Saturday, May 05, 2007

Bechukotai Summary

G-d tells the Jewish nation of the blessings and prosperity that they will receive for following the commandments. But if we do not keep the commandments then our crops will fail. We will be conquered by our enemies, and end up starving. Eventually we will be sent into exile and scattered amongst the other nations. Eventually the remaining few will realise that the punishments have come about through our disobedience and will repent and confess our sins. G-d will then remember His covenant with the Patriarchs and forgive our sins. G-d promises to never completely forsake us, no matter how far we have strayed.
If a person donates the erech (set value) of a person to the Temple they shall pay a fixed amount based on the age and gender of that person. If someone donates an animal to the Temple that is fitting for a sacrifice he may not substitute it for another. If it is an animal that cannot be sacrificed it shall be brought before a Kohen who will evaluate it and it must be redeemed and its value given to the Temple. If it is the owner who redeems it he should add on one fifth to that value.
If someone donates their house its value shall be calculated by a Cohen and paid to the Temple. If the owner redeems it he must add on an extra fifth. If someone consecrates their field there is a formula for calculating its worth. If the person who consecrated it redeems the field then he must add on one fifth. If the owner does not redeem his field before the Jubilee year, it becomes consecrated permanently to G-d and is the hereditary property of the Cohanim. If the field that one consecrates was not his hereditary property, and is not redeemed, in the Jubilee year it reverts to its original owner.
First born animals from species which may be sacrificed belong to G-d and may not be consecrated. If a non-kosher animal is consecrated it shall be redeemed for its value plus an additional fifth. Any item which a person declares as a cherem (taboo) cannot be sold or redeemed. The tithes of the land belong to G-d. If a person wishes to redeem them he must add an additional fifth. Every tenth animal that passes under the rod must be consecrated to G-d. No substitutions may be made whether for better or for worse.
These are the commandments that G-d gave Moshe for the Jewish nation at Mount Sinai.

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