Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
Emunah: Parashat Behouqotai
One of the most difficult concepts to truly grasp-
One of the hardest feelings to ever express-
We say we have it, but how many of us, deep down, have 100% faith and Emunah in Hashem? It is not a natural feeling to have. Actually, it is quite natural not to have faith in what we cannot see and touch. This idea is central to a missva present in our parasha of Shemitah.
Upon entering the land of Israel, Hashem feared (kivyachol) that Bnei Yisrael would work the land and by natural extension believe that their work is what led to a plentiful harvest. They would tragically forget their creator and believe that they are owners of the land.
Indeed, Ha''Rambam also explains another potential downfall in this avenue, and that is of Avodah Zara. There were many forms of Avodah Zara that stemmed forth through people relating to the working of the land.
To avoid forgetting their creator, and to avoid potentially sinning in Avodah Zara, the misva of Shemitah was created. Hashem removed Bnei Yisrael from the natural process of working the land. Generally, farmers used to plant for two years and rest the land for one year, as to not overwork the land.
Hashem proclaimed that we should work the land for 6 straight years- And the ground not be overworked, adequately producing each year. In addition, on the sixth year when one would imagine the ground completely devoid of nutrients (as general practice was to let the ground rest every third year), the crop would produce enough to last the people for three years: the sixth, the seventh (of Shemitah, when nothing was planted) and the eighth, when they began replanting.
As we near the days of the Mashiah, we will need to show our trust in Hashem on the same caliber. May we succeed and truly become a nation of God.