When I think about parshat Behar and Bechukotai, I always relate it to our human instinct of holding grudges. God says, “But in the seventh year, the land shall have complete rest a sabbath to the lord, you shall not sow your field, nor shall you prune your vineyard” (Leviticus 25:4). Why? What’s the point? The Rabbi’s say it’s to remind us that the land is not ours, it is God’s land that we are working and reaping the benefits from. But I’d like to offer another idea. I think the shmita is about letting go of our grudges. When you hold a grudge, you are holding on to a negative feeling or thought towards a person. Whether it’s deserved or not, in my opinion it’s ALWAYS better to let the grudge go.
Why hold on to such negative feelings? It’s not helping us in anyway. When God commands us to keep shmita and let the land rest, he is commanding us to stop holding on to the land and let go of any hardships we’ve had with the land. If we were to let go of every grudge we had after 7 minutes, 7 hours, 7 days, 7 months, 7 years, people would be much nicer to each other and not have such a negative attitude toward others, which would make the world a much more positive place to live in.
It even says in the next parsha Bechukotai, “If you my follow statutes and observe my commandments and perform them, I will give your rains in their time, the land will yield its produce, and the tree of the field will give its fruit” (Leviticus 26:3-4). So, if we follow Gods commandment of letting the land go, and letting our grudges go, then our lives will be better than before. We will have rains, and our produce is promised to us. Our friendships will grow, and those friendships will yield happiness.