Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

Download print

Parashat Behar-Behukotai: Freedom and Family

The Torah in Parashat Behar presents the laws that apply on the Yobel, or the "jubilee" year which was observed every fifty years during the times of the Bet Ha’mikdash. One of the laws of the Yobel is that all servants would be released. In those times, men who fell into poverty had the option of selling themselves as servants as a means of sustenance. The Torah commands that servants may not be held indefinitely, and on the Yobel all servants must be released.

Interestingly, when the Torah formulates this command, it emphasizes that with the onset of the jubilee, the servant returns to his family ("Ve’ish El Mishpahto Tashubu" – 25:10). Rather than simply state that the servant is set free, the Torah found it necessary to note that the servant returns to his family.

Contemporary society, to a large extent, views family as a burden that undermines a person’s freedom. To be free, we are trained to think, means being free from responsibilities and obligations, and family life imposes many responsibilities and obligations. The Torah has a fundamentally different understanding of the concept of freedom, teaching that the ultimate freedom is the ability to act the way we are supposed to act – which includes caring for one’s spouse, children, parents, siblings and relatives. We are not to see family as a difficult burden which we begrudgingly bear. We should embrace the challenges and obligations associated with family life, and view them as one of our greatest privileges and among the greatest sources of joy and satisfaction that we can have.

And thus the jubilee, the year of "freedom," is described as a time for families to reunite. The servant does not just go anywhere on the Yobel; he must go back to his family, where he belongs. Family life does not undermine freedom; it is one of the greatest expressions of freedom, and thus the freedom granted by Yobel demands a return to family.


Related Parasha
Parashat Behukotai: The Unparalleled Power of a Group - 2021 Year
Parashat Behar: The Way to Look at a Fellow Jew - 2020 Year
Parashat Behukotai- Toiling in Torah - 2019 Year
Parashat Behar- Letting the Blessing Flow - 2019 Year
Parashat Behar-Behukotai- The Torah’s Concept of “Freedom” - 2018 Year
Parashat Behar: Fear of G-d - 2017 Year
Parashat Behukotai: The Misvot We Do Not Understand - 2016 Year
Parashat Behar: Financial Security - 2016 Year
Parashat Behukotai- The Blessing Among The Curses - 2014 Year
Parashat Behar: Shemita and Mount Sinai - 2014 Year
Parashat Behar: The Desire for Control - 2013 Year
Parashat Behukotai: The Effort and the Results - 2012 Year
Parashat Behukotai- Torah and Peace - 2011 Year
Parashat Behar- Sometimes, Less is More - 2011 Year
Shabbat Morning Class - Parasha Behar / Bechukotai - 2010 Year
Sefer/Parasha:
The Great Joy of Tu B’Ab
Debarim: The Proper Response to Crisis
Parashat Matot Masei- We Never Lose by Doing the Right Thing
Parashat Pinhas: We are All Messengers
Parashat Balak: Foiling Bilam’s Plan
Parashat Hukat: Singing for the Torah
Parashat Korah: Aharon’s Respect for His Fellow Jews
Parashat Shelah: Shabbat – Our Collective Obligation
Parsahat Behaalotecha: Attitude is Altitude
Parashat Naso: Our Collective Responsibility
Shabuot and the Exodus From Egypt
Parashat Behukotai: The Unparalleled Power of a Group
Lag BaOmer: Profit Sharing
Parashat Ahare Mot/Kedoshim: Keeping Hashem’s Presence Among Us
Parashat Tazria-Mesora: Self-Destructive Arrogance
Page of 61
906 Parashot found