• Gabbai

Behar – The Sinai Equation


The laws of Shemitta, the Sabbatical year, requiring that the land of Israel lie fallow and not be tilled for the duration of each seventh year, are the opening verses of this week’s reading.

Rashi on the first verse cites a Midrash asking, what relationship does Shemitta have to Mt. Sinai? Were other laws taught elsewhere? Our tradition asserts that all laws were relayed at Sinai. Yet the verse specifies that G-d conveyed this to Moses at Mt. Sinai. What particular connection exists between the Shemitta laws and Sinai?

The Midrash explains that this verse comes to teach us that all Mitzvot of the Torah were elucidated at Sinai including all their details and elements, just as Shemitta laws were taught at Sinai with all of its rules and trappings. In other words, Shemitta is singled out not because it is different from