Monday, May 16, 2005

Posts so far for parshat Behar

Year 1
  • BeHar-BeChukotai, Shavuot, and Shevuot
    • Shamor VeZachor BeDibbur Echad, as well as a number of other apparently conflicting statements which were said BeDibbur Echad, in Yerushalmi Nedarim 9b and Bavli Shevuot 20b. A false vs. unnecessary oath, Shabbat rest vs. Shabbat sacrifices, a the prohibition of a brother's wife vs. levirate marriage, daughters inheriting vs. keeping ancestral land within the tribe, shaatnez vs. tzitzit, Shamor vs. Zachor.

      "God hath spoken once, twice have I heard this: that strength belongeth unto God;"
      "Is not My word like as fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?"

      In other words, do not see contradictions so much as elaborations, or focus in certain sections on particular elements of mitzvot, and by looking at different sections with different focuses, you can reconstruct the full, complex idea.

      Acharei Mot: A ban on private altars - all must be brought to tent of meeting, vs. in Devarim: when far away, can eat meat as non-sacrificial offering.

      Behar: At Yovel, all returns to natural state, and so slaves go free.
      Mishpatim: And he serves forever.
      That is, until Yovel.

      In other words, he is a perpetual servant. There happens to be another law, in another location, of the Doron, where debts are forgiven and property and people revert to their original state, which happens to overlap somewhat with this law and impact it. We do not have to focus on every possible detail when we fist discuss the law, particularly when it is a different law which sometimes colors the current one.

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