January 23, 2019

Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Behar with Rabbi Tuvia Brander

Our guest this week is Rabbi Tuvia Brander, leader of Young Israel of West Hartford, CT. Rabbi Brander, a Wexner Graduate Fellow, was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.  During his time there, he spent a year in the Gruss Kollel in Jerusalem, served as a fellow in Straus Center for Western Thought at Yeshiva University and coordinated the AIPAC Leffel Israel Fellowship. Additionally, he was a member of the Rabbi Norman Lamm Kollel L'Horaah, a program focused on training future rabbinic judges, completed the Katz Kollel and is still completing his M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. Rabbi Brander has held leadership roles in a number of different youth initiatives including NCSY, Shoresh, Plainview Friday Night Lights, and the Torah Leadership Network. He has served as Rabbinic Intern at the Young Israel of Plainview and Congregation BIAV of Overland Park, KS and has been invited to various communities as scholar-in-residence.

This week's Torah portion – Parashat Behar (Leviticus 25:1-26:2) – talks about Sabbatical and Jubilee years, regulations concerning commerce and the redemption of slaves. It also contains a description of the rewards for observing God's commandments and the series of punishments that will face Israel if they choose to disregard them. Our discussion focuses on the reason behind the idea of Shmita, the agricultural sabbatical taken every seventh year.

If you would like to learn some more about Parashat Behar, take a look at our discussion with Rabbi Danny Burkeman.