Thought of the Week: Behar - Bechoukosai - 5775


Hashem said to Moshe at Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to Hashem.  For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops.  But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of Sabbath rest, a Sabbath to Hashem.

The Medrash wonders why the verse specifies that these laws were taught at Mount Sinai when in fact all of Torah was given at Sinai.  The Rabbis answer that just as with the laws of Shemittah, both principles and details were taught to Moshe at Mount Sinai, so too all the other Mitzvot, their principles and fine details alike, were taught on Mount Sinai.

However the question remains; why specifically regarding the laws of Shemittah, does the Torah feel a need to mention the link to Mount Sinai?

Commentators note that since Hashem tells the People of Israel that they are entering the land and establishing a homeland for the Jewish people, Mount Sinai must be mentioned as an introduction.  The Torah is warning us that the nation of Israel cannot succeed in settling the land of Israel long term without being mindful of the revelation at Sinai.

Shabbat Shalom