Torah Portion Behar (Lev 25:1-26:2)

Behar is Hebrew for In the Mountain (specifically, Mt. Sinai).

Summary of Behar:  The Torah recalls back at Mt. Sinai where Moses is instructed to teach the Children of Israel to observe the Sabbath for the fields Ė six years of planting, and a seventh year to let the land rest.  Every 49 years there will be a Jubilee pronounced at Yom Kippur (the 10th day of the 7th month), that the 50th year that all land possessions return to their original owners.  Because one is not allowed to sow or harvest on the 7th year, the 6th year will have triple the usual harvest.  The land cannot be owned, because it belongs to YHVH.  Land can be redeemed by the next of kin of a poor relation who had sold the rights to the land.  Houses can also be redeemed.  The poor relatives may live with the ones who have the means to support them.  Hebrew servants are to be treated as settlers and released in the Jubilee year.  Foreign slaves, however, can be treated as possessions and be willed in an inheritance. If a Hebrew is sold into slavery to a non-Hebrew, he can be redeemed by next of kin; the price is pro-rated by the number of years left until the Jubilee.   The Torah portion ends with a reminder not to have idols and graven images, to revere G-dís Sabbaths and revere G-dís sanctuary.