The Torah Revealed: Talmudic Masters Unveil the Secrets of the Bible

By Avraham Yaakov Finkel | Go to book overview

47
Torah Portion
Re'eh
Deuteronomy 11:26–16:17

SANCTITY OF THE LAND

(11:31) For you are crossing the Jordan to come and possess the land that God your Lord gives you; you shall possess it, and you shall settle it.


The Talmud Teaches

You shall possess it, and you shall settle it It was taught in the yeshiva of R. Yishmael: “You shall possess it, and you shall settle it.” How will you gain possession of the land? By settling it. From here, we know that land is acquired by chazakah— occupying it for a fixed period of time—or by means of a formal act of acquisition, like digging or fencing (Kiddushin 26a).

(12:19) As long as you are in the land, you must be careful not to abandon the Levite.


The Midrash Teaches

You must be careful not … to This constitutes a negative commandment, in other words, “Do not abandon the Levite.” “As long as you are in the land”—to include Sabbatical and Jubilee Years, meaning, the Levites must be provided for during those years, although the tithes are not separated then. Unlike the rest of the people, the Levites do not own land, so they cannot store produce in advance of the Sabbatical and

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