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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 25, v. 10: "Ukro'sem d'ror" - And you shall call for emancipation - Ibn Ezra says that the word "d'ror" refers to a bird of the wild, which has freedom to fly wherever it wants. The Holy Zohar likewise says that "d'ror" refers to a bird of the wild, but adds that when it builds a nest it inhabits it for fifty days, and this is why the Torah uses the term "d'ror," corresponding to the 50th year, when there is freedom for a slave and he leaves his master.

Ch. 25, v. 10: "V'shavtem ish el achuzoso v'ish el mishpachto toshuvu" - And you shall return a man to his inheritance and a man to his family shall you return - We explain these words to mean that this is the result of the two laws, that land inheritance is returned to the family, so a person returns to having ownership of the land, and that slaves are emancipated, so a person returns to his family. In a most novel manner the Chidushei HoRi"m connects these two thoughts. When a person has financial difficulties and is forced to sell even his land inheritance it impacts upon him socially as well. His relatives shy away from him because he is poor. When his land is returned to him, not only is the land returned, but he also has his relatives who distanced themselves from him when he was poor, now become close to him again.

Ch. 25, v. 11: "V'lo sik'tz'ru" - And you (plural) shall not harvest - The prohibition to harvest during the "yoveil" year is expressed in the plural form, while by "shmitoh" (verse 4) it is expressed in the singular form, "lo sizmor." Tosfos on the gemara Sukoh 39b d.h. "Ba'meh" writes that the Torah prohibition to harvest is limited to "m'shumor," that which is guarded, and does not apply to "mufkor," ownerless produce. Only the owner can properly make the produce guarded as he has the ability to fence it in and lock the gate. "Shmitoh" year does not specifically give us two owners for a field, as in general one person owns a field for quite a while. Therefore the Torah expresses the prohibition in the singular form. "Yoveil" year oft times finds a field with two owners, as the field is owned by the purchaser until Yom Kippur and it returns to the seller on Yom Kippur. Since the field has two owners during the "yoveil" year the Torah expresses the prohibition in the plural form. (Ragatchover Gaon)

Ch. 25, v. 18,19: "Vishavtem al ho'oretz lo'vetach, Vishavtem lo'vetach o'lehoh" - And you will reside upon the land securely, And you will securely reside upon it - Why the repetition? Verse 19 begins with the blessing of "V'nosnoh ho'oretz piryoh," - the land will give forth its produce. Even if one is assured that no enemy will come upon him when the land is barren it is not a guarantee that when the land gives forth an abundance of produce that the enemy will not swoop upon them then. The Torah therefore assures us again that even with a bumper crop we will enjoy peace and tranquility. (Da'mesek Eliezer) Alternatively, in verse 18 where no abundance of produce is mentioned, it is more likely that we will merit to live securely upon the land, as when we have limited material goods we do not readily rebel against Hashem. Verse 19, which mentions an abundance of produce, which in turn can more readily bring us to sin, adds the blessing that we will hopefully behave properly even with full bellies, and in turn merit to remain on the land with a feeling of security. (T'chei'les Mordechai)

Ch. 25, v. 32: "G'ulas olom ti'h'yeh laL'viim" - A permanent redemption shall be for the Levites - This special privilege is not to be looked upon as favouritism towards the Levites. Rather, it is specifically because the Levites were not given a land inheritance in such a generous manner as the other tribes, being limited to 48 cities and their limited sprawl beyond city limits, that the Torah at least slightly compensated them with not losing their land as readily. (Chizkuni)

Perhaps this insight gives us a better understanding of the ruling of the following verse. Rashi explains that verse 33 teaches us that the law of verse 32, that Levite cities that are wall enclosed do not become permanent property of purchasers even when the Levites do not redeem them, even applies when a Levite was the purchaser. Why would I think that this makes a difference? According to the Chizkuni this is very well understood. Since the rational behind the law is that Levites deserve special protection to retain their limited property, I might think that if the property would remain permanently in the hands of another Levite the first Levite would have no special protection. (Nirreh li)


Ch. 26, v. 5: "Vaachaltem lach'm'chem losova vishavtem lo'vetach b'ar'tz'chem" - And you will eat your bread to the point of being satiated and you will reside securely in your land - The blessing is that there will be sufficient livelihood for everyone within the land and there will in turn be no need to leave the country to pursue a livelihood. (Vayikra Yitzchok)

Ch. 26, v. 5: "Vishavtem lo'vetach b'ar'tz'chem" - And you will reside securely in your land - The security afforded by toiling in Torah is that the nations of the world will undisputedly agree that it is YOUR land and not lay claim to it. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh) What a relevant message for our troubled times!

Ch. 26, v. 21: "Keri" - Happenstance - The numeric value of "keri" is the same as "derech ha'teva." (Sh'eiris Yisroel)

Ch. 26, v. 31: "Vahashimosi es mik'd'sheichem v'lo oriach b'rei'ach nichochachem" - And I will lay waste your sanctuaries and I will not smell the pleasant aroma of your fragrances - Once the Sanctuary is destroyed there is no offering of incense. If so, why is it necessary to add that Hashem will not smell the aroma of the incense? The gemara Yoma 39b relates that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korchoh said that he met an elderly person who told him that when he was in Shiloh, a distance from Yerusholayim and many years after the Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed, he smelled the residual fragrance of the Mikdosh incense. Residual aroma also has a positive affect spiritually. Our verse tells us that if there is ch"v severe sinning the residual fragrance of the daily incense, which exists even well after the Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed, will not have a calming Effect upon Hashem. (Mahari"l Diskin)

Ch. 26, v. 36: "V'rodaf osom kole o'leh nidof" - And the sound of a pounding leaf will pursue them - Perhaps there is a positive prophetic message in these words. The Daf Ha'yomi concept of Rabbi Meir Shapiro, Lubliner Rov, is now world renown. It is a schedule of studying a daily folio of the Talmud. Its beauty is that one keeps pace with tens of thousands of others as he completes the entire Talmud in a bit over seven years. This is truly a "Talmudic treadmill." When one falls behind he feels much pressure to quickly catch up with the rest of the Talmudic world of Daf Ha'yomi members. The sound of the beating "daf" will chase after you, pushing you to move forward in your studying the daily "daf." (Nirreh li)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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