I have never thought of the Torah as a political manifesto. That is, I do not see the Torah as advancing a political system comparable to the type of systems that we see in contemporary society. Nor do I think
Freedom is an ideal for humanity that we constantly strive to reach.To be truly free is to possess the human power to choose to live by the rules that bind us. The rules that bind us should, at best, hold us fast to principles and ethics that lead us to our greatest human potential. In B’har, we find the famous verse, “You shall proclaim release (liberty) throughout the land for all its inhabitants” (Leviticus 25:10). For Jews, the rules that bind us are Torah.
In this parasha, God instructs the people on how to take care of the land, such as leaving the 7th year for rest. Listen to find out some more rules!
This week's double portion, B''har/ B'chukotai includes this famous phrase that appears on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia: "Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof" (Leviticus 25:10). The bell holds specialy significance for Americans, especially American Jews.