Parshiot Behar and Bechukotai, The Yovel (Jubilee) and the Lord walking in our midst.


This week’s reading from Parashat Bechukotai (Vayikra / Leviticus 26:3-27:34), is the last portion of scriptures from Sefer Vayikra (Book of Leviticus).  The parashah begins with God stating to keep His Mitzvot (Commandments) so that the rains will come and the land will produce its fruit in its seasons (26:3-5).  In addition to this, walking in God’s ways will bring peace in the land and remove the harmful beasts and no sword will pass through the land (26:6).  The scriptures say that when we obey God’s Mitzvot our enemies will run and fall before us ז   וּרְדַפְתֶּם אֶת-אֹיְבֵיכֶם וְנָפְלוּ לִפְנֵיכֶם לֶחָרֶב: ח   וְרָדְפוּ מִכֶּם חֲמִשָּׁה מֵאָה וּמֵאָה מִכֶּם רְבָבָה יִרְדֹּפוּ וְנָפְלוּ אֹיְבֵיכֶם לִפְנֵיכֶם לֶחָרֶב:  26:7 ‘But you will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword; 26:8 five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword. (NASB) and God will make His dwelling among us (26:11).  The Scriptures go on to say that if the people fail to keep His commandments and reject His statutes (26:14-15) that He (the Lord) will appoint a sudden terror, consumption, and fever over them which will waste away the eyes, the soul will pine away, and the sowing of seed in the fields will be useless because their enemies will eat it up (26:16).  The Lord will set his face against the people so they will fall before their enemies and the people will flea even when no one is pursuing them (26:17, יז   וְנָתַתִּי פָנַי בָּכֶם וְנִגַּפְתֶּם לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֵיכֶם וְרָדוּ בָכֶם שֹֹנְאֵיכֶם וְנַסְתֶּם וְאֵין-רֹדֵף אֶתְכֶם:).  The reason given for the Lord bringing these things upon the people is so they turn from their wicked ways and obey the Lord (26:18).  The Scriptures go on the say that if the people continue to reject the Lord he will cause the plague to מַכָּה שֶׁבַע כְּחַטֹּאתֵיכֶם “strike them seven times because of their sins” (26:21) and if they continue in hostility against the Lord it is repeated וְהִכֵּיתִי אֶתְכֶם גַּם-אָנִי שֶׁבַע עַל-חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם “I will strike you, also I seven times because of your sins.”  Because of their disobedience, the people will eat and not be satisfied (26:27), and again it is repeated, if the people act with wrathful hostility against the Lord וְיִסַּרְתִּי אֶתְכֶם אַף-אָנִי שֶׁבַע עַל-חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם “I will punish you, even I seven because of your sins.”  Continuing in the sin of hostility against the Lord results in the increase in punishment, the people will consume the flesh of their own children (26:29), the Lord will lay waste to the cities (26:31), and scatter the people among the nations (26:33), all because of their sin of hostility against the Lord and idolatry.  When these things happen then the land will truly enjoy its Shabbats (26:35).  The people who are left will have great weakness of heart (26:36) and the people will stumble and flea even though nobody is pursuing them and their enemies will consume them (26:37-38).  The Lord then says מ   וְהִתְוַדּוּ אֶת-עֲוֹנָם וְאֶת-עֲוֹן אֲבֹתָם בְּמַעֲלָם אֲשֶׁר מָעֲלוּ-בִי וְאַף אֲשֶׁר-הָלְכוּ עִמִּי בְּקֶרִי: מא   אַף-אֲנִי אֵלֵךְ עִמָּם בְּקֶרִי וְהֵבֵאתִי אֹתָם בְּאֶרֶץ אֹיְבֵיהֶם אוֹ-אָז יִכָּנַע לְבָבָם הֶעָרֵל וְאָז יִרְצוּ אֶת-עֲוֹנָם: מב   וְזָכַרְתִּי אֶת-בְּרִיתִי יַעֲקוֹב וְאַף אֶת-בְּרִיתִי יִצְחָק וְאַף אֶת-בְּרִיתִי אַבְרָהָם אֶזְכֹּר וְהָאָרֶץ אֶזְכֹּר:  26:40 ‘If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me 26:41 I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, 26:42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land. (NASB) The Scriptures say that if the people repent the Lord will remember His covenant with Avraham, Yitzchak (Isaac), and Yaakov (Jacob).  The Parashah ends with the Mitzvot on the Yovel (Jubilee) year.  In addition to this, the command of the tithe of one tenth is given (27:32, לב   וְכָל-מַעְשַֹר בָּקָר וָצֹאן כֹּל אֲשֶׁר-יַעֲבֹר תַּחַת הַשָּׁבֶט הָעֲשִֹירִי יִהְיֶה-קֹּדֶשׁ לַיהוָֹה:).  Read Parashat Behar. and Read Parashat Bechukotai here.