B’Har: Let It Go

We find in the Torah portion of B’Har laws concerning the Shemitah and Yovel, that is, the Sabbatical year for the land, and the Jubilee year in which all purchased lands return to their original owners and all indentured servants are freed. Additionally, the Torah commands us in this section against charging interest on a loan. The restrictions here enumerated regarding land, servants and loans, serve to remind man, who might instinctively feel he is lord upon the land, lord over others, or even lord over time itself, to feel humbled through these reminders to understand that he is lord over none of these things. The land belongs to God, and therefore even the owner may not work it once in seven years, and must even relinquish ownership altogether (if purchased rather than inherited) every fiftieth year. Man may not lord over man in any permanent fashion, either, therefore, all indentured servitude ends, whether the human master wills it or not, in the Jubilee year as well. Finally, while one may wish to charge interest as a price for the time allowed for the use of the money by the borrower, the Torah teaches the lender that he may not lord over the time of the borrower to charge him interest for the duration of the loan. Through these restrictions, man achieves the appropriate humility to recognize that he may not lord over space, time, or the lives of others, rather, that there exists but one Lord to whom every knee shall bend.

Based on Mey haShiloach, Parshas B’Har

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(Image from Wallpaper Abyss)


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