Behar

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Behar, BeHar, Be-har, or B’har (בְּהַרHebrew for "on the mount,” the fifth word, and the first distinctive word, in the parshah) is the 32nd weekly Torah portion (parshah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the ninth in the book of Leviticus. It constitutes Jews in the Diaspora generally read it in May.

The lunisolar Hebrew calendar contains up to 55 weeks, the exact number varying between 50 in common years and 54 or 55 in leap years. In leap years (for example, 2011, 2014, and 2016), parshah Behar is read separately. In common years (for example, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018), parshah Behar is combined with the next parshah, Bechukotai, to help achieve the needed number of weekly readings.



Summary

A Sabbatical year for the land

On Mount Sinai, God told Moses to tell the Israelites the law of the Sabbatical year for the land. () The people could work the fields for six years, but in the seventh year the land was to have a Sabbath of complete rest during which the people were not to sow their fields, prune their vineyards, or reap the aftergrowth. () They could, however, eat whatever the land produced on its own. ()

The people were further to hallow the 50th year, the Jubilee year, and to proclaim release for all with a blast on the horn. () Each Israelite was to return to his family and his ancestral land holding. () In selling or buying property, the people were to charge only for the remaining number of crop years until...
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