Culture, Israel, Justice, Politics, Religion

In our mouths and in our hearts: Day 24

Today: The 7th year and the 50th year
286. “All creditors … shall not dun their fellow or their kin.” (Deuteronomy 15:2) = all debts are forgiven in the 7th year, so don’t make people pay up
287. “Beware lest you harbor the base thought, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is approaching,’ so that you are mean to your needy kin and give them nothing.” (Deuteronomy 15:9)
288. “You shall count off 7 weeks of years — 7 times 7 years — so that the period of 7 weeks of years gives you a total of 49 years.” (Leviticus 25:8)
289. “You shall hallow the 50th year.” (Leviticus 25:10)
290. “You shall sound the horn loud, in the 7th month, on the 10th day of the month — the Day of Atonement — you shall have the horn sounded throughout your land.” (Leviticus 25:9) = in the 50th (yovel) year, to announce the release of all slaves
291. “You shall not sow.” (Leviticus 25:11) = don’t work the land during the yovel year
292. “Do not reap the aftergrowth.” (Leviticus 25:11) = in the 50th year
293. “Do not harvest the untrimmed vines.” (Leviticus 25:11) = in the 50th year
294. “Throughout the land that you hold, you must provide for the redemption of the land.” (Leviticus 25:24) = in the 50th year, all land returns to its original owners
295. “The land must not be sold beyond reclaim, for the land is mine; you are but strangers resident with me.” (Leviticus 25:23) = no land sales are permanent
296. “If a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, it may be redeemed until a year has elapsed since its sale.” (Leviticus 25:29) = and after that, the sale can be permanent
297. “[The Levites] shall have no portion among their fellow tribes.” (Deuteronomy 18:2) = they don’t get their own land allotment
298. “The levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no territorial portion with Israel.” (Deuteronomy 18:1) = they don’t get the spoils of conquest either
299. “[The Israelites] shall assign, out of the holdings apportioned to them, towns for the Levites to dwell in, and the pasture shall be for the cattle they own and all their other beasts.” (Numbers 35:2)
300. “The unenclosed land about [the Levites’] cities cannot be sold, for that is their holding for all time.” (Leviticus 25:34)

4 thoughts on “In our mouths and in our hearts: Day 24

  1. I’m intrigued by the sounding of the horn in #290… when we blow the shofar on Yom Kippur, we’re not necessarily thinking about freedom. If this was how they announced the freedom of slaves, I imagine that the slaves had a similarly intense emotional response to hearing it. I’m too tired to be more introspective at the moment!

  2. In the original mitzva, would the shofar have been sounded at the beginning or the end of the day? I always imagined the beginning, because that’s when it starts to be “the 10th of the month”. So I wonder when it started being blown at the end.
    but back to marisa’s comment, about how we use shofar now, it marks a new beginning, a release of sorts.

  3. Mishnah Rosh Hashanah 3:4 says that the shofar blasts on Yom Kippur of the yovel year have the same pattern and same blessings (malchuyot, zichronot, shofarot) as on Rosh Hashanah. Does this mean that the shofar would be blown during musaf (neither the beginning nor the end of the day)?

  4. I think so: shave hayovel lerosh hashana litkiot uliberakhot (mRH 3:5). Also, a more intense feature of Yovel, still theoretically relevant, is that all land transactions are null and void, and every Jew goes back to his family’s ancestral home (gender exclusive, in this case, since daughters do not generally inherit).

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