Daily Chumash Behar-Sunday-The Mitzvah of Shemitah & Yovel

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  1. The Mitzvah of Shemitah:
  • Resting the land from planting: Hashem told Moshe on Har Sinai to tell the Jewish people that when they arrive to the promised land, they are to sow the land for six years and are to rest the land on the seventh year. One may not sow the land on the seventh year, as it is a year of rest for G-d.
  • Not to harvest for personal use: In the seventh year one may not harvest the field. The produce of the field shall be food for you, your slaves, and for all who reside with you. It shall also be available for all the animals in your land. [The produce of the fields is to be considered ownerless and allowed to be taken by all people during this year.]

  1. Mitzvah of Yovel:
  • Counting the years: One is to count seven sets of seven years for a total of 49 years. On the 50th year, on Yom Kippur, the Shofar is to be blown throughout all your lands.
  • Freeing the slaves: The 50th year is to be sanctified and is to be proclaimed a year of freedom. All lands are to return to their original owner and all slaves are to be set free during this year to return to their homes.
  • This 50th year is called Yovel.
  • Not to sow or harvest: In the fiftieth year one may not sow or harvest the field. The produce of the field shall be food for you.

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