Some thoughts and resources for exploring the Torah portion Behar, Leviticus 25:1-26:2, sometimes spelled “B’har or “Be-Har.” This is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book.”
A Path to Follow
Also from Behar: Jubilee and “Free at Last”?
Toward Harvest, part 1
Fewer resources for Behar, which is often read in double-portion with Bechukotai; few more next week.
“Proclaiming Liberty throughout the Land,” an essay on the portion Behar by then rabbinical students Sharon Brous and Jill Hammer,* includes a section entitled “The meaning of Ge’ulah for feminists.” (See p. 242ff in The Women’s Torah Commentary.*) They ask Jews to consider their responsibility to help free agunot, women chained to marriage by husbands who refuse them divorce; women bound by addiction; women “enslaved by society’s views of their roles and bodies”; and women forced into prostitution or sold into slavery.
“This parashah reminds us how much our kinfolk need us to further their redemption,” Brous and Hammer write.
To learn more about agunot and related advocacy, visit the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance agunot page.
To learn more about modern slavery and what can be done about it, visit Not for Sale and Truah on slavery.