This week’s Torah portion, Behar, begins by teaching us the Sabbatical year and the Jubilee year laws. We would count six years, during which we would work the land. During the seventh, Sabbatical – Shmittah year, we would neither work, plant nor harvest the land. Furthermore, after seven cycles of seven years comes the Jubilee – Yovel year, when working the land is also prohibited.
The Torah introduces this by saying, “Hashem spoke to Moshe on Har Sinai, saying.” Rashi is bothered that Hashem gave us all Mitzvos at Mount Sinai, not only these. Therefore, he explains that the Torah mentions Har Sinai in this context to teach us an important lesson. Just Hashem gave us the laws of Yovel and Shmittah at Sinai with all of their details; the same is true of all other commandments.
One year out of seven, we do not focus on our earthly needs. We place our faith totally in Hashem. However, it is not G-d’s intention for the world to work this way in general. For six years, we abide by the laws of nature. However, this prepares us for the seventh year. The seventh year makes it possible for us to serve Hashem throughout the other six. The Torah tells us that “the land shall rest a Shabbos to the Lord.” Rashi explains that it is “for the sake of the Lord. This is just as it says of the Shabbos of Creation.” We spend six days of the week working within the world’s natural order. This prepares us for the seventh day, Shabbos. Likewise, Shabbos prepares us for the six weekdays.
On Shabbos, as during Shmittah, we transcend nature, relying solely on Hashem. During the week and the six years, we work within the laws of nature, using the world to elevate it.
How is it possible for a human to straddle between the natural and the Divine? The answer comes from Har Sinai. The portion begins, “And the Lord spoke to Moshe on Har Sinai, saying.”
The Midrash tells us that when Hashem was about to give the Torah to the Jewish people, He gathered together all of the mountains. Each mountain claimed that Hashem should give the Torah on it, and Hashem asked them why they were complaining. “Being bigger does not matter, and I choose Sinai, for it is the smallest of all mountains.”
If being the lowest is advantageous, why give the Torah on a mountain? Why not give it in a valley or on a plain? If Hashem gives us the Torah on a mountain, why not give it on the tallest mountain?
The answer is that “the smallest mountain” best expresses the idea of the Torah. The idea is that we are small people who are involved with nature. Simultaneously, we must be mountains, giants, united with G-d Almighty Himself.
I wish one and all a Good Shabbos!
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn
Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 1, Page 273-281
DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
DR. MINDEL RIVKA (MURIEL) BAS REB MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO ע”ה STITT
PASSED AWAY ON SHABBAT PARSHAS LECH LECHA, 10 MAR-CHESHVAN, 5782
MAY HER SOUL BE BOUND IN THE ETERNAL BOND OF LIFE
IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris
. Our Parshah, Vayikroh 25:1.
. Ibid, Vayikroh 25:2.
. Midrash Tehillim 68:72.