Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Behar: Sforno - More Bracha & More Work

"The land will give its fruit and you will eat to satisfaction; and will dwell securely upon it. If you will say: What will we eat in the seventh year? -- behold! We will not sow and we will not gather our crop! I will send My blessing for you in the sixth year and it will yield a crop sufficient for the three years." [Vayikra 25: 19-21]. The Sforno infers that Hashem only promises to bestow a bracha on the land following the question "What will we eat?" This implies that when this question is not asked, the bracha is not forthcoming.

The Sforno comments that there are two types of Jews. The first kind of Jew is the Jew who knows that Shmitah and Yovel are approaching. He knows that he will not be planting any seed for two whole years, but he doesn't ask any questions. He does not fret "What's going to be? How will we survive?" The Sforno says that for such a Jew, the supernatural large crop will not be provided on the year preceding Shmitah. Rather, a different type of miracle will occur -- he will not need more than is provided by the regular sixth year crop. He will be blessed that he will be satisfied with just a small quantity. Some people can live on $100,000 a year. Some people need $1,000,000 a year to live.

The Sforno says that the Jew who is the real believer and who does not ask the question, "How will we ever be able to manage?" will not need the bountiful crop. The crops will not miraculously triple, but he will manage financially. However, says the Sforno, the second type of Jew does not have that level of trust in Hashem. He is frightened by the idea that he will not be able to plant in the seventh year. A miracle will occur for him in the sixth year to calm his anxiety. His crop will triple. But the Bracha will not be on the level of the other person. This person will only receive blessing through toil; by harvesting 3 crops in 1 year.