This Shabbat, we find ourselves between two staggering events: the tragedy at Har Meron last Friday, and Yom Yerushalayim this Sunday night and Monday. Two mountains, steeped in Jewish history, associated with the most significant personalities and pathos: Avraham, Yitzchak and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.
The Sages said: “‘They will stumble over each other’” – read this as ‘stumble because of one another’: this teaches that all Israelites are responsible for one another.”
This is an exceedingly strange passage. Why locate this principle here?
The idea behind the sabbatical year remains fixed in the minds and hearts of the Jewish people wherever they may live. And that basic idea is simple: that the world and all its land belongs to and is subject to the will of the Creator.
Sefer Vayikra was given during Bnei Yisrael’s period in the desert. It is therefore telling that the Torah already relates as a given fact the situation in which they are working the fields of Eretz Yisrael, suspending work during Shemitta and Yovel, and following the rules of transactions regarding real estate in the Land among other financial matters.
The two commands are respectively the prohibition against desecrating God’s name, Chillul Hashem, and the positive corollary, Kiddush Hashem, that we are commanded to sanctify God’s name. But in what sense can we sanctify or desecrate God’s name?
The list of holidays is repeated numerous times in the Torah. Since there are no needless repetitions in the holy text of the Torah, commentators over the ages have offered many explanations as to why this calendar is repeated so many times.
he term “zichron teruah” in describing Rosh Hashana among the holidays in our parasha, is a special term, which very likely refers to shofar blowing. But zichron, meaning remembrance, does not, at first glance, have a clear meaning.
A well known Rabbinic adage emerges from the succession of the next 3 Torah portions: Acharei Mot, Kedoshim, Emor – “after their death, they say Holy!” That is, as soon as you are gone, they talk about how holy you were! But there is yet another spin we can give to this phrase by slightly moving the comma: After the death of the righteous, speak!
I transplanted a cherry tree in order to sell the wood
I see that many cherries have grown on the tree. Are they prohibited as orlah? A sabra tree plantad as a natural border fence for his property, and placed a sign telling people not to help themselves to the fruit. Is there an orlah prohibition on the fruit? If I plant trees for wood, do I need to keep track of which year I plant the tree, due to orlah concerns?