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Back in 1996, Rabbi Finman was asked to speak to the niece of one of his students. After spending many hours answering her questions, the woman gave Rabbi Finman her e-mail address. Rabbi Finman wrote the woman a note and included in it a short insight into that week's Parsha and a short Chasidic story.

Realizing that this was something no one was yet doing,, Rabbi Finman sent the missive to his mailing list of about 30 people. Requests from recipients friends came pouring in. The next week Rabbi Finman sent the e-Parsha to 100 people. Within a year more than 2000 people were receiving it. Today, more than 14,000 receive the e-Parsha weekly and the requests keep coming in.

Behalosicha 5784
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Behar 5784

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This week's YouParsha Behar - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYPS_geUwfc Sabbatical and Sinai

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This week's Parsha is Behar, Leviticus 25 - 26:2. The focus of the Parsha is the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. The next jubilee will be celebrated when Moshiach comes. The word Jubilee, or Yovel, expresses joy. In that year, things returned to their original status. Land sold was returned to original owners. Houses purchased reverted to their owners. Jewish slaves were emancipated, but that's another subject. Let's describe the Jubilee as a level of Shabbos.

Every week we celebrate the Shabbos. We are forbidden to do creative work. Creative means an act that changes, substantially, the item with which we are working. It is permitted to move a couch from one room to another in the same house. It is forbidden to carry a tissue from inside the house to outside. With the couch, there is no change. It started in your house; it is still in your house. The tissue is now outside. The Shabbos is to allow everything to revert to its natural state of lowest potential energy.

The Sabbatical year is the same. Lands lie fallow and debts are forgiven in an attempt to achieve the most basic of existence. The Jubilee, once every 50 years, is a further extension of that.

Kabalistically, the Shabbos, Sabbatical and Jubilee are times when Hashem's attribute of Kingship, the feminine aspect of Gd, is reunited with the masculine aspects. This reuniting elevates the world for that time period. Shabbos for the day, Sabbatical and Jubilee for the year. The feminine aspect of Hashem is the creator. On the seventh day of the six days of creation, Gd did not create, but rather reunited the creative influences. Because of this unity, we are given the strength to endure until the next time. Shabbos allows us to endure the stresses of the week. Sabbatical allows our fields to endure the six years of planting and Jubilee allows our heritage to continue for the next 50 years.

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The aristocratic atmosphere in the elegant hotel that hosted Israel's wine competition did not disclose the scene that was about to take place: A small boutique winery, Hararai Kedem, won two gold medals and one silver medal. Hundreds of professional and amateur sommeliers watched in astonishment as the man with the beard and long sidelocks -- who did not look particularly relevant to the glamorous event -- hesitantly, ascended the podium to accept his medals.

"There are two factors in this achievement," said Ariel. "The first is that our vineyard is located in the blessed Biblical inheritance of Joseph. The second is that we fulfilled the laws of the Shmitah year. We simply did not attend to the vineyard, as dictated by the Torah, and didn't take finances into account."

Ariel thankfully accepted his medals and walked off the stage. His award-winning wines were produced from the grapes of the sixth year of the seven year Shmitah cycle. The experts told him that if he would not prune his vines during the Shmitah year, his entire vineyard would collapse. But just the opposite occurred - precisely what the Torah promises to the Jews who fulfill the laws of Shmitah: "And I will give you my blessing in the sixth year and it will make produce for three years." (Leviticus 25:3). In the sixth year of the seven year cycle, Ariel's vineyard produced more than three times its annual average. Usually, quantity reduces the quality of the grapes. However, in Ariel's case, both quantity and quality were extraordinary, as attested to by the medals.

At the beginning of the Shmitah year, Ariel divided his time between the permissible tasks in his vineyard and a strictly Jewish construction company that he had established. One of the major projects built by the company was the beautiful synagogue and yeshiva perched on a ridge overlooking his vineyard. The building permits were issued eleven years prior and the Housing Ministry even helped with some partial funding for the project. The majority of the funding was from donations, while the building was painstakingly erected -- stone by stone -- by Ariel and his friends.

Ariel thought that during the Shmitah year, he would divert most of his energies from agriculture to construction, but a work accident forced him to change his plans. "I guess that our Father in heaven wants me to learn Torah during the Shmitah year," he said with a smile. When he was released from the hospital, he joined the many young men learning Torah in the new study hall.

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The e-Parsha is sponsored:

In honor of the yahr tzeit of Rabbi Yakov Yosef ben Dovid Schick - Nissan 27. May his neshama experience a lichtigen gan eden. Sponsored by his five children and their families in Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Bne Brak

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In memory of Chaim Elozar ben Dovber HaLevi Niftar Lag B'Omer 5783

May their families be comforted among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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