Behar 5774

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The classic question asked at the beginning of the parsha is what is the connection between Mt. Sinai and Shemittah, the Sabbatical year.The Yalkut Shimoni (860) quotes a posuk: "Bless Hashem, you His angels who are mighty in strength, who do His bidding to obey the voice of His speech" (Pslams 103:20). This refers to the people who keep the Shemittah year. The Gemara in Shabbos uses the same posuk to describe Bnei Yisroel as they stood before Mt. Sinai. R' Chaim Shmulewitz explains that just as Bnei Yisroel exalted themselves to the level of angels, so too the farmers that keep Shemittah are exalted. They share the message of "na'aseh vinishma"-we will do and we will hear. This is a special level of emunah and bitachon, to put all your faith in Hashem without questioning and worrying.

Emor 5774

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Right after the Torah speaks about the omer offering, it immediately discusses the mitzvos of leket and pe'ah, to give the poor produce from your field. Why did the Torah decide to put these two ideas together? The Kil Yakar explains that we would think that our fields are exempt from any other mitzvah after harvesting barley for the omer. The Torah comes to say that we still need to use our field to help the poor. The Midrash adds that Hashem surrounded Bnei Yisroel with mitzvos in every action they do. This includes work done in the field.
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