Parsha Talk Behar 2022 5782

Parsha Talk; with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. Parashat B’har [Leviticus 25:1–26:2], at 57 verses, is one of the shortest of the weekly readings. It is concerned with the shmittah [sabbatical] year and yovel [jubilee] year, as well as other legislation designed to remediate poverty which leads to the selling of ancestral land. Of particular note for Americans [of the United States variety] is 25:10, which provides the Hebrew source for the inscription on the Liberty Bell, “you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof”. We discussed a little bit what liberty or freedom might have meant in its biblical context, but spent most of our time discussing a rabbinic take on the trolley problem, which is found in the Talmud [Bava Metzia 62a], and quotes from our parashah as a proof-text [25:36] As always, comments and criticisms are welcome at Shabbat Shalom!