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Parshat Behar Dvar Torah

This week’s parsha, parshat Behar, one of the main things discussed is the shmita year. During the shmita year, all servants must be freed, land must go back to its original owner, land cannot be worked, and the land’s produce belongs to the public. This phenomenon happens every 7 years to set the land and the people free. 

This actually resonates with many Jews' daily lives. Shabbat serves as the ‘modern shmita’, offering a day of liberation and carefreeness from the busy week.

Another important lesson of the shmita year is faith. Imagine not working land for an entire year, even though it was a main source of income! This just goes to show how much faith the Jewish people had—that they believed Hashem would sustain them for an entire year even though they couldn’t work their land.

It acted as a reset for the Jewish people and teaches that there are more important things in life than the physical things. It may seem a bit strange at first, but it’s like Shabbat. 

If it’s put into perspective, imagine having a day every week of not doing any work, driving, or being on your phone—just because Hashem said to do it! While the idea of shmita sounds distant, individuals actually participate in resting even today. 

Especially with finals coming up, it’s important to relax and reset on Shabbat because, as people can see in the idea of a shmita year, having a break is important for the mind and body. Individuals must pause and introspect to be able to grow as they reflect on their actions, and Shabbat is the perfect opportunity.

By: Tamar Van Dam (9th)

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