Family Reconciliation

First posted on The Times of Israel at:

Netziv Leviticus: Behar

Family Reconciliation

So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty. All other pacts of love or fear derive from it and are modeled upon it.” -Haniel Long

Fights within families are part of human nature. Spouses; children with their parents; siblings – all have their share of altercations. However, sometimes some disagreements are so vitriolic, so hard fought, so anger-inducing that a separation ensues. The separation may be short-lived and the family members reconcile, reunite and family life continues. But other times, the damage is so deep, so hurtful, that only time and distance seems to ease the pain.

The Torah mandates that every fifty years the properties within the land of Israel must revert to their original owners. It is the Jubilee year that is celebrated at the end of a cycle of seven Sabbatical years. The Netziv on Leviticus 25:10 notes that the verse of the Jubilee uses a dual language. It states that each person will return to his inheritance and to his family.

The Netziv explains that this verse is speaking to family members who have grown distant, who have left their ancestors home, who may have differences, who may have traveled to distant lands and foreign shores. It is stating that the Jubilee is an opportunity to return home, to reconcile, to return to ones roots. Not only is it an opportunity, not only is it a right and a privilege – it is an obligation.

May we not have to wait for the Jubilee to return to our proper homes.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the State of Israel on its 66th birthday and to its Uruguayan emissaries. It’s wonderful to celebrate our homeland’s growth and success together.


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