Leviticus 25:1-26:2


In Parashat Behar, G-d instructs Moses about when to rest the land, a Jubilee year, and what to do with land during hard times.

For six years it is allowed to work the land. On the seventh, the land must rest but the produce that grows naturally can be eaten.

The 50th year will be a Jubilee year and it will be sacred.  No crops will be sown or reaped but produce and crops can be eaten from the field in which they are growing.  You are not to wrong another person with the purchase or sale of land.

You are not to worry about the lack of food in the 7th year.  In the 6th year, G-d will ensure that enough will grow for 3 years.

The promised land is not yours to sell, the land belongs to G-d.

If one has fallen on hard times and needs to sell their property holdings, the closest relative will redeem the land.  If no relative or no relative with the means to redeem it, what’s sold will remain with the one buying it until the Jubilee Year and the nit will be returned.

If your brother is in trouble, treat him fairly with loans – no interest.  If your brother becomes so poor that he sells himself to you, you will not work him as a slave but as a hired worker and will only serve until the Jubilee year upon which he and his family will be freed to return to their ancestral holding.

Men and women from other nations may become your slaves and properties.  But not your Israelite brothers.

If your brother sells himself as a slave to another nation, he will have the right of redemption.  A close family member can redeem him, or he can redeem himself.  The payment will equal the amount earned as a worker until the Jubilee Year.  If he hasn’t been redeemed by the Jubilee Year, he will go free regardless.

You will not make idols of yourselves.  You will observe the Sabbath and honor G-d’s sanctuary.