Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha
This parsha sheet is being dedicated to my beloved father, Nachman Shimon ben Yehuda Meir Hakohan,Z"L.May it be a merit for his soul.
If your brother becomes impoverished...............(25:35)The first half of Parshat Behar deals with various laws regarding "Shmita" . In short, the commandment of "Shmita" is that in the 7th year all agricultural activities ceases, and the land of Israel lies fallow.( There are numerous laws regarding "Shmita" which is beyond the scope of this Parsha sheet.) The Parsha then continues regarding numerous laws of the poor. A questioned is asked, whats the connection between "Shmita" and the laws of charity? If the Torah places them next to each other, then we assume a connection exists? I would like to , BEZRAT HASHEM, propose the following original answer: When the farmer reaches the 7th year , he is confronted with a dilemma regarding "Shmita". It's often very difficult to allow one's source of income to lie dormant, namely one's land. This takes much faith and courage. Yet, it can cause a person much anxiety about one's livelihood. G-d is keenly aware of this fact, and promises in verses 25:19-22 that the person that keeps "Shmita" will be blessed with abundance. (Please refer to these verses.)The "Shmita" year is now over, and this farmer finds that G-d has surely blessed him with abundance and wealth. However, a very relevant question remains as follows: Can this farmer now relate to the anxiety his poor neighbor is feeling? This is the true test of "Shmita". Just like this farmer felt anxious about "Shmita", can he now feel the pain of his impoverished brother? Perhapes by connecting "Shmita" with charity, the Torah is teaching an auxiliary reason for the Mitzvah of "Shmita". Hashem wanted the rich landowner to feel somewhat anxious about "Shmita" so that he can now "taste" his impoverished friend's anxiety about being poor. This is perhaps the true test of "Shmita",namely what has the landowner learned from his "Shmita" experience! Is he a better person from it ,or not? Is he more generous with the blessings G-d has bestowed on him, or not? I will venture to say that perhaps the Torah is teaching us that the aftermath of "Shmita" regarding the poor is more of a test to the landowner than "shmita" itself. I can not say that this noval idea (Chiddush) for sure, it's only conjecture. Yet, practically speaking the validity of it's ramifications are true. Have a good Shabbos
This article is
provided as part of Shema Yisrael
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Feedback is Appreciated at firstname.lastname@example.org