'Pharaoh, King of Egypt, had come up and conquered Gezer and burnt it in fire, and killed the Canaanite who lived in the city. He gave it as a wedding present to his daughter, Solomon’s wife, and Solomon then build up Gezer'
The central theme of this week's Torah portion is that of the Sabbatical year, known as "Shemitta". Every seven years the land of Israel must lay dormant -- no agricultural work may be performed on the land. Right to this very day, the rules of Shemitta are observed and many Jewish farmers do not plant, prune, or even harvest. After seven Shemitta years -fifty years in total - was the "Yovel" - the Jubilee year.
New Years may be over, but did you know that there is another New Year holiday being celebrated this month? The Holiday of Tu B’shvat takes place on the 15th day of the Hebrew month Shevat, January 26 this year (falls on Shabbat), and marks the New Year for Trees. That’s right, trees.
'This is a direct voice from the past, from the period when the Jewish leadership salvaged the remaining fragments from the fall of the Temple, went into exile in Yavne, and set about re-establishing the Jewish people there.'
'A currency is a sign of sovereignty. If you go into rebellion, you use one of the most obvious symbols of independence, and you mint coins. The inscription on the coin clearly expresses the rebels’ aspirations.'