Published Date: April 27, 2018
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Behar Leviticus 25:1 – 26:2, on the mountain of Sinai, God communicates to Moses the laws of the Sabbatical year: every seventh year, all work on the land should cease, and its produce becomes free for the taking for all, man and beast.
Seven Sabbatical cycles are followed by a fiftieth year—the Jubilee year, on which work on the land ceases, all indentured servants are set free, and all ancestral estates in the Holy Land that have been sold revert to their original owners.
In this week’s Haftara Prophets reading Jeremiah 32:6 – 32:27, discusses the purchase of a field by Jeremiah, echoing one of the themes of this week’s Torah portion—the purchase and redemption of real estate.
Jeremiah was confined in King Zedekiah’s royal compound for having prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of the Jewish people. There, God revealed Himself to the prophet and informs him that he will be approached by his cousin Hanamel with an offer to purchase his ancestral lands. God instructs Jeremiah to accept this offer.