Friday, May 16, 2008

Parshas Behar - "Laying Fallow"

QUICKIE/FUNFACT: What does the Torah mean when it refers to shmita as A REST FOR G-D? (25:4)

The Kli Yakar explains that it was abnormal for farmers to continue planting for six consecutive years. Farmers would usually rest the land after two years of planting. Thus, observing the Torah's command and planting for six years and only resting the land on the seventh year demonstrates that this is not being done for the benefit of the land but, rather, because G-D commanded one to do so as the words A REST FOR G-D indicate.

* Courtesy of Rabbi Dov Lipman Shlit"a

(Vayikra 25:2)"Ki Tavou El HaAretz Asher Ani Nosen Lachem V'Shavta HaAretz Shabbos L'Hashem"

"When you come into the land that I gave you, the land shall observe a Sabbath rest for Hashem."

After reading this Pasuk many commentators are troubled by its terminology. More specifically, why does the Torah chose to say the words, "Asher Ani Nosen Lachem" (That I chose to give to you), don't we already know that Hashem gave this land to his nation, Klal Yisrael?

The Maharam Shick answers this question in his commentary on Pirkei Avos. Many meforashim have written that the reason for the Shmitta year is so that the nations of world will come to the realization that Hakadosh Baruch Hu reigns supreme over this world with his omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. From the shmitta year it becomes clear to all that the sustenance of the land does not come from the craftiness of man but from the kindness of G-d.

A person who honors the Biblical demands of the Shmitta year is seen as a believer in Hashem, while one who chooses to work during this year is seen as a scoffer and nonbeliever. Even this person may keep most of the mitzvos and keep a kosher home, their emunah (belief) is seen to be lacking, fore he thinks that man truly controls the successes of the land. This is the reason that the punishment for desecrating the shmitta year is galus (exile). For, a person who feels that the land is his, will ultimately be exiled from it, and only through these means will he realize that G-d is in charge.

This is the reason why the Pasuk begins with the Words, "Ki Tavou El HaAretz," when you come to the land the first thing that you should realize is, "Asher Ani Nosen Lachem," That I, Hashem, gave it to you. Only once you come to this realization will you be able to take the next step and allow the land to lay fallow on the seventh year.

* From the Sefer, Kimotzei Shalal Rav



Anonymous said...

Is that from the Shlal Rav

Ibn Mordechai said...

Good Vuch,

Yasher Koach, It is. My apologies, I should have stated that in the text.

Stories on The Parsha said...

אִם-בְּחֻקֹּתַי תֵּלֵכוּ וְאֶת-מִצְו‍ֹתַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם
One time someone came to the Chofetz Chaim and complained "Rebbi, I learn and struggle and yet I don’t understand my learning". The Chofetz Chaim answered him look in Parshas Bechukosai in the first Posuk. There it says אִם-בְּחֻקֹּתַי תֵּלֵכוּ and Rashi says on the Posuk שתהיו עמלים בתורה meaning to struggle in the torah so apparently you are reaching your goal!!!

וַאֲבַדְתֶּם בַּגּוֹיִם וְאָכְלָה אֶתְכֶם אֶרֶץ אֹיְבֵיכֶם
When arriving in Israel the Yemenite children where taken on a tour of Ponevitch. Much to the dismay of the adults the children started to make fun of the new immigrant children and there Peyos, which they call Simanim. Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein came over to remedy the situation .He told them it said in this week's Parsha it says וַאֲבַדְתֶּם בַּגּוֹיִם you will be lost among the nations. The Medrash on the Posuk says that the Jews are like a lost object. Therefore said Rav Zilberstein you call them Simanim, because a lost object with Simanim in the context of lost objects meaning distinct demarcation are not considered lost as they can always be identified. The children where consoled, and they learnt a Jew with Peyos can not be lost.

Ibn Mordechai said...

Wow, Thank you!

These are some very nice stories. iy"H I will post them later this week. Are you the same author as, "anonymous on the parsha"?

Anonymous said...

You dont have to say the sefer I just wanted to know if you got it from sowhere else. I was always intrested where the People who write their seforim get their stuff from.I thought you had a source.

Ibn Mordechai said...

I still should have posted it earlier, A. because its not intellectually honest and B. B/c the Gemara in megillah,(maybe 15 a or b) says that one should quote their sources bshem omoro.

Thanks again for all of your help.

Did you just post those stories or is that from someone else?

Stories on The Parsha said...

The stories are from a Sefer called אוצרותיהם של צדיקים

Anonymous said...


Ibn Mordechai said...

Well, Thank you very much. If you dont mind me asking, how did you find out about this site?

Thank you very much for your contributions.

Anonymous said...

איני יודעה

You are Sorely Missed!

You are Sorely Missed!