Saturday, May 14, 2011

Parashat Behar

This week we are privileged to read the portion Behar. The portion begins with one of the important mitzvohs given at mount Sinai, the mitzah of Shmittah.

We are commanded to refrain from working with the ground one out of seven years. One doesn't plant or prune his trees during the Shmita year, it is simply a year of rest, so to say, for the ground.  This Mitzvah demonstrates our complete faith and trust in Hashem, who controls the world, and we are  reliant only on Him. By obeying this mitzvah properly, one brings upon himself an abundance of blessing.

In this weeks portion, additionally, we learn of the mitzvah to loan money to a needy friend and the  prohibition to take interest for a loan given to a fellow Jew. In vayikra 25/36 the Torah states do not take from him interest and "your Brother shall live with you."

The Talmud (Bava Metzia 71) states that one who lends money to a fellow Jew for interest, is compared to one who signed a document that he doesn't believe in the G-d of Israel (see Chazon Ish).

The question arises why did Torah choose the wording "and your brother shall live with you", specifically by this mitzvah ?

I'd like to share with you an explanation that explains the wording beautifully . When someone borrows money and he has to pay back more than the loan, when days pass by, he does not look forward to the coming day, which is bringing closer the day that he needs to pay some additional money above his debt. However the lender looks forward to this date, by him, time is flying. This perhaps is what the Torah means "vchei ochicho imoch" - your brother shall live with you. His calendar should not move at a slower pace than yours.

Let us merit to have true trust in Hashem and always act with kindness one to another.

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