(Haftara: Yirmiahu 16:19-17:14)
(Pirkay Avot: Chapter 5)
- [25:1] “And God spoke to Moshe on Mount Sinai saying:” Introducing the commandment of shmita—the fact that one does not work the land in the seventh year–the Torah tells us that this commandment was given on Mount Sinai. Generally, the Torah simply says, “And God spoke to Moshe saying…”. Why is Mount Sinai mentioned in relation to this commandment?
- [25:4] “But in the seventh year, there will be a Sabbath of rest for the land…” There are those who say that allowing the land to lie fallow for the seventh year is excellent agricultural practice. It is very good for preserving good farmland. Our tradition tells us that the reason for this commandment is so that we will understand that the land is really God’s and not ours. Can both reasons be true?
- [Yirmiahu 16:19] “God is my strength and my stronghold, my place of escape…” What does it mean that “God is my strength”? Don’t I have to be my own strength and live my own life and fight my own battles?
- [Yirmiahu 17:11] “He who gets rich in a dishonest way…at his end , he will be a fool.” How does being dishonest eventually make a person into a fool?
- [Pirkay Avot 5:26] “The reward is in proportion to the pain (effort).” Sometimes a person’s judgment is not good and he or she puts a lot of effort into a project that is worthless. Will the person be rewarded for that?
Those who are continually reproving others and correcting everyone but themselves are like water which cleans away the dirt, but becomes muddy itself in the process.
- David Twersky, 1808-1882, Talna, Ukraine.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker
And to the memory of Sarah Beila Kummer bat Yitzchak and Chana, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer