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A Dvar Torah for Parshah Behar-Bechukotai

"Rest For a Shabbat Unto HaShem"

A Dvar Torah for Behar-Bechukotai (Leviticus 25:1 - 27:34)
By Rabbi Shlomo Nachman © May 15, 2020

We turn to Rebbe Nachman's Likutey Moharan Book 1 #139

We find a seeming problem in this week's parsha! Leviticus 25 begins by saying in verses 1 and 2:

Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them: When you come to the land that I am giving you, the land shall rest a Sabbath to the Lord.

When you come into the Land? This is not how the Sabbatical rests work. The proper way is found in verse 3:

You may sow your field for six years, and for six years you may prune your vineyard, and gather in its produce, But in the seventh year, the land shall have a complete rest a Sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field, nor shall you prune your vineyard.

Why this directive? Surely those in the Land are to work six years, then have the Sabbatical year, just as we work six days and then enjoy the weekly Shabbat.

There is a vital lesson to be learned here: When one “comes into land” one should know that the Shabbat rest is coming! Knowing this awakens the consciousness so that we employ our time, be it a week, six years, or our lifetimes, in order to merit the unspeakable joy of HaShabbat, the Olam Haba. As we begin our endeavors, any and all endeavors, in the “land” G-d has given to us, in other words, in our lives, in our dealings, we must cultivate the consciousness of farmers. We must prepare the soil, removing the rocks (of selfishness), of weeds (of negativity) and so on. Then we prayerfully plant the seeds, knowing their identities; am I planting corn or wheat and so on. We plant our seeds wisely and then nurture them so they will produce the desired harvest. Seeing ahead to the desired harvest we do our work as offerings of tikun olam, for the rectification of those who may eat of our harvest.

In our text the Land granted is Eretz Y'israel of course, our beloved homeland. But Y'israel also refers to Am Y'israel, the Jewish people wherever we may dwell. Those of us not blessed to live in our Holy Land must grow where we are planted in order to be Lights to the other nations. Are we presenting well tended gardens or desolate wastelands? Lighted Highways or dim byways? While as Jews we do not seek converts, we are commanded by HaShem to stand firm as light posts so that those who see our Light will be attracted to the Torah and the Noahide Way. Are we as a people providing a Shining Light or an unattractive flickering gaslight? Isaiah 42:6 proclaims:

I am HaShem; I called you with righteousness and I will strengthen your hand. I formed you, and I made you for a people's covenant, and as a light to nations.

When we begin our endeavors as offerings of Light to HaShem, with the consciousness of spiritual farmers toiling in His fields, we merit the Peace of G-d knowing full well that we are empowered by Him to prepare the soil, to plant the seeds, to tend the tender plants. This is work! But only HaShem brings the harvest. As we desire to work harmonious with HaShem's Will we are sure to merit the Shabbat of Peace when all our failings will all be rectified in glorious devekut. When we choose to manifest the Divine Light that is within each of us we ignite so many sparks, beyond our hope or realizations, and together we kindle a glorious bonfire of emunah that is so bright, so holy, that even HaShem notices and, we pray, sends HaMashiach ben David. Only then will our real harvest be realized! May this be our desire and our work. May HaShem accept our united efforts, and may HaMashiach come soon!

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