On Mount [Sinai]
Leviticus 25:1-26:2
Translation from The Torah: A Modern Commentary (CCAR Press)

Bhar Leviticus English translation of Torah portion25:1] The Eternal One spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai: 2] Speak to the Israelite people and say to them:

When you enter the land that I assign to you, the land shall observe a sabbath of the Eternal. 3] Six years you may sow your field and six years you may prune your vineyard and gather in the yield. 4] But in the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath of complete rest, a sabbath of the Eternal: you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. 5] You shall not reap the aftergrowth of your harvest or gather the grapes of your untrimmed vines; it shall be a year of complete rest for the land. 6] But you may eat whatever the land during its sabbath will produce—you, your male and female slaves, the hired and bound laborers who live with you, 7] and your cattle and the beasts in your land may eat all its yield.

8] You shall count off seven weeks of years—seven times seven years—so that the period of seven weeks of years gives you a total of forty-nine years. 9] Then you shall sound the horn loud; in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month—the Day of Atonement—you shall have the horn sounded throughout your land 10] and you shall hallow the fiftieth year. You shall proclaim release throughout the land for all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you: each of you shall return to your holding and each of you shall return to your family. 11] That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you: you shall not sow, neither shall you reap the aftergrowth or harvest the untrimmed vines, 12] for it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you: you may only eat the growth direct from the field.

13] In this year of jubilee, each of you shall return to your holding. 14] When you sell property to your neighbor, or buy any from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another. 15] In buying from your neighbor, you shall deduct only for the number of years since the jubilee; and in selling to you, that person shall charge you only for the remaining crop years: 16] the more such years, the higher the price you pay; the fewer such years, the lower the price; for what is being sold to you is a number of harvests. 17] Do not wrong one another, but fear your God; for I the Eternal am your God.

18] You shall observe My laws and faithfully keep My rules, that you may live upon the land in security; 19] the land shall yield its fruit and you shall eat your fill, and you shall live upon it in security. 20] And should you ask, “What are we to eat in the seventh year, if we may neither sow nor gather in our crops?” 21] I will ordain My blessing for you in the sixth year, so that it shall yield a crop sufficient for three years. 22] When you sow in the eighth year, you will still be eating old grain of that crop; you will be eating the old until the ninth year, until its crops come in.

23] But the land must not be sold beyond reclaim, for the land is Mine; you are but strangers resident with Me. 24] Throughout the land that you hold, you must provide for the redemption of the land.

25] If one of your kin is in straits and has to sell part of a holding, the nearest redeemer shall come and redeem what that relative has sold. 26] If a person has no one to be redeemer but prospers and acquires enough to redeem with, 27] the years since its sale shall be computed and the difference shall be refunded to the party to whom it was sold, so that the person returns to that holding. 28] If that person lacks sufficient means to recover it, what was sold shall remain with the purchaser until the jubilee; in the jubilee year it shall be released, so that the person returns to that holding.

29] If someone sells a dwelling house in a walled city, it may be redeemed until a year has elapsed since its sale; the redemption period shall be a year. 30] If it is not redeemed before a full year has elapsed, the house in the walled city shall pass to the purchaser beyond reclaim throughout the ages; it shall not be released in the jubilee. 31] But houses in villages that have no encircling walls shall be classed as open country: they may be redeemed, and they shall be released through the jubilee. 32] As for the cities of Levi, the houses in the cities it holds: Levi shall forever have the right of redemption. 33] Such property as may be redeemed from Levi—houses sold in a city it holds—shall be released through the jubilee; for the houses in the cities of Levi are its holding among the Israelites. 34] But the unenclosed land about its cities cannot be sold, for that is its holding for all time.

35] If your kin, being in straits, come under your authority, and are held by you as though resident aliens, let them live by your side: 36] do not exact advance or accrued interest, but fear your God. Let your kin live by your side as such. 37] Do not lend your money at advance interest, nor give your food at accrued interest. 38] I the Eternal am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, to be your God.

39] If your kin under you continue in straits and must be given over to you, do not subject them to the treatment of a slave. 40] Remaining with you as a hired or bound laborer, they shall serve with you only until the jubilee year. 41] Then they, along with any children, shall be free of your authority; they shall go back to their family and return to the ancestral holding.— 42] For they are My servants, whom I freed from the land of Egypt; they may not give themselves over into servitude.— 43] You shall not rule over them ruthlessly; you shall fear your God. 44] Such male and female slaves as you may have—it is from the nations round about you that you may acquire male and female slaves. 45] You may also buy them from among the children of aliens resident among you, or from their families that are among you, whom they begot in your land. These shall become your property: 46] you may keep them as a possession for your children after you, for them to inherit as property for all time. Such you may treat as slaves. But as for your Israelite kin, no one shall rule ruthlessly over another.

47] If a resident alien among you has prospered, and your kin, being in straits, comes under that one’s authority and is given over to the resident alien among you, or to an offshoot of an alien’s family,  48] [your kin] shall have the right of redemption even after having been given over. [Typically,] a brother shall do the redeeming, 49] or an uncle or an uncle’s son shall do the redeeming—anyone in the family who is of the same flesh shall do the redeeming; or, having prospered, [your formerly impoverished kin] may do the redeeming. 50] The total shall be computed with the purchaser as from the year of being given over to the other until the jubilee year; the price of sale shall be applied to the number of years, as though it were for a term as a hired laborer under the other’s authority. 51] If many years remain, [your kin] shall pay back for the redemption in proportion to the purchase price; 52] and if few years remain until the jubilee year, so shall it be computed: payment shall be made for the redemption according to the years involved. 53] One shall be under the other’s authority as a laborer hired by the year; the other shall not rule ruthlessly in your sight. 54] If not redeemed in any of those ways, that person, along with any children, shall go free in the jubilee year. 55] For it is to Me that the Israelites are servants: they are My servants, whom I freed from the land of Egypt, I the Eternal your God.

26:1] You shall not make idols for yourselves, or set up for yourselves carved images or pillars, or place figured stones in your land to worship upon, for I the Eternal am your God. 2] You shall keep My sabbaths and venerate My sanctuary, Mine, the Eternal’s.

Translation from The Torah: A Modern Commentary, copyright (c) 2016 by CCAR Press. All rights reserved. Translation of Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers; Deuteronomy from NJPS © 1962, 1985, 1999; CJPS © 2006. Used and adapted by CCAR Press with permission from The Jewish Publication Society and the University of Nebraska Press. No part of this translation may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, distributed, or be transmitted without express written permission from the Central Conference of American Rabbis. For permission, please contact CCAR Press.