Parsha Talk Behar Behukotai 5783 2023

Parsha Talk; with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. Parashat B’har-B’chukotai [Leviticus 25-27] concludes the Book of Leviticus. Leviticus is the shortest book in terms of chapters [27], and the fewest in parashiyot [10, tied with Numbers], but takes as few as 7 weeks to read when all of its potentially doubled parashiyot are in fact doubled, as is the case this year. B’har opens with a description of the sabbatical year and the jubilee year, which led to a discussion of time and how we mark it and find meaning in its passage. Our discussion, as is so often the case, meandered: we mentioned the Rebuke [Leviticus 26:14-45] and the double ending of the book, since the last verse in chapters 26 and 27 are virtually identical. Sinai looms large in the book and the parashah, as does, in at least one reading, the relationship between time and space. In the synagogue, when we conclude a book of the Torah, we say chazzak, chazzak, ve-nitchazzek. Let us be strong, let us be strong, and we shall be strengthened!