Tag Archives: Jubilee Year

Take That Back

Take That Back!

How often do we stop, honestly look at our lives, and ask, “Is this what I want to be doing right now?”

We all have parts of ourselves that we

  • squashed because our family or friends didn’t accept them;
  • gave away to others who seemed to need them more than we did;
  • stopped using because they wouldn’t pay the bills;
  • simply forgot about when our lives became too busy.

We were each born with magic, excitement, and openness. As children we believed anything was possible. Then we grew up. How much of that magic is left in our lives today? And how can we get back what we lost?

The answer lies in chapter 25, verse 10 from this week’s Torah portion, Behar.

“…and you shall hallow the fiftieth year… It shall be a jubilee for you: each of you shall return to his holding and each of you shall return to his family.”   

Each Israelite family was granted a portion of land when they entered Israel. But over the years some were forced to sell it because of poverty, illness, a death in the family. After 49 years, the Israelites who had given up their land were commanded to reclaim it.[1]

We can also use this commandment to find all the parts of ourselves we gave away.

We can make a list of the things we loved and no longer do; the dreams we had as children and didn’t pursue; the projects we started and never finished.

Unlike the Israelites we don’t have to wait at all to reclaim what we lost. We can reclaim it now. We can spend time this week examining our lives to see what we let go off and decide if we want it back.

Do we want to write poetry, do art, dance, cook, play sports, go to museums, become involved with organizations that are important to us? Do we want to reclaim our childhood ideas and dreams? I hope the answer is yes.

Let’s make a commitment to choose one thing that we gave up and bring it back into our lives. If that feels good, then pick another and another. Reclaiming those pieces of ourselves will give us more pleasure than we could even imagine.


[1] This is a wonderful example of how important economic justice is in the Jewish tradition. We are commanded to divide our possessions as equally as possible.