Student Teaching in the New Millenium

5771 B’har III

In Leviticus on May 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

Why does the Torah offer passages about the Sabbath year, Jubilee year, and purchasing land in the following pattern?

Sabbath year
Jubilee year
Purchasing land
Sabbath year
Jubilee year
Purchasing land

Why not group the passages about the Sabbath year together, the passages about Jubilee year together, and the passages about buying property together?

Does the Torah ask “what does God care about money?”

Does the Prophet answer “money is to you as time is to Me?”

You shall observe My laws and faithfully keep My rules, that you may live upon the land in security; the land shall yield its fruit and you shall eat your fill, and you shall live upon it in security.

Does the Torah ask “why promise security twice?”

Does the Prophet answer “once for people, twice for the land?”

Why does the Torah ask what we will eat in the seventh year after the earlier statement that we may eat whatever the land produces in the Sabbath year? The previous iteration is accompanied by family, laborers, and beasts, which implies a great many. Is the Torah saying the land will produce enough to sustain these without the blessing of the sixth year?

The second iteration is accompanied by “and should you ask.” Is the blessing contingent on the asking? Does the Prophet answer “instant gratification is adultery. It starts off like fresh bread and ends like stale matzah?”

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