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Behar: Jews and Jubilation

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As a Jew do you consider yourself a liberal or a conservative? Do you know any/many liberal Jews? Do you think a liberal Jew is a good thing? 

Well, the Torah says a liberal Jew is the best thing. In fact, a liberal Jew is the only thing a Jew can be. 

It’s all got to do with the Liberty Bell in that City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Almost every American child has heard of the Liberty Bell and is familiar with its inscription: PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF. 

The source of this statement, as inscribed upon the bell itself, is: LEV. XXV. V X. Yup, the source of this proclamation of liberty is the Torah – in our very Parshat Behar no less! 

Come, let us learn the secrets within the Yovel year, the Jubilee – emphasis on the “Ju” – and allow ourselves to be free as a bird. 

Why free as a bird? Explains the Talmud: because birds can dwell anywhere, inside or out, birds are the epitome of liberty because they can nest and dwell everywhere. 

And so can the Jew. We are free, liberated, liberal, because we have the ability to dwell anywhere. Furthermore, we have the ability to make a dwelling for the Divine anywhere. 

Now that is true liberty – liberty that rings a bell in the heart and soul of every Jew!

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