"Some time afterward, God put Abraham to the test. He said to him, 'Abraham,' and he answered, 'Here I am." (Genesis 22:1)
These days, people alter their names for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are getting married or divorced, they wish to assume a stage name, they want to correct their name, or they simply don't like their name. Some but not all of these cases represent a change in status.
Moses reviews a wide variety of laws regarding family, animals, and property. (21:10–22:12)
FOCAL POINT |
Give ear, O heavens, let me speak; / Let the earth hear the words I utter! (Deuteronomy 32:1)
Count off seven sabbath years — seven times seven years — so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. (Leviticus 25:8-10)
In this week's portion, the Jubilee year is established. Called yovel, our parashah explains how every forty-nine years — seven weeks of seven years — in the seventh month, on Yom Kippur, the shofar of freedom is to be sounded throughout the land for all its inhabitants. This iconic verse to proclaim freedom throughout the land is inscribed on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
It’s that time of year, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, where we are celebrating the New Year and contemplating our previous actions, while thinking about what comes next. Is there someone or something from this past year that just seems impossible to forgive?