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Bechukotai (in my statutes)

Leviticus 26:3 to 27:34, Jeremiah 16:19 to 17:14


If you give your own field to God, and decide not to redeem it, it becomes God's forever (27:21). But if you buy someone else's field, and give it to God, and decide not to redeem it, an the yovel it reverts back to the orginal, hereditary owner (27:24). In other words, a family's lands can only be permanently decreased by that family.

The exception to the above is when a family sells land to the priests, and the priests are in financial need and resell the land. This would only happen when Israel was being punished by God. Then the land cannot be redeemed by its original family. Like Yosef did in Genesis 47:18-24, God reclaims his Land in time of famine.

The Land belongs to God (25:23) and Israelites belong to God, like slaves (25:42). If these are given to God, but then redeemed, there is no extra payment since they still in a real way belong to God. But animals (except for those brought as offerings), houses, and crops are personal property, and if redeemed after bring given to God require an additional 20% fee (27:13,15,27,31).

Even though the Israelites are God's slaves (25:42) they should walk upright (26:13).

Notice the Edenic imagery in chapter 26. Animals are peaceful (v.6) and God walks among his people (v.12).

The verb "loathe" (ga-al) is used in only nine verses, and first five times are in Leviticus 26 (verses 11, 15, 30, 43, 44). These are the only times God loathes something or someone.

Traditional Jewish Commentary

What does "walk in my statutes" mean besides "keep my commandments"? Rashi explains it means to study the Torah laboriously (Siphra).

Note the traditional Rabbinical emphasis on the World to Come in this explanation from the Tz'enah Ur'enah: "Why does the Torah always promise that if we obey the commandments we will be granted rain and good harvests? Although the Torah was nt given for this world, in order that we shouldeat and drink, the Torah still had to assure us that there would be enough to eat and drink, so that we would be able to study Torah and obey the commandments, and ultimately be admitted to the World to Come."

The vices of 26:14-15 are fourfold, corresponding to the fourfold blessings just described. These correspond to different classes among Israel:

The author of Toldos Titzchak writes that verses 27:1-2 follows the curses because if a man sees the curses realized and is saved from them, then he should give this much charity in gratitude for God saving his life.