Commentary on Parashat Behar, Leviticus 25:1 - 26:2
1. After the Israelites came into the Land, they lived off of it by farming. When were they commanded to refrain from farming?
2. What about produce that grows by itself? Is it permissible to gather it in the seventh year? Why or why not?
3. After each 49 years passed, what proclamation was made? When and how was this done?
4. What were we commanded to do during that jubilee year?
5. What did God say the reward would be for observing the jubilee year properly?
6. If sowing and harvesting were forbidden during the sabbath year, how could people survive?
7. If a person was forced to sell his property because of poverty, did he have to wait until the jubilee year to redeem it?
8. If a person was forced to sell his property, it would always be redeemed during the jubilee year with one exception. What was that?
9. In the case where a person sold his house in a walled city, could he ever redeem it?
10. Were the Levites allowed to sell their houses and fields of open land?
11. What is the special law about charging interest on a loan to a fellow Jew?
1. Every seventh year the Israelites were forbidden to sow their fields and prune their vineyards (25:4).
2. It is forbidden to pick produce that grew by itself, because this year was a “sabbath unto the land” and the land had to rest completely (25:5).
3. After 49 years the Israelites were to claim a jubilee year. The proclamation was made with a blast of the horn on the 10th day of the seventh month (Yom Kippur) (25:10).
4. We were commanded to return every man’s former possessions and return every man to his family. All debts were forgiven. The land would yield its fruit and we would eat until we had enough; we would dwell in safety (25:10).
5. The land would yield its fruit and we would eat until we had enough; we would dwell in safety (25:18-19).
6. God said that during the sixth year there would be such an abundance of crops that it would last for three years, until another crop could be harvested (25:20-21).
7. He could redeem it prior to the jubilee year if he had the money or someone would redeem it for him. There was a formula based on the yield of the land and the selling price that determined how much he had to pay to redeem his land (25:24-27).
8. The exception was if he sold his property in a walled city (25:30-31).
9. Yes. He could redeem it within the first year (25:29).
10. They could sell their homes that could be redeemed, but they could not sell their fields (25:34).
11. When a Jew lends money to another Jew, he or she is not allowed to charge interest (25:35-37).
Provided by special arrangement with the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies.