Friday, May 27, 2016

Great Expectations:5776 May be a Yovel Year


Will this year see the first Jubilee in centuries?

"Hashem spoke to Moshe on Mount Sinai saying: Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: When you come into the Land that I give you, the Land shall observe a Sabbath Rest for Hashem."(25:1-2)

Rashi immediately jumps on the opening Posuk of Parshat Behar and asks "Were not all the commandments stated from Sinai?" Rashi answers that just as regarding the Sabbatical Year there were stated its generalizations and its details and its minutiae from Sinai so were all the Laws of the Torah so stated."

The Ramban divides the commandment of Shmittah into what Moshe was taught on Har Sinai prior to the Golden Calf and what he was taught on the second set of 40 days after the breaking of the Luchot(Tablets) at the time of the Golden Calf. The Ramban says, "And Scripture mentions the Covenant here in this place, rather than in its historical context in Shmot (Chapter 24) in order to place in proximity the conditions that the Israelites must meet to maintain their possession of the Land; for just as Scripture states regarding the forbidden sexual relations that in account of transgressing them the Land would disgorge the Israelites (above 18:28, 20:22) so does it state in the Torah portion of Bechuktotai regarding the Land's Sabbaths. In order for Scripture to state the threat of Exile for not observing the Sabbatical years it was necessary to mention first the Laws of those Sabbaths." It was as though the Jewish People were re-created after their fall from grace at the time of the Golden Calf.

The world was a vastly different place after the Eigel. Indeed, with the giving of the second set of Tablets G-d commanded Moshe about making a new covenant as it is stated, " Behold, I seal a covenant."(Exodus 34:10) "You shall count for yourself seven cycles of Sabbatical Years, seven years seven times; the years of the seven cycles of Sabbatical years shall be for you forty nine years" (25:8). "You shall sound a Shofar of wailing in the seventh month on the tenth of the month; on the Day of Atonement you shall sound the Shofar throughout your land"(25:9). READ MORE