Torah Tidbits

The Message from the Mountain headshot white 2015cropped

Shabbat Parashat B’har

May 28, 2016 – 20 Iyyar 5776

Dear Friends,

Why are some adventurous people always trying to climb mountains? Why are all of us interested in how those mountain climbers fare? It seems that there is a message that comes from the mountain….

Our people stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, and received the Torah. In this week’s Torah portion, B’har [On the Mountain], the Torah tells us about the sabbatical year for the Land: A year of rest for crop-producing lands once every seven years. The Torah tells us that this was a message that came right from the Mountain – right from Mount Sinai. Why, of all the 613 mitzvoth, is that particular message of the sabbatical year for the Land singled out and associated with the Torah we received on Mount Sinai? Perhaps it is because we might forget that the earth is ours to use and to enjoy but also to preserve!

People are worthy of a day of rest each week because there is a sanctity associated with life. A set time to rest ensures our freedom to enjoy life’s holiness to the fullest. The Land is worthy of a year of rest each seventh year because there is also a sanctity associated with God’s creation of the earth. It is up to us to set a time for the Land to be refreshed, renewed, and appreciated for the awesome gift that it is!

Some people are drawn to climb mountains to sense the awesome nature of creation and of our human lives in relation to creation. Some can sense the same thing from Torah.

The message from the mountain is waiting for each and every one of us – mountain climbers and regular folks too.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror