Contradictory expectations? - Behar-Bechukotai

Thursday, 6 May, 2021 - 11:34 am

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Everyone expects me to be so many different characters at the same time. On the one hand, to be patient and understand the difficulties of every student, and on the other hand to have high expectations from them and uncover their hidden capabilities. On the one hand, to be nice and kind with them and on the other, to be strict so they listen to me. To teach all the lessons of the school program but also to spend time on sensitive topics and current events.

Tell me, is it at all possible?

This week’s portions Behar-Bechukotai begin with the laws of Shemita, that is, the Sabbatical Year we give to the land of Israel every seven years. It is a year where we do not cultivate the fields and strengthen our faith in G-d Who rules the world and gives each one of us what he needs.

Even though on a practical level, the Mitzvah of Shemita applies only to Israel and its fields, it has a significant message for all of us, Israelis and not.

On the one hand, we need to work for six years, to plant and water. G-d wants us to live within the world system He created. Not to isolate ourselves in prayer, but the exact opposite.

On the other hand, every seven years we stop for an entire year. A year where we devote ourselves to more spiritual activities and do not cultivate our fields. What will we eat then? G-d promises that the crop of the sixth year will be enough also for the year of Shemita.

In other words, we Jews are expected to live in two different states of mind. We need to take into consideration the world and its rules, but on the other hand not to think that we people govern it. G-d also does for us things that are not within the rules.

It seems difficult and unattainable, but G-d is above the limitations of the world, and He gives us the power to overcome these limitations as well.

Shabbat Shalom,


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