In this week’s Torah portion, Behar-Bechukotai, the Torah discusses the prohibition of working the land on the seventh year, known as the as Shmita year. During this year it is forbidden for a farmer to work his land and any man and animal is able to eat the produce that is grows there throughout the year, as it is essentially ownerless.
The Torah speaks about the Shmitta year and how all the Jewish people must observe it. However, why does the pasuk describing the law specifically mention that it was given on Mount Sinai? Weren’t all of the mitzvot given on Mount Sinai?
Rashi explains that on Mount Sinai all the halachot that were ever given to the Jews were explained in very minute details. The words בהר סיני (on Mount Sinai) here appear to be unnecessary because we already know where the Torah and Mitzvot come from. What this teaches us is that this mitzvah together with all of its details was taught at Mount Sinai, as were all of the other mitzvot. Although the written Torah sometimes appears to not be very clear or it seems to be lacking in detail, more than just this aspect of the Torah was given at Mount Sinai. The Oral Law, which includes the Mishna and the Talmud, was also taught by Moshe at Mount Sinai and passed down through the generations. It is up to each generation to understand these teachings and apply it to everyday life.
By: Yael Bister (10th Grade)