Make a Fixed Time for Study

עשה תורתך קבע – אמור מעט ועשה הרבה

Take a Break – בהר

Posted by rabbiart on May 14, 2008

The final two parshiot of Vayikra are read together except in leap years. (Leap years occur seven out of every nineteen years.) This being a year, we read Behar this Shabbat and Bechukotai next Shabbat. The sidrot
will be joined in a way, because we will be celebrating the B’nai Mitzvah of two of our young people, one each Shabbat.

One of the mainstays of our tradition is that we were chosen to be a “light unto the nations.” The primary topic of Parshat Behar is the establishment of the Jubilee Year.

Echoing the rhythm of the world’s creation, we are told to work the land for six years, but “the seventh year shall be a shabbat shabbaton for the land, a shabbat to Ado-nai”.

וּבַשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁבִיעִת, שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן יִהְיֶה לָאָרֶץ–שַׁבָּת, לַיהוָה

The jubilee year is the inspiration for an act in the U.S. Congress to provide 100 percent debt cancellation to over sixty countries in the global south. The act, entitled The Jubilee Act for Resopnsible Lending and Expanded
Debt Cancellation (HR2634) passed the U.S. House of Representatives 285-132 in April. There are sixty seven countries that would benefit from global debt cancellation. Of them thirty-four voted on the 1975 Zionism is Racism U.N. General Assembly Resolution. Of the thirty-four nations voting, six sponsored the resolution, another twenty voted in favor, and six abstained. One wonders how the people of these countries, most of whom are ardently anti-Zionist and anti-Israel, would feel knowing that the very idea of debt cancellation comes to them by way of the Jewish bible.

If you appreciate irony, you can follow the progress of debt cancellation in Iraq here. Better yet, here’s how it looks in the United Kingdom and in the United States. Individual congregations can back the effort, should ours?

Shabbat Shalom


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