Behar-Bechukotai

“Six years you shall sow your field but the seventh year the land shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land” Leviticus 25-3. “The land is mine for ye are strangers and settlers as far as I am concerned”. Leviticus 25-23.

The association of the Jewish people with the land began with Hashem’s covenant with Abraham – Genesis 15 -18 “Unto thy seed have I given this land….”. After the destruction of the 2nd Temple the Jewish population declined drastically and the land lay fallow for a long time until the Jewish settlers-“toshavim”- returned to create the state of Israel.

Apart from ecological awareness, another topic emphasised in this sedra, Leviticus 25-35, is social justice. “If thy brother becomes impoverished… you shall uphold him or hold on to him; even if he is a stranger or settler, he shall live with thee.” Thus the worthy concept of the welfare state.

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