Parashat Behar

In this parashah the Torah mentions the precept of letting the fields rest for a year, without being able to sow, cultivate or harvest them. What terrible news for their owners, to lose their main source of income for a whole year! However, God also promises the farmers that He will not leave them without food, as it is written: “And if you ask, ‘What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we do not sow or reap our crops? Then I will send you my blessing in the sixth year, and there shall be fruit for three years.” What a relief and what an abundance, after all, one year without sowing their fields in exchange for receiving food for three is good business! But if so, this precept is no longer so difficult to fulfill, so it is worth asking why our Sages call these farmers “Strong and courageous, keepers of the word of God” Are there not other difficult precepts, such as fasting on Yom Kippur, or not eating pork? The Sages answer that the difference between this precept and the others is the duration, for most precepts are performed for only a moment, a day, or a week. On the other hand, farmers not only cannot sow their fields, but they have to watch them deteriorate for a year! This can only be achieved by people who are strong in spirit, who come to put their trust in God through their faith. So, the next time you try to change a bad habit, take a deep breath and do not give up if you stumble the first few times, because if you nurture your faith and trust in God, you will see that little by little doors will open for you to achieve it.

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