The Ninth Sedra (section) of the Chumash of Leviticus opens as Moses hears G-d’s voice in the Tabernacle at the foot of the mountain (Behar, in Hebrew) commanding him to convey to the Jewish people the laws of the sabbatical and Jubilee years.

“In the Seventh year, the land must be given a complete rest….I will command my blessing for you in the Sixth year.” (25:4)

Although leaving the land fallow for a year may indeed improve its fertility, this cannot be the purpose for the sabbatical year. If it were, G-d would have promised to increase the yield of the year following the fallow year, not the year preceding it. By promising an increased yield in the Sixth year – which should naturally be the least productive! – G-d shows us that it is specifically and exclusively His blessing that is the source of the increased yield.

The lesson for us today is as follows: As Jews we are required to spend time every day praying and studying Torah, we must give charity for worthy causes and abstain from work on the Sabbath and holidays. How then can we cope to live financially when our non -Jewish neighbours, who are not handicapped by any of these restrictions, and struggle to earn a living?

The sabbatical year teaches us, that when we do what G-d desires of us, He will bless us – not only spiritually, but materially as well.

Wishing you a successful week followed by a meaningful Shabbat.

Shabbat candle lighting by 8:41pm.

Praying for the speedy return of our family of hostages, the safety and security of our IDF heroes and the long-term security of the people of Israel in the Land of Israel and beyond with Moshiach now!