Tidbits of Torah

Shabbat Parashat B’har-B’chukotai

Shabbat Mevarekhim HaChodesh

Proclaim Liberty in the Land

May 12, 2018 – 27 Iyyar 5778

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us this Friday night and Shabbat morning as we celebrate the bar mitzvah of Zach Weiser. Mazal Tov to Zach and to his entire family!

Our weekly Torah portion contains one of the most famous Biblical verses – a verse which is inscribed on the Liberty Bell! “Proclaim liberty (in Hebrew: dror) in the Land, for all its inhabitants” (Leviticus 25:10).

But, why does the verse say: “Proclaim liberty in the Land, for all its inhabitants?” Wouldn’t it have made more sense if the verse had said: “Proclaim liberty in the Land, for all the slaves?” Aren’t the slaves the ones who need to be liberated?

The answer lies in an extraordinary teaching that highlights the Torah’s understanding of the concept of true liberty. According to that teaching, when the Torah says: “Proclaim liberty in the Land, for all its inhabitants”, the Torah is suggesting to us that as long as slavery exists in any society, both the slaves and the masters are in need of liberation. In other words, true liberty can only exist in society when slavery no longer exists. And, until that time, all the inhabitants of society – masters and slaves alike – are not truly free.

What an insightful teaching for us to contemplate as we read this, and more, in our very precious weekly Torah portion!

This Shabbat we will also recite the prayer for the upcoming new Jewish month of Sivan. Rosh Chodesh Sivan will be on Monday night and Tuesday of this coming week. May it be a month of joy, of blessing and of peace!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror