first Shabbat Year, which is called shemitah, on the twenty-first year after the children of Israel started taking over the land and it was divided under the general Yehoshua. It took fourteen years to take over and divide the land. This means that the fifteenth year became the first year of the first week of years. So, the twenty-first year was the seventh year of the first week of years. According to one calculation,[2] there were 836 years from the fifteenth year after the entrance into the land until the Babylonian captivity. During these years, the Shabbat Years and Year of Jubilee were only observed for 400 years. During the remaining 436 years, the people did not bother keeping them. During those 436 years there were sixty-two Shabbat Years and eight Year of Jubilee, which adds up to seventy years (62+8=70). The Babylonian captivity came when the children of Israel had neglected to observe seventy Shabbat Years, as it is written in Leviticus 26:35,

“As long as it lies desolate it shall have rest, even the rest which it didn’t have in your sabbaths, when you lived on it.”(HNV)

The Babylonian captivity lasted for seventy years, as it is written in Jeremiah 29:10,

“For thus says HaShem, After seventy years are accomplished for Bavel, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.”(HNV revised)

25:3 “Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its fruits”(HNV) – This includes all types of agricultural and gardening work.

25:4 “but in the seventh year there shall be a Shabbat of solemn rest (Shabbat Shabbaton) for the land, a Shabbat to HaShem. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.”(HNV revised) – Once again we find the expression Shabbat Shabbaton. This time it is referring to the shemitah year. As we saw earlier, the same expression is connected with the weekly Shabbat and Yom Kippur. This teaches us how important it is to HaShem that the land rests every seventh year. Breaking this commandment brings serious consequences, just as breaking the commandment to rest on the weekly Shabbat and Yom Kippur does, as it is written in 2 Chronicles 36:20-21,

“Those who had escaped from the sword carried he away to Bavel; and they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Paras: to fulfill the word of HaShem by the mouth of Yirmeyahu, until the land had enjoyed its Shabbatot: for as long as it lay desolate it kept Shabbat, to fulfill seventy years.”(HNV revised)

The prohibition of working the land during the Shabbat Year does not include any work other than sowing and planting, such as building a house. The prohibition only applies to agricultural and gardening work. The only thing that is permitted is watering the plants so that they will not die. During the Shabbat Year, the produce of the ground is without owner, so anyone may eat freely and bring home as much as needed for the day.

Once it was the task of the Sanhedrin to declare when the shemitah year, the Shabbat Year, and the yovel year, the Year of Jubilee, would be. The Jewish year 5775 will be the next Shabbat Year, which in the Gregorian calendar corresponds with the time from sunset the 24th of September year 2014 until sunset the 13th of September, 2015.

25:6 “The Shabbat of the land shall be for food for you; for yourself, for your servant, for your maid, for your hired servant, and for your stranger, who lives as a foreigner with you.”(HNV) – During this year everyone, Israelite as well as resident gentiles, have equal rights to eat of what grows on the ground.

All fruits and vegetables that grow during the shemitah year are consecrated. For that reason they cannot be treated in just any fashion, but must be treated with honor. The rabbis have established a halachah that prohibits the remains of such plants to be tossed together with other trash. They also prohibit shemitah produce to be sold at all, either inside or outside of the land.

The Shabbat Year has a three-fold purpose:

  1. To remind the children of Israel that the land does not belong to them but to HaShem, see verse 23 and Psalm 24:1.

  2. To compel the farmer to use his faith and trust HaShem to provide for him.

  3. To give the farmer time that he can dedicate to studying the Torah in a special way.

25:8 “You shall count off seven Shabbatot of years, seven times seven years; and there shall be to you the days of seven Shabbatot of years, even forty-nine years.”(HNV) – The Scriptures speak about the importance of the seventh day and the seventh year. It also speaks of counting the seven weeks, forty-nine days, between Pesach and Shavuot. In the same way seven weeks of years are to be counted, i.e. forty-nine years, from one Year of Jubilee to the next. The counting of the omer, between Pesach and Shavuot, apply to every individual in Israel, while the counting of the forty-nine years between the Year of Jubilee is done by the Sanhedrin.

25:9 “Then you shall sound the loud shofar on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the shofar throughout all your land.”(HNV) – The seventh month is a special month to HaShem. During this month the Year of Jubilee is to be proclaimed. Why is the shofar to be blown on the tenth day of the seventh month and not on the day in which the new year begins?

25:10 “You shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you; and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.”(HNV revised) – According to Talmud,[3] the Year of Jubilee was consecrated verbally by the Beit Din on the first day of Tishri.

It is because the Messiah will come back to place his feet on the earth on Yom Kippur. When he comes back, new liberty will be proclaimed to all the inhabitants of the earth. This also teaches us that the foundation we have for eternal liberty is in the Messiah’s death, which is symbolized by the Yom Kippur sacrifices, as well as in the forgiveness and elimination of sins as a direct result of his death.

In the same way that Yeshua began his public ministry half a year before the turn of a new year, he will once again be revealed publicly half a year before the turn of a new year. The deliverer will come back during the seventh month. On the first day of the month, he will be revealed on the clouds of heaven where he, according to my understanding, will remain in the air for ten days. On the tenth day of the same month, he will then come down to earth and proclaim liberty for all the inhabitants of the earth. Then he will begin to rule over all the nations of the earth with an iron scepter, bringing righteousness to the earth.

The seventh month is also a symbol of the seventh millennium from the creation of Adam and Chavah.

25:11 “That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee to you. In it you shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself, nor gather from the undressed vines.”(HNV) – The Hebrew word that is translated “a jubilee” is yovel,[4] which means “ram’s horn”, see Exodus 19:13; Joshua 6:6. The English word “jubilee” comes from the Hebrew word yovel. According to Shemuel P. Gelbarer,[5] this is because in ancient times they used ram’s horns in order to “lead”, in Hebrew lehovil, the herds.

The same laws that apply for the shemitah year apply for the yovel year as well.

The Torah teaches us that there are seven things that ought to happen during the yovel year.

  1. All inhabitants of the land are given their freedom, verse 10.

  2. It is a year of rejoicing, with the blasts of shofars, verse 10.

  3. Everyone can return to their original possessions, according to the way that the land was divided up in the time of Yehoshua, verse 10.

  4. Everyone can return to their relatives, verse 10. This is referring to the Hebrew servant who has had his ear pierced, as well as one who has not completed his six years of service from the time that he was sold as a servant. The expression “forever”, in Exodus 21:6, is therefore limited to the time up until the Year of Jubilee. Thus the Year of Jubilee becomes a picture of the coming age.

  5. One may not plant, verse 11.

  6. One may not harvest, verse 11.

  7. The year is to be consecrated, verse 12.

The Second Aliyah, 25:14-18

25:14 “If you sell anything to your neighbor, or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another.”(HNV) – This is referring to not wronging one another in financial transactions. If a seller raises the price for a buyer, who is not aware of the value of the product, he is deceiving him. If he intentionally charges too much, then he is breaking this commandment about not wronging one another. In the same way, if a buyer tries to get a valuable product for a low price because the seller is not aware of its true value, then he is also breaking this commandment.

25:15 “According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor. According to the number of years of the crops he shall sell to you.”(HNV) – The land is not sold, only its crops, for the land of Israel belongs to HaShem, as it is written in Jeremiah 2:7,

“I brought you into a plentiful land, to eat the fruit of it and the goodness of it; but when you entered, you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination.”(HNV)

25:17 “You shall not wrong one another; but you shall fear your God: for I am HaShem your God.”(HNV revised) – According to Rashi, this is referring to not wronging one another in the way we talk to one another.

The fear of God is what prevents people from wronging one another. First of all, one who fears God knows that every person is created in His image to be like Him. Therefore he ought to be respected, regardless of his lifestyle. Just for the fact that he is a person he ought to be respected. Deceiving anyone financially or tormenting anyone verbally is not permitted. One who deceives and oppresses his fellow man is hurting God’s image. Therefore, fear of God will cause people to treat others with respect and love.

On the other hand, fear of God prevents people from deceiving others when it comes to money or harming anyone verbally because they know that HaShem sees everything. He knows the motives and thoughts of our hearts. If we deceive others, we will have to answer for it to Him who sees everything, as it is written in Hebrews 4:13,

“There is no creature that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”(HNV)

We can wrong others verbally by:

  • Giving a seller the impression that we want to buy something that we have no intention of buying.

  • Reminding someone of the sins that he or his parents have committed in the past.

  • Telling someone who is suffering that he is suffering because he has sinned.

  • Answering a question in an unpleasant, false, or deceptive manner.

  • Using derogatory nicknames.

25:18 “Therefore you shall do my statutes, and keep my ordinances and do them; and you shall dwell in the land in safety.”(HNV) – If one fulfills the commandments in the land of Israel, one can live in safety. Lack of safety in society and the threat of foreign nations are brought on by the sins of the people. Therefore, the best way to battle terrorism and attacks from foreign armies is by fulfilling the commandments of the Torah. The problem in Israel today is not the hatred of the neighboring nations, but the lack of Torah obedience among the Jews, as it is written in Psalm 81:13-16,

“Oh that my people would listen to me, that Yisra'el would walk in my ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their adversaries. The haters of HaShem would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. But he would have also fed them with the finest of the wheat. I will satisfy you with honey out of the rock.”(HNV revised)

The Third Aliyah, 25:19-24

25:19 “The land shall yield its fruit, and you shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.”(HNV) – This verse teaches us that obedience to the commandments has two consequences; material wellbeing and supernatural protection. When the people of Israel did not fulfill the commandments about shemitah and yovel, it brought about the Babylonian invasion and exile.

25:20 “If you said, ‘What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase’”(HNV) – This is a question that does not arises in a spiritual mind but a natural one. What will we eat? By all human reasoning, there will be lack. HaShem commanded the people not to plant or gather their harvest into barns during the seventh year so that they would learn to put their trust in Him and not in natural resources. The Messiah Yeshua teaches on the same theme in Matthew 6:19-34, where it is written,

“Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don’t break through and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good (you are generous), your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is evil (you are stingy), your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon. Therefore, I tell you, don’t be anxious for your life: what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothing? See the birds of the sky, that they don’t sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you of much more value than they? Which of you, by being anxious, can add one cubit to the measure of his life? Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin, yet I tell you that even Shelomo in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, won’t he much more clothe you, you of little faith? Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed?’ For the gentiles seek after all these things, for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day’s own evil is sufficient.”(HNV revised)

Anyone who has placed his trust in his heavenly Father will not ask the question, “What will we eat?” because he knows that when HaShem has commanded something He will also take the responsibility of caring for his children who obey him.

25:21 “then I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for the three years.”(HNV) – When, by faith, a farmer has decided not to work during the Shabbat Year, HaShem will send him a blessing ahead of time, during the sixth year, so that it will last him for three years. If a farmer intends to work during the seventh year, HaShem will not send a blessing during the sixth year. Here we can see that the miracle during the sixth year is dependent upon the farmer’s attitude, on his thoughts, and on his faith. To refrain from working the land during the seventh year is an act of faith. It is a matter of dependence and trust in heavenly provision. This commandment is a test of whether the children of Israel trust HaShem for their financial support or not.

On account of differing interpretations from the rabbis in Talmud,[6] we do not know whether:

  • the Year of Jubilee comes after each forty-ninth shemitah year, so that the cycle of jubilee years lasts for forty-nine years.

  • or whether there is a break in the counting of the weeks of years after forty-nine years, so that the yovel year comes as an additional year in the cycle on the fiftieth year, and then the counting would continue with the following year (year fifty-one) as the first year of the next week of years, thus the cycle of jubilee years would last for fifty years.

According to the book of Daniel, there does not seem to be any break in the weeks of years, which give room for a theoretic Year of Jubilee, see Daniel 9:24-27.

There is no proof in the Scriptures that the Year of Jubilee was ever celebrated at any time in the history of Israel. There is, however, a quote in Talmud,[7] which says, “Israel counted seventeen Years of Jubilee from the time that they entered the land until they left the land”. However, counting is not equal to celebrating. How many of the seventeen Years of Jubilee were actually observed properly? If all twelve tribes were not in the land, then the Year of Jubilee could not be celebrated, for it is written, “all the inhabitants of the land” and “each one of you”, see verses 10, 13. From the time when the two and a half tribes were exiled, it has been impossible to fulfill this commandment. When the Mashiach comes, he will make sure that this commandment is fulfilled in the right way as the twelve tribes are restored in the land of Israel.

In Luke 4:16-21, it is written,

“He came to Natzeret, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the day of Shabbat, and stood up to read. The book of the prophet Yesha`yahu was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of HaShem is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of HaShem.’ He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began to tell them, ‘Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’”(HNV)

During the second temple period the three-year Torah reading program was observed in the synagogues in the land of Israel. This means that over a period of three years the entire Torah of Moshe was read through. After reading the weekly Torah portion, they also read from the Prophets. This is called the haftarah reading, see Acts 13:15. The reading from the Prophets was instituted in the synagogues during times of persecution when reading the Torah of Moshe was forbidden. Therefore the haftarah text has a similar theme as the theme of the Torah portion each week. So, in the synagogues each week, during the time when reading the Torah was forbidden, they were able to read and deal with the same theme in the Prophets that the Torah would have dealt with that week without reading the actual Torah. Later, when reading the Torah was once again permitted, the custom of reading from the prophets was maintained and this reading was added at the end of the weekly Torah reading.

When Yeshua participated in the Torah ministry in his synagogue, he was called upon to read the haftarah text. The weekly Torah portion had just been finished and now Yeshua was to read the last text of the day, from the prophet Yeshayahu. Yeshua read from the haftarah text of that week, according to the custom of the three-year program. According to this program, the text in Isaiah 61:1-2 was read the third year on the last Shabbat of the eighth month, called Cheshvan, which usually coincides with the month of November on the Roman calendar.

The expression “an acceptable year of HaShem” could very well be a reference to the shemitah or yovel year. Before Isaiah was read that Shabbat, they had been reading the text from Deuteronomy 15:7 – 16:17, according to the three-year reading plan. This text deals with helping the poor, the shemitah year, and the three annual feasts.

The question is if Yeshua might actually have been fulfilling his ministry in connection with a Shabbat Year, since his ministry consisted of seeking and bringing home the lost sheep of the house of Israel, which is a theme connected to the Shabbat Years and the Year of Jubilee, see Matthew 15:24.

25:22 “You shall sow the eighth year, and eat of the fruits, the old store; until the ninth year, until its fruits come in, you shall eat the old store.”(HNV) – This text can be interpreted in two ways. It seems as though it is saying that the seeds that were planted during one year, in this case the eighth year, were then harvested during the following year, the ninth year. This would be impossible if the new year falls on the first of Tishri, the seventh month, since planting is not done before Tishri. Before Tishri, the fruit trees are harvested. The normal planting season lasted from Tishri until Tevet, from the seventh to the tenth month. Sometimes planting was done in the eleventh month as well, the month called Shevat. So, if this text says that the planting done during one year was to be harvested during the next year, it would not work if the year began in Tishri. The first barley harvest must be ready in Nissan. This harvest is dependent on the planting at the end of the previous year.

The second interpretation is that it is not referring to the harvest during the ninth year that comes as a result of the planting done during the eighth year, but only to the harvest that comes during the ninth agricultural year. In that case the text is saying that the blessing from the sixth year will last until the harvest of the ninth year.

25:23 “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; for you are strangers and live as foreigners with me.”(HNV) – The land of Israel does not belong to man, but to HaShem. He has decided to rent out his land to the children of Israel, and during each Shabbat Year and Year of Jubilee, this fact is acknowledged. The people of Israel have the right to the land as long as they keep the commandments, but if they practice idolatry, they lose the right to live in the land that is owned by the Sacred One, as it is written in 2 Chronicles 7:19-20,

“But if you turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have consecrated for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.”(HNV revised)

This word has already been fulfilled.

In Ezekiel 36:1-15, it is written,

“You, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Yisra'el, and say, You mountains of Yisra'el, hear the word of HaShem. Thus says the Lord HaShem: Because the enemy has said against you, Aha! and, The ancient high places are ours in possession; therefore prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord HaShem: Because, even because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that you might be a possession to the residue of the nations, and you are taken up in the lips of talkers, and the evil report of the people; therefore, you mountains of Yisra'el, hear the word of the Lord HaShem: Thus says the Lord HaShem to the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes and to the cities that are forsaken, which are become a prey and derision to the residue of the nations that are round about; therefore thus says the Lord HaShem: Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the nations, and against all Edom, that have appointed my land to themselves for a possession with the joy of all their heart, with despite of soul, to cast it out for a prey. Therefore prophesy concerning Eretz-Yisra'el, and tell the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys, Thus says the Lord HaShem: Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my wrath, because you have borne the shame of the nations: therefore thus says the Lord HaShem: I have sworn, saying, Surely the nations that are round about you, they shall bear their shame. But you, mountains of Yisra'el, you shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Yisra'el; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn into you, and you shall be tilled and sown; and I will multiply men on you, all the house of Yisra'el, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built; and I will multiply on you man and animal; and they shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited after your former estate, and will do better to you than at your beginnings: and you shall know that I am HaShem. Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, even my people Yisra'el; and they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance, and you shall no more henceforth bereave them of children. Thus says the Lord HaShem: Because they say to you, You land are a devourer of men, and have been a bereaver of your nation; therefore you shall devour men no more, neither bereave your nation any more, says the Lord HaShem; neither will I let you hear any more the shame of the nations, neither shall you bear the reproach of the peoples any more, neither shall you cause your nation to stumble any more, says the Lord HaShem.”(HNV revised)

This prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes, through the return of the Jews from the whole world and their building up of the land. However, one part of the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled since there is still much scorn that can be heard from the gentiles.

No man is the rightful owner of the land of Israel. No man has the right to give the land to another people, or to divide the land between Jews and Arab Palestinians. Since the land has been divided by the gentile nations, HaShem’s judgments will fall on the nations, as it is written in Joel 3:1-2,

“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I restore the fortunes of Yehudah and Yerushalayim, I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Yehoshafat; and I will execute judgment on them there for my people, and for my heritage, Yisra'el, whom they have scattered among the nations. They have divided my land,”(HNV)

In Psalm 10:16, it is written,

“HaShem is King forever and ever! The gentile nations will perish out of his land.”(HNV revised)

The Fourth Aliyah, 25:25-28

25:25 “If your brother becomes poor, and sells some of his possessions, then his kinsman who is next to him shall come, and redeem that which his brother has sold.”(HNV) – This shows us that poverty is the only valid reason for selling one’s birthright in the land of Israel, the birthright inherited from one’s forefathers. In ancient times, land could be redeemed by the original owner or one of his nearest relatives, and the buyer did not have the right to deny their claim. This was the case with Naomi’s family whose story is told in the book of Ruth, see Ruth 2:20; 3:12-13; 4:1-6.

The Fifth Aliyah, 25:29-38

25:29 “If a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it has been sold. For a full year he shall have the right of redemption.”(HNV) – This is talking about a city that was surrounded by walls at the time when Yehoshua conquered the land, not a city that was walled later. This aliyah is talking about the sale of different kinds of possessions and the rights for redeeming them.

Type of possession sold

Minimum amount of time for it to be redeemed

Maximum time for it to be redeemed

Returned to the original owner during the Year of Jubilee

A house in a city surrounded by walls


One year after the sale


A house in an open city





Two productive years after the sale



A house or land in a Levite city





25:35 “If your brother has become poor, and his hand can’t support him among you; then you shall uphold him, even a stranger and a sojourner, he shall live with you.”(HNV revised) – There are three different words used to describe the people in this verse; “brother” (in Hebrew ach), “stranger” (in Hebrew ger[8]), and “sojourner” (in Hebrew toshav[9]). In this case ger means a proselyte, one who has gone through a complete conversion and who is considered to be a Jew with all the rights and obligations that this entails. A toshav is a gentile who lives in the land of Israel and who has not converted. A Jew is obligated to help his brother, the convert, and the gentile who lives in the land, with loans or gifts, if they need financial support in order not to go bankrupt.

There are eight different levels of social help, in Hebrew tzedakah:

  1.  Giving with ill will. This is the lowest level.

  2. Giving with joy, but less than one is able.

  3. Giving directly to a person who is in need and is asking for help.

  4. Giving directly to a person who is in need without the person asking for help.

  5. Giving indirectly, so that the giver does not know who was helped, but the one who was helped knows where it came from.

  6. Giving indirectly, so that the giver knows who was helped, but the person who was helped does not know who gave.

  7. Giving indirectly, so that neither the giver nor the receiver knows of the other. For example by giving through a foundation that gives social help and is administrated by responsible people.

  8. When the giver supports a person so that he does not become poor, by giving him substantial support in an honorable way through loans, advice, or education so that he can find employment or start his own business and will not be dependent on help from others.

25:36-37 “Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God; that your brother may live among you. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit.”(HNV revised) – It is forbidden to give money or food to a brother and crave interest, except for when he is lending money for his business and will earn money through the loan. In that case it is not a question of social help but of a financial transaction to which this commandment does not apply.

The Sixth Aliyah, 25:39-46

25:39 “If your brother has grown poor among you, and sells himself to you; you shall not make him to serve as a slave.”(HNV) – Humiliating an Israelite brother who is poor is forbidden, especially when he has sold himself as a slave. He must not be treated as a slave, but as an employed servant. According to the halachah,[10] the owner of a Hebrew slave must treat him just as well or even better than he treats himself. If there is only one bed, then the owner must sleep on the floor and let the servant sleep in the bed.

25:40 “As a hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with you; he shall serve with you until the Year of Jubilee”(HNV) – All Hebrew servants are released in the Year of Jubilee. The servants from other nations are not released in the Year of Jubilee, but remain as possessions of the Hebrews, both they and their children, see verses 44-46.

25:41 “then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and shall return to his own family, and to the possession of his fathers.”(HNV) – The owner of a Hebrew servant is also obligated to provide for the servant’s family.

25:42 “For they are my servants, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt. They shall not be sold as slaves.”(HNV) – Since the children of Israel are HaShem’s servants, they must not be treated as slaves, like they were in Egypt. The contract that binds them to HaShem overrides any other type of agreement of slavery for a Hebrew. To be sold as a slave means to be offered up publicly at a market as an animal or another item.

The Seventh Aliyah, 25:47 – 26:2

25:47-48 “If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him has grown poor, and sells himself to the stranger or foreigner living among you, or to a member of the stranger’s family; after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem him”(HNV) – This text teaches us that when the first man became destitute and was sold together with his children to the old serpent, a brother of his can redeem him. But who is the brother that can redeem man from the slavery of sin and death when all men are sold?

In Psalm 49:7-9, it is written,

“None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give God a ransom for him. For the redemption of their life is costly, no payment is ever enough, that he should live on forever, that he should not see corruption.”(HNV redeem)

In Job 19:25-26, it is written,

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives. In the end, he will stand upon the earth. After my skin is destroyed, then in my flesh shall I see God”(HNV revised)

Who is the brother that can redeem man from sin and death? There is only one who does not have any sin, who has died, and who had been raised from the dead. Therefore he can redeem all men so that they can live for eternity. His name is Yeshua.

In Hebrews 2:11-15, it is written,

“For both he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers. In the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.’ Again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ Again, ‘Behold, here am I and the children whom God has given me.’ Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”(HNV revised)

Our brother has redeemed us from death! Blessed be the Name of the Eternal!

26:1 “You shall make for yourselves no idols, neither shall you raise up an engraved image or a pillar, neither shall you place any figured stone in your land, to bow down to it: for I am HaShem your God.”(HNV revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated “figured” is “maskit”.[11] According to Rashi, this word means “to cover”, both in this case and in Exodus 33:22. The prohibition then becomes to make stone mosaics that cover the floor and then to worship on them. This was common in ancient idol temples where they knelt on mosaics that had pictures of idols. In order for an Israelite not to resemble an idol worshipper, the rabbis teach that he must not fall down, not even before HaShem, on a stone floor, except for in the temple. Therefore when Jews fall down before HaShem on Yom Kippur, they place a rug or similar on the floor so that they do not fall down directly on the floor of the synagogue, even though it may not be made of stone.

This Parashah contains commandments number 326-349 of the 613 commandments.

  1. The prohibition of cultivating the land during the seventh year, Leviticus 25:4.

  2. The prohibition of cultivating the trees during the seventh year, Leviticus 25:4.

  3. The prohibition of harvesting that which has grown naturally during the seventh year, Leviticus 25:5.

  4. The prohibition of picking the fruit of the trees during the seventh year in the same manner that they are picked during all the other years, Leviticus 25:5.

  5. The command to count seven times seven, Leviticus 25:8.

  6. The command to blow a shofar on the tenth of Tishri during the Year of Jubilee, Leviticus 25:9-10.

  7. The command to consecrate the Year of Jubilee, Leviticus 25:10.

  8. The prohibition of working the land during the Year of Jubilee, Leviticus 25:11.

  9. The prohibition of harvesting the growth from the plants that grow up naturally during the Year of Jubilee, Leviticus 25:5.

  10. The prohibition of cutting the fruit of the trees during the Year of Jubilee in the same way that it is cut during the other years, Leviticus 25:5.

  11. The command to justly settle disputes between seller and buyer, Leviticus 25:14.

  12. The prohibition of deceiving anyone while buying or selling, Leviticus 25:14.

  13. The prohibition of humiliating an Israelite verbally, Leviticus 25:17.

  14. The prohibition of permanently selling a piece of the Land of Israel, Leviticus 25:23.

  15. The command to return land to its original owner during the Year of Jubilee, Leviticus 25:24.

  16. The command to redeem an inherited lot of land in a walled city within a year, Leviticus 25:29.

  17. The prohibition of changing the status of land that belongs to the Levite cities, Leviticus 25:34.

  18. The prohibition of taking interest on monetary loans, Leviticus 25:37.

  19. The prohibition for an Israelite servant to do the same kind of work as a gentile slave, Leviticus 25:39.

  20. The prohibition of selling an Israelite servant in the place where slaves are sold, Leviticus 25:42.

  21. The prohibition of allowing an Israelite to do overwhelming work, Leviticus 25:43.

  22. The command to keep a gentile slave, Leviticus 25:46.

  23. The prohibition of allowing a gentile to make an Israelite servant do overwhelming work, Leviticus 25:53.

  24. The prohibition of falling down on inlaid stone, Leviticus 26:1.

[1]     Shmitah 10.

[2]     “El Midrash dice – Vayikrá”, by R. Moshé Weissman, page 321.

[3]     Rosh HaShanah 8b.

[4]     Strong H3104 yôbêl  yôbêl, yo-bale', yo-bale', Apparently from H2986; the blast of a horn (from its continuous sound); specifically the signal of the silver trumpets; hence the instrument itself and the festival thus introduced: - jubile, ram’s horn, trumpet.

Strong H2986 yâbal, yaw-bal', A primitive root; properly to flow; causatively to bring (especially with pomp): - bring (forth), carry, lead (forth).

[5]     Lifshutó shel Rashí, editorial Mif´al Rashí, Yerushalayim 1990.

[6]     Nedarim 61a; Arachim 12b.

[7]     Arachim 12b.

[8]     Strong H1616 gêr  gêyr, gare, gare, From H1481; properly a guest; by implication a foreigner: - alien, sojourner, stranger.

[9]      Strong H8453 tôshâb  tôshâb, to-shawb', to-shawb', (The second form used in Kings Num 17:1); from H3427; a dweller (but not outlandish, H5237); especially (as distinguished from a native citizen (active participle of H3427) and a temporary inmate, H1616, or mere lodger, H3885) resident alien: - foreigner-inhabitant, sojourner, stranger.

[10]    Tosefta Kidushin 20.

[11]    Strong H4906 masìkîyth, mas-keeth', From the same as H7906; a figure (carved on stone, the wall, or any object); figuratively imagination: -  conceit, image (-ry), picture, X wish.