Parashah 33 – B’chukkotai (By my regulations)

Parashah 33 – B’chukkotai (By my regulations)

Leviticus 26:3–27:34

[In regular years read with Parashah 32, in leap years read separately]

“‘If you live by my regulations, observe my mitzvot and obey them; then I will provide the rain you need in its season, the land will yield its produce, and the trees in the field will yield their fruit. Your threshing time will extend until the grape harvest, and your grape harvesting will extend until the time for sowing seed. You will eat as much food as you want and live securely in your land.

(LY: ii) “‘I will give shalom in the land — you will lie down to sleep unafraid of anyone. I will rid the land of wild animals. The sword will not go through your land. You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall before your sword. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand — your enemies will fall before your sword.

“‘I will turn toward you, make you productive, increase your numbers and uphold my covenant with you. (RY: v, LY: iii) 10 You will eat all you want from last year’s harvest and throw out what remains of the old to make room for the new. 11 I will put my tabernacle among you, and I will not reject you, 12 but I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am Yehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would not be their slaves. I have broken the bars of your yoke, so that you can walk upright.

14 “‘But if you will not listen to me and obey all these mitzvot, 15 if you loathe my regulations and reject my rulings, in order not to obey all my mitzvot but cancel my covenant; 16 then I, for my part, will do this to you: I will bring terror upon you — wasting disease and chronic fever to dim your sight and sap your strength. You will sow your seed for nothing, because your enemies will eat the crops. 17 I will set my face against you — your enemies will defeat you, those who hate you will hound you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you.

18 If these things don’t make you listen to me, then I will discipline you seven times over for your sins. 19 I will break the pride you have in your own power. I will make your sky like iron, your soil like bronze — 20 you will spend your strength in vain, because the land will not yield its produce or the trees in the field their fruit.

21 “‘Yes, if you go against me and don’t listen to me, I will increase your calamities sevenfold, according to your sins. 22 I will send wild animals among you; they will rob you of your children, destroy your livestock and reduce your numbers, until your roads are deserted.

23 “‘If, in spite of all this, you refuse my correction and still go against me; 24 then I too will go against you; and I, yes I, will strike you seven times over for your sins. 25 I will bring a sword against you which will execute the vengeance of the covenant. You will be huddled inside your cities, I will send sickness among you, and you will be handed over to the power of the enemy. 26 I will cut off your supply of bread, so that ten women will bake your bread in one oven and dole out your bread by weight, and you will eat but not be satisfied.

27 “‘And if, for all this, you still will not listen to me, but go against me; 28 then I will go against you furiously, and I also will chastise you yet seven times more for your sins. 29 You will eat the flesh of your own sons, you will eat the flesh of your own daughters. 30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your pillars for sun-worship, and throw your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols; and I will detest you. 31 I will lay waste to your cities and make your sanctuaries desolate, so as not to smell your fragrant aromas. 32 I will desolate the land, so that your enemies living in it will be astounded by it. 33 You I will disperse among the nations, and I will draw out the sword in pursuit after you; your land will be a desolation and your cities a wasteland. 34 Then, at last, the land will be paid its Shabbats. As long as it lies desolate and you are in the lands of your enemies, the land will rest and be repaid its Shabbats. 35 Yes, as long as it lies desolate it will have rest, the rest it did not have during your Shabbats, when you lived there. 36 As for those of you who are left, I will fill their hearts with anxiety in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf will frighten them, so that they will flee as one flees from the sword and fall when no one is pursuing. 37 Yes, with no one pursuing they will stumble over each other as if fleeing the sword — you will have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 And among the nations you will perish; the land of your enemies will devour you.

39 Those of you who remain will pine away in the lands of your enemies from guilt over your misdeeds and those of your ancestors. 40 Then they will confess their misdeeds and those of their ancestors which they committed against me in their rebellion; they will admit that they went against me. 41 At that time I will be going against them, bringing them into the lands of their enemies. But if their uncircumcised hearts will grow humble, and they are paid the punishment for their misdeeds; 42 then I will remember my covenant with Ya‘akov, also my covenant with Yitz’chak and my covenant with Avraham; and I will remember the land. 43 For the land will lie abandoned without them, and it will be paid its Shabbats while it lies desolate without them; and they will be paid the punishment for their misdeeds, because they rejected my rulings and loathed my regulations. 44 Yet, in spite of all that, I will not reject them when they are in the lands of their enemies, nor will I loathe them to the point of utterly destroying them and thus break my covenant with them, because I am Yehovah their God. 45 Rather, for their sakes, I will remember the covenant of their ancestors whom I brought out of the land of Egypt — with the nations watching — so that I might be their God; I am Yehovah.’”

46 These are the laws, rulings and teachings that Yehovah himself gave to the people of Isra’el on Mount Sinai through Moshe.

27 (RY: vi; LY: iv) Yehovah said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘If someone makes a clearly defined vow to Yehovah to give him an amount equal to the value of a human being, the value you are to assign to a man between the ages of twenty and sixty years is to be fifty shekels of silver [one-and-a-quarter pounds], with the sanctuary shekel being the standard, if a woman, thirty shekels. If it is a child five to twenty years old, assign a value of twenty shekels for a boy and ten for a girl; if a baby one month to five years of age, five shekels for a boy and three for a girl; if a person past sixty, fifteen shekels for a man and ten for a woman. If the person is too poor to be evaluated, set him before the cohen, who will assign him a value in keeping with the means of the person who made the vow.

“‘If the vow is for the value of an animal of the kind used when people bring an offering to Yehovah, all that a person gives of such animals to Yehovah will be holy. 10 He is not to exchange or replace it by substituting a good animal for a bad one or vice versa; if he does make such a substitution, both the original animal and the one replacing it will be holy. 11 If the animal is an unclean one, such as may not be used in an offering to Yehovah, he must set it before the cohen; 12 and the cohen is to set a value on it in relation to its good and bad points; the value set by you the cohen will stand. 13 But if the person making the vow wishes to redeem the animal, he must add one-fifth to your valuation.

14 “‘When a person consecrates his house to be holy for Yehovah, the cohen is to set a value on it in relation to its good and bad points; the value set by the cohen will stand. 15 If the consecrator wishes to redeem his house, he must add one-fifth to the value you have set on it; and it will revert to him.

(RY: vii, LY: v) 16 “‘If a person consecrates to Yehovah part of a field belonging to his tribe’s possession, you are to value it according to its production, with five bushels of barley being valued at fifty shekels of silver [one-and-a-quarter pounds]. 17 If he consecrates his field during the year of yovel, this valuation will stand. 18 But if he consecrates his field after the yovel, then the cohen is to calculate the price according to the years remaining till the next yovel, with a corresponding reduction from your valuation. 19 If the one consecrating the field wishes to redeem it, he must add one-fifth to your valuation, and the field will be set aside to revert to him. 20 If the seller does not wish to redeem the field, or if [the treasurer for the cohanim] has already sold the field to someone else, it can no longer be redeemed. 21 But when the purchaser has to vacate the field in the yovel, it will become holy to Yehovah, like a field unconditionally consecrated; it will belong to the cohanim.

(LY: vi) 22 “‘If he consecrates to Yehovah a field which he has bought, a field which is not part of his tribe’s possession, 23 then the cohen is to calculate its value according to the years remaining until the year of yovel; and the man will on that same day pay this amount; since it is holy to Yehovah. 24 In the year of yovel the field will revert to the person from whom it was bought, that is, to the person to whose tribal possession it belongs.

25 “‘All your valuations are to be according to the sanctuary shekel [two-fifths of an ounce], twenty gerahs to the shekel.

26 “‘However, the firstborn among animals, since it is already born as a firstborn for Yehovah, no one can consecrate — neither ox nor sheep — since it belongs to Yehovah already. 27 But if it is an unclean animal, he may redeem it at the price at which you value it and add one-fifth; or if he does not redeem it, it is to be sold at the price at which you value it. 28 However, nothing consecrated unconditionally which a person may consecrate to Yehovah out of all he owns — person, animal or field he possesses — is to be sold or redeemed; because everything consecrated unconditionally is especially holy to Yehovah. (LY: vii) 29 No person who has been sentenced to die, and thus unconditionally consecrated, can be redeemed; he must be put to death.

30 “‘All the tenth given from the land, whether from planted seed or fruit from trees, belongs to Yehovah; it is holy to Yehovah. 31 If someone wants to redeem any of his tenth, he must add to it one-fifth.

(Maftir) 32 “‘All the tenth from the herd or the flock, whatever passes under the shepherd’s crook, the tenth one will be holy to Yehovah. 33 The owner is not to inquire whether the animal is good or bad, and he cannot exchange it; if he does exchange it, both it and the one he substituted for it will be holy; it cannot be redeemed.’”

34 These are the mitzvot which Yehovah gave to Moshe for the people of Isra’el on Mount Sinai.

Jeremiah 16:19-17:14

19 Yehovah, my strength, my fortress,
my refuge in time of trouble,
the nations will come to you
from the ends of the earth, saying,
“Our ancestors inherited nothing but lies,
futile idols, completely useless.”
20 Can a person make himself gods?
(In fact they aren’t gods at all.)

21 “Therefore, I will make them know,
once and for all, I will make them know
my power and my might.
Then they will know that my name is Yehovah.

17 “Y’hudah’s sin is written with an iron pen;
with a diamond point it is engraved
on the tablet of their hearts
and on the horns of your altars.
As they remember their children,
so they remember their altars
and their sacred poles by the green trees
on the high hills.
My mountain in the field, your wealth
and all your treasures will be plundered;
because of the sin of your high places
throughout your territory.
You will relinquish your hold
on your heritage which I gave you.
I will make you serve your enemies
in a land you do not know.
For you have kindled my fiery anger,
and it will burn forever.”
Here is what Yehovah says:

“A curse on the person who trusts in humans,
who relies on merely human strength,
whose heart turns away from Yehovah.
He will be like a tamarisk in the ‘Aravah —
when relief comes, it is unaffected;
for it lives in the sun-baked desert,
in salty, uninhabited land.
Blessed is the man who trusts in Yehovah;
Yehovah will be his security.
He will be like a tree planted near water;
it spreads out its roots by the river;
it does not notice when heat comes;
and its foliage is luxuriant;
it is not anxious in a year of drought
but keeps on yielding fruit.

“The heart is more deceitful than anything else
and mortally sick. Who can fathom it?
10 I, Yehovah, search the heart;
I test inner motivations;
in order to give to everyone
what his actions and conduct deserve.”

11 A partridge hatches eggs it did not lay;
like this are those who get rich unjustly:
in the prime of life their wealth will desert them;
in the end they will prove to be fools.

12 Throne of Glory,
exalted from the beginning!
Our Holy Sanctuary,
13 Hope of Isra’el, Yehovah!
All who abandon you will be ashamed,
those who leave you will be inscribed in the dust,
because they have abandoned Yehovah,
the source of living water.
14 Heal me, Yehovah, and I will be healed;
save me, and I will be saved,
for you are my praise.

Matthew 21:33-46

33 “Now listen to another parable. There was a farmer who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower; then he rented it to tenants and left. 34 When harvest-time came, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his share of the crop. 35 But the tenants seized his servants — this one they beat up, that one they killed, another they stoned. 36 So he sent some other servants, more than the first group, and they did the same to them. 37 Finally, he sent them his son, saying, ‘My son they will respect.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance!’ 39 So they grabbed him, threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They answered him, “He will viciously destroy those vicious men and rent out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his share of the crop when it’s due.” 42 Yeshua said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the Tanakh,

‘The very rock which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone!
This has come from Yehovah,
and in our eyes it is amazing’?

43 Therefore, I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to the kind of people that will produce its fruit!” 44

45 As the head cohanim and the P’rushim listened to his stories, they saw that he was speaking about them. 46 But when they set about to arrest him, they were afraid of the crowds; because the crowds considered him a prophet.

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