Combined Parshiyot: Behar / Bechuqotai

We read two Torah portions this week so we can get through the entire Torah by the end of the year

Behar (In the Mount), Leviticus 25:1-26:2
Discusses the sh'mittah year (Sabbatical year) every seven years, when the land is to lie fallow, and the Yoveil (Jubilee), the 50th year, when land and property is returned to the original owner. This is the source of the quote found on the Liberty Bell, "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof" (Leviticus 25:10). What most Americans don't realize, though, is that it's actually a very socialist message, giving property back to someone else!

Bechuqotai (In My Statutes), Leviticus 26:3-27:34
This portion speaks of the rewards if the people follow the Laws: bountiful harvests, peace and safety. If the people do not follow the Law, they will suffer illness, military defeat and privation. But G-d will never forget or annul the covenant. It also speaks of things that are pledged to the L-RD. This is the final portion of the Book of Leviticus! Hazak! Hazak! v'Nit'chazek!

The haftarah is for Bechuqotai, Jeremiah 16:19-17:14. This portion speaks of a once verdant land that becomes destitute because of the People's sins, just as the Torah portion promises.