Parshas Behar-Summary of the Parsha

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Parshas Behar

Pesukim: 57 [Siman: חטיל]

Haftorah: Yermiyahu 32:6-22[1]

Number of Mitzvos:

There are a total of 24 Mitzvos in Parshas Behar; 7 positive commands and 17 negative commands. The following are the commands in the chronological order found in the Parsha.

 

A. Positive:

1. Mitzvah 330; Positive 129: To count the years leading up to Yovel.

2. Mitzvah 331; Positive 130: To blow the Shofar on Yom Kippur of Yovel.

3. Mitzvah 332; Positive 131: To sanctify the Yovel year and treat it like a year of Shemitah.

4. Mitzvah 336; Positive 132: To follow the laws of business acquisitions, as instructed by the Torah.

5. Mitzvah 340; Positive 133: For buyers to give up all land and homes to the original owners during Yovel.

6. Mitzvah 341; Positive 134: For buyers to allow homes in a walled city to be purchased back until the end of the first year from the sale.

7. Mitzvah 347; Positive 135: For a slave to work for his master forever, and not be freed by his master.

B. Negative:

1. Mitzvah 326; Negative 198: Not to perform work to the land during Shemitah.

2. Mitzvah 327; Negative 199: Not to perform work to the trees during Shemitah.

3. Mitzvah 328; Negative 200: Not to harvest the Sefichim

during Shemitah as normally done in other years, and rather it is to be treated like Hefker.

4. Mitzvah 329; Negative 201: Not to harvest the fruits of the tree as normally done in other years, and rather it is to be treated like Hefker.

5. Mitzvah 333; Negative 202: Not to work the land during Yovel.

6. Mitzvah 334; Negative 203: Not to harvest the Sefichim

during Yovel, as normally done in other years, and rather it is to be treated like Hefker.

7. Mitzvah 335; Negative 204: Not to harvest the fruits of one’s orchard during Yovel as normally done in other years, and rather it is to be treated like Hefker.

8. Mitzvah 337; Negative 205: Not to cheat someone in business.

9. Mitzvah 338; Negative 206: Not to offend another in words.

10. Mitzvah 339; Negative 207: Not to permanently sell a field in Eretz Yisrael.

11. Mitzvah 342; Negative 208: Not to change the zones and allotments of the outskirts of the Levite cities and fields.

12. Mitzvah 343; Negative 209: Not to lend money with interest.

13. Mitzvah 344; Negative 210: Not to make an Eved Ivri perform a belittling task.

14. Mitzvah 345; Negative 211: Not to sell an Eved Ivri as a regular slave is sold.

15. Mitzvah 346; Negative 212: Not to give an Eved Ivri laborious activity.

16. Mitzvah 348; Negative 213: Not to allow a gentile to give his Eved Ivri laborious activity.

17. Mitzvah 349; Negative 214: Not to prostrate on a stone surface even for the sake of Hashem.

 Rishon

  1. The Mitzvah of Shemitah:
  • Resting the land from planting: Hashem told Moshe on Har Sinai to tell the Jewish people that when they arrive to the promised land, they are to sow the land for six years and are to rest the land on the seventh year. One may not sow the land on the seventh year, as it is a year of rest for G-d.
  • Not to harvest for personal use: In the seventh year one may not harvest the field. The produce of the field shall be food for you, your slaves, and for all who reside with you. It shall also be available for all the animals in your land. [The produce of the fields is to be considered ownerless and allowed to be taken by all people during this year.]
  1. Mitzvah of Yovel:
  • Counting the years: One is to count seven sets of seven years for a total of 49 years. On the 50th year, on Yom Kippur, the Shofar is to be blown throughout all your lands.
  • Freeing the slaves: The 50th year is to be sanctified and is to be proclaimed a year of freedom. All lands are to return to their original owner and all slaves are to be set free during this year to return to their homes.
  • This 50th year is called Yovel.
  • Not to sow or harvest: In the fiftieth year one may not sow or harvest the field. The produce of the field shall be food for you.

Sheiyni

  1. Business ethics:
  • Ona’h: One may not overcharge or underpay another person in a sale without their knowledge.
  • Selling land: The price that the land is to be sold for is to be based on the amount of years remaining until the next Yovel. If many years remain until the Yovel then it is to be sold for a larger sum, if only a few years remain until the Yovel it is to be sold for a smaller sum, as one is not selling the land itself but is leasing it for a certain sum of years.

 

  1. Not to offend another Jew:
  • One may not verbally harass or offend another Jew using words.

Shelishi (Sheiyni when connected to Bechukosai)

  1. Sustenance during years of Shemitah:
  • The land will give plentiful of produce and you will eat to satisfaction and dwell securely on it. Now, if you ask “What shall we eat in the 7th year if we cannot sow the land or harvest our grain” I promise you my blessing to support the Jewish people during Shemitah year by making the 6th year grow plenty of produce. You will sow in the 8th year and still eat from the 7th years produce until the new crop arrives in the 9th
  1. Selling and redeeming ancestral fields:
  • A property of ancestral heritage may not be sold eternally, for it belongs to Hashem. It is rather to be redeemed.

 

Revi’i

  • Redeeming: If one becomes poor and sells his plot of ancestral heritage then his relative is to come to his aid and redeem it. If a relative cannot redeem it, and the original owner comes to redeem it, then he is to pay the buyer in accordance to the amount of years remaining towards his lease.
  • Returns by Yovel: If he is unable to redeem it, then the property is to remain in the hands of the buyer until the Yovel, and in the Yovel year it is to be returned to its owner.

Chamishi (Shelishi when connected to Bechukosai)

  1. Selling and redeeming a house:
  • Walled city: If a man sells a house that is within a walled city, then it can be redeemed only within the first year of the sale. If it was not redeemed within the first year, it becomes the property of the buyer and remains with him forever, even after Yovel.
  • Unwalled city: If, however, the city is unwalled, it may be redeemed until the Yovel. If it was not redeemed before the Yovel, then when the Yovel arrives it is to be returned to its owner.
  1. Selling and redeeming Levite property:
  • Houses of Levites: The houses of Levites found within their cities retain eternal redemption rights by the Levites and they hence may be redeemed at any time. If they are not redeemed they are to be returned to their original Levite owner by Yovel.
  • Levite fields: The open fields of the city of the Levites may never be sold, as it is an eternal heritage for them.
  1. The Mitzvah of Charity and lending money without interest:
  • If your brother becomes impoverished, you shall support him so that he can live with you.
  • Ribis: One is not to collect interest from the loan to the pauper and you shall fear G-d and allow your brother to live with you. Do not lend him money with interest. I am Hashem your G-d who took you out of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan.

 

Shishi (Revi’i when connected to Bechukosai)

  1. Slave laws:
  • Jewish slave: When your brother is sold to you as a slave do not work him with slave labor. He shall be like a hired laborer or a resident and shall stay with you until the Yovel and he is then to return to his family with his sons and to his ancestral heritage. The Jewish people are my slaves who I took out of Egypt. Do not sell them like a slave and do not work them hard. I am Hashem your G-d.
  • Gentile slave: You shall buy slaves from the surrounding nations, and they shall become for you an ancestral heritage. You shall inherit them to your sons after you. They shall serve you forever.

Shevi’i

  1. Jewish slave sold to gentile:
  • Redeeming the slave: If a Jew becomes impoverished and is sold as a slave to a gentile, he is to be redeemed. It is a Mitzvah upon his relatives, such as his uncle or cousin or other family relative, to redeem him. If the slave himself has the means to do so, then he is to redeem himself. The price for the redemption is to be based on the amount of years remaining until the next Yovel. If many years remain until the Yovel then he is to be sold for a larger sum, if only a few years remain until the Yovel he is to be sold for a smaller sum, as one is not selling the slave himself but is hiring him for a certain sum of years.
  • Hard labor: One may not allow the gentile to make the Jewish slave work laborous activity.
  • Yovel: If the salve is not redeemed, he is to be set free by the Yovel year.
  • The Jewish people are my slaves who I took out of Egypt.
  1. Idolatry, statues, and stone floors:
  • One may not form idols for himself or build statues and pillars. One may not make stone floors in the land for the sake of prostration.
  1. Guard the Shabbos and fear the Mikdash:
  • Guard my Shabbosos and revere the Mikdash, I am G-d.

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[1] So is followed by Chabad communities. However, the other communities read until 32:26

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