• Maverick (Avigdor) Peters

Parshas Behar and Bechukosai 2015

Avigdor Laib (Maverick) Peters The Torah is often known in the secular world as the “five books of Moses”. In truth, this is highly misleading for it gives an apparent connotation that Moshe himself actually authored the Torah. This assumption is not only incorrect but it is also prohibited. We as Jews are required to live with a concrete belief and an unwavering faith that the Torah is of Divine origin (from Hashem). The laws of the Shemittah year discussed this week are a strong proof that no man could have possibly written the Torah. The Shemittah year (lit. Sabbatical year) is the seven year in the seven year cycle. This year is solely to let the land rest. No Jewish farm owner can work his field (in Israel) during this year. It serves as a “Shabbos” (time of rest) for the agricultural element of creation (Jews and the animals have every seventh day). One would ask, “If the fields cannot be worked then how will the people have enough to eat?” So Hashem made a wonderful promise in this parsha that on every sixth year the produce will be very abundant. There will be enough for the seventh year and the first year of the next cycle. However, those who work in the seventh year, their land will become desolate and barren. Interestingly, the produce that is naturally grown that year is considered holy and must be treated as such. For example, peels from a fruit must be double wrapped before thrown out as we would a sacred item. Chasam Sofer comments, the mitzvah of keeping the Shemittah itself is a convincing proof that Hashem’s Torah is definitely not a mere thought of Moshe’s or the previous Rabbis but rather of Divine origin. No human being would be able to say, “…and it [the land] shall bring forth produce for three years [worth].” (Leviticus 25:21). The Torah is often scrutinized by the world around us. It is imperative to understand that the Torah we study is directly from our Creator and is meant to be used as a guidebook and rule book for our daily lives. May we all merit to truly understand the divine authenticity of the Torah and use it to strengthen our growth as Jews! –Amen! HAVE A GREAT SHABBOS AND WEEKEND!

Stay tuned for next week’s Parsha as we begin Sefer Bamidbar (the 4th book of Moses) beginning with its title track.

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