> Judaism 101 > Philosophy > Deed and Creed

18. Deed and Creed: Finale

May 19, 2014 | by Rochelle Lev and Rabbi Benjamin Blech

In order for redemption to come, we must first open the door.


Required Reading Read: Mitzvot of the Jubilee Year Leviticus 25: 8-13
(p. 697-69, ArtScroll Chumash, Stone Edition)

You shall count for yourself seven cycles of sabbatical years, seven years seven times; the years of the seven cycles of sabbatical years shall be for you 49 years. You shall sound a broken blast on the shofar, in the seventh month, on the tenth of the month; on the Day of Atonement you shall sound the shofar throughout your land. You shall sanctify the 50th year and proclaim freedom throughout the land for all its inhabitants; it shall be the Jubilee Year for you, you shall return each man to his ancestral heritage and you shall return each man to his family. It shall be a Jubilee Year for you – this 50th year – you shall not sow, you shall not harvest its after-growth, and you shall not pick what was set aside of it for yourself. For it is a Jubilee Year, it shall be holy to you; from the field you may eat its crop. In this Jubilee Year you shall return each man to his ancestral heritage.



(1) How many years must a slave work before he goes free?

(2) Why does a slave who does not want to go free have his ear pierced?

(3) In the Jubilee year, God tell us tashuvu – "return" to your inheritance and birthplace. Explain the law of the Jubilee year and its ramifications for the slave.

(4) The word tashuvu is written in the Torah missing the letter vav. According to the Zohar, what does this hint to?

(5) What is the gematria of the word tashuvu as it is written in the Torah? What year does this correspond to in the secular calendar, and what is its significance?

(6) Why do the return to the Land of Israel and the return to Jerusalem appear as separate events and separate blessings in the Amidah prayer?

(7) What is our role in bringing the completion of tashuvu (return), and the coming of the Messiah?

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