Rebecca Masinter

Parshas Behar - From Mountaintop to Mundane

Parshas Behar begins with a mitzvah that was expressly given to Moshe on Har Sinai, Shemitta.

Why is it significant that the laws of shemitta were taught on Har Sinai?  Weren’t all mitzvos taught at Har Sinai?  What do we learn from the Torah highlighting the relationship of shemitta to Har Sinai?  The Kometz HaMincha tells that this remind us that although Hashem is almighty and omnipotent, He cares about and supervises even the lowest details of our lives on earth, down to our relationship with the ground itself.

The lesson was first revealed at Sinai when Hashem, the King of all kings, picked the lowest mountain to reveal His glory and give His Torah.  The message is that despite Hashem’s exalted nature, He loves humility and unpretentiousness.  The root of shmittah, (the laws governing our relationship with soil and farming,) is that Hashem cares about and and directs even the most earthy elements of our lives, the ground its produce.

This is a timely reminder to Jewish mothers that every detail of our mothering is precious to Hashem and He is with us even the most mundane and physical parts of our jobs.  We all visualize the perfect mother who sits and plays board games for hours with her kids.  Her dining room table is perfectly cleared, the floor is swept, and supper is in the oven in our fantasies too.  We imagine this ideal mother learning Torah each night with her children and sharing deep philosophical thoughts with her teenagers.  Parshas Behar comes to bring us back to earth. Yes, idealistic visions are lovely, but standing in line at the pharmacy, taking out the garbage and making beds are also beloved to Hashem, and He is with us as we parent our children in the sublime spiritual moments and in the nitty gritty times too.

May we merit to feel His closeness and love in all we do.