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Vayikra Behar ויקרא בהר

May 20, 2022
By Lehrman Fifth Graders

In this week's parsha, God communicates to Moses the laws of the Shemitah and Yovel cycles on Mount Sinai. He says: 

¨When you come to the land which I give you, the land shall rest every seven years, and will not be worked on. A shemitah is in the seventh year, during the shemitah year, no one can work on the land, and crops become public property. Anyone can come and eat. ¨

The Israelites are told to count seven years, seven times for a total of forty-nine years until the fiftieth year, which is called Yovel.  The fifteenth year is a great year of celebration - the land is not worked, property is to be returned to its original owner, all debts are forgiven, and all slaves are released.

The lesson we learn from this parsha is how important it is to have some time to stop our busy lives in order to rest and reflect. The Torah calls the shemitah year a year of rest for the Land of Israel. If the land needs time to rest, then we definitely need rest too.

Just like the land rests every seven years, we are told to do the same on the seventh day of every week. 

Some of my favorite parts of Shabbat are the Shabbat dinners on Friday night with my family, and also baking challah with my Mom. I love having Shabbat at home with my family because we put all our electronic devices away for the day, and this means that we get to spend more time with each other. On Shabbat I also love playing basketball and going swimming with my friends and family. 

After a hard week of activities and school, there’s nothing better than going home and having some rest with our parents who work so hard too. On Sunday we have fun going out on our boat, but my favorite part of the week is Shabbat, the day of rest. On Friday night at sundown, we gather and light the candles, say kiddush on the wine, and thank God for everything that He has given us. On Shabbat day I like hanging out at home and playing with my family or going to see friends. 

This week’s parsha teaches us that just like the Land of Israel needs a rest, we all need a rest sometimes too. This is why Hashem gave us the gift of Shabbat. 

 Thank you and shabbat shalom!