Parsha Q&A - Behar/Bechukosei

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Behar/Bechukosei

For the week ending 22 Iyar 5756; 10 & 11 May 1996

  • Parsha Questions
  • Bonus Question
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Answer to Bonus Question
  • Back issues of Parsha Q&A
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  • Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents


    1. Why does the Torah specify that the laws of Shmittah were taught on Har Sinai?
    2. If one possesses Shmittah food after it is no longer available in the field, what must he do with it?
    3. Which two "returns" are announced by the shofar during Yovel?
    4. What is the punishment for neglecting the laws of Shmittah?
    5. If Shmittah is observed properly, how long is the crop of the sixth year guaranteed to last?
    6. Under what circumstance may one sell ancestral land?
    7. After selling an ancestral field, when can one redeem it?
    8. If a home in a walled city is sold, when can it be redeemed?
    9. Who is a "ger toshav"?
    10. List three prohibitions which demonstrate the dignity with which one must treat a Jewish indentured servant.


    1. To what do the words "bechukosai telechu" (walk in My statutes) refer?
    2. What is the blessing of "v'achaltem lachm'chem l'sova" ("and you shall eat your bread until satisfaction" 26:5)?
    3. Which "progression" of seven transgressions are taught in chapter 26, and why in that particular order?
    4. What was the duration of the Babylonian exile and why that particular number?
    5. Why does the Torah say in 26:46 "Toros" (plural) and not "Torah" (singular)?
    6. If a man dedicates an ancestral field to the Beis Hamikdash and fails to redeem it before Yovel, what happens to the field?
    7. When a person dedicates a field that he bought from the original owner of an ancestral field, what happens to that field in Yovel?
    8. Where must "Ma'aser Sheini" be eaten?
    9. When a person redeems "Ma'aser Sheini", what happens to the food? What happens to the redemption money?
    10. How does a person tithe his animals?

    Bonus Question
    If a house in a walled city is sold, it does not revert to the original owner in Yovel. Rather, the Torah gives the original owner only one year to buy it back. Why?

    I Did Not Know That!

    "I will remember my covenant with Yaakov, and also my covenant with Yitzchak, and also my covenant with Avraham I will remember, and the land I will remember." (26:43)
    The verse begins with remembrance and ends with remembrance to teach that Hashem never forgets the merit of the Avos (patriarchs).
    Baal Haturim

    Recommended Reading List


    First Six Years
    Two Kinds of "Shofar"
    The Word "Yovel"
    Three Year Blessing
    Ban on Perpetual Sale
    Two Kinds of Usury
    Commitment in Hostile Environment

    Sefer Hachinuch
    Counting until Yovel
    Call of the Shofar
    Unfair Profit
    National Land

    "A Shabbos to Hashem"


    Taming of Wild Animals
    Theology of Medicine
    Promise for the Future
    Analysis of Jewish History

    Sefer Hachinuch
    Dedicating One's Value
    Switching Korbanos
    Animal Tithes

    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

    All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated


    1. 25:1 - To teach us that just as Shmittah was taught in detail on Har Sinai, so too, all the mitzvos were taught in detail on Har Sinai
    2. 25:7 - Remove it from his house or property and make it "hefker."
    3. 25:10 - The return of the land to its original owner, and the "return" (freedom) of the slave from slavery.
    4. 25:18 - Exile.
    5. 25:21,22 - From Nissan of the 6th year until Succos of the 9th year.
    6. 25:25 - Only because of poverty.
    7. 25:24 - Anytime after two years following the sale until Yovel. At the beginning of Yovel it returns to the family automatically.
    8. 25:29 - Only within the first year after the sale. Afterwards, even in Yovel it does not return.
    9. 25:35 - A non-Jew who lives in Eretz Yisrael and accepts upon himself not to worship idols.
    10. 25:39-43 - a) Do not make him perform humiliating tasks; b) Do not sell him publicly; c) Do not make him perform unnecessary jobs.


    1. 26:3 - Laboring in Torah learning.
    2. 26:5 - You will only require a little bread to be completely satisfied.
    3. 26:14,15 - Not studying Torah, not observing mitzvos, rejecting those who do keep mitzvos, hating Sages, preventing others from keeping mitzvos, denying that Hashem gave the mitzvos, denying the existence of Hashem. They are listed in this order because each transgression begets the next.
    4. 26:35 - 70 years. Because the Jewish People violated 70 Shmittah and Yovel years.
    5. 26:46 - To teach that both the Written Torah and the Oral Torah were given to Moshe on Har Sinai.
    6. 27:16 - It becomes the property of the Kohanim who are on rotation at the beginning of Yovel.
    7. 27:22 - It returns to the person who originally sold the field.
    8. 27:30 - In Jerusalem.
    9. 27:31 - The food becomes permissible to him outside of Jerusalem. The redemption money must be brought to Jerusalem and used to purchase food to be eaten there.
    10. 27:32 - He passes them through a door individually and every tenth animal he marks with a rod smeared with red dye.

    Bonus Question
    Walled cities were fortresses designed to protect the inhabitants in case of attack. For that reason, it was essential that the inhabitants be familiar with the secret passage ways and shelters located in the city. If after the Yovel, the houses in the cities would revert back to the ancestral owners, the new inhabitants would be unfamiliar with the strategic aspects of the city, and the city would lose its effectiveness as a fortress. Thus, the Torah limited the seller's right of repurchase to one year.
    Meshech Chochma

    Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Lev Seltzer
    HTML Design: Michael Treblow
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