This week in Torah


May 21, 2022 – Behar (On the mountain) – Parshat 32

  • Torah: Leviticus 25:1-26:2
  • Haftara: Jeremiah 32:6-27
  • Brit Chadasha: Luke 4:14-22

וַיְדַבֵּ֤ר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה בְּהַ֥ר סִינַ֖י לֵאמֹֽר׃

Vayedaber Adonay el-Moshe behar Sinay lemor.

The LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai:

This week we read of the seven year cycle of the sabbatical (Shmita) year. Just as there is a Sabbath for man each week so there is a Sabbath for the land every seven years. In the Talmud, the number seven represents redemption. and so at the conclusion of a Shavua of years known in the Talmud as “Shavua sheben David” (“seven years of David”)  the Reign of Mashiach will be ushered in. It will be born out of natural disasters, plagues, pestilence, famine, persecution and war.

Yermiyahu Navi (Jerimiah the prophet) spoke of this Shavua and Shmita year in the same way. (Jeremiah 30:3-9) “For, behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will turn again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, says the LORD; and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. 4 These are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah. 5 For thus says the LORD: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask now, and see whether a man does travail with child: why do I see every man with his hands on his waist, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. 8 It shall come to pass in that day, says the LORD of Hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and will burst your bonds; and strangers shall no more make him their bondservant; 9 but they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up to them.

“the Tabernacle of David that is fallen [hanofelet]” (Amos 9:11). That is why the Messiah is called bar nifli. Rabbi Yitzḥak said to him that this is what Rabbi Yoḥanan says: During the generation in which the Messiah, son of David, comes, Torah scholars decrease; and as for the rest of the people, their eyes fail with sorrow and grief, and troubles increase. And the harsh decrees will be introduced; before the first passes the second quickly comes.”

“The Sages taught in a baraita: With regard to the seven-year period, i.e., the Sabbatical cycle, during which the Messiah, son of David, comes: During the first year, this verse will be fulfilled: “And I will cause it to rain upon one city and cause it not to rain upon another city” (Amos 4:7). During the second year of that period, arrows of famine will be shot, indicating that there will be famine only in certain places. During the third year there will be a great famine, and men, women, children, the pious, and men of action will die, and the Torah is forgotten by those who study it. During the fourth year there will be plenty but not great plenty. During the fifth year there will be great plenty and they will eat, and drink, and rejoice, and the Torah will return to those who study it. During the sixth year, heavenly voices will be heard. During the Sabbatical Year, wars, e.g., the war of Gog and Magog, will be waged involving the Jewish people. During the year after the conclusion of the Sabbatical Year, the son of David will come.” (b.Sanhedren 97a)

As we long for the year of the final redemption, and the establishment of the Malchut Shabashamyeem, hold on to the promise of Mashiach Yeshua! “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” (John 14:3&4)

Shalom Mish’pachah from Beth Hallel Lodi