People who have done amazing things and given the world marvelous gifts do not know what they did because their lives ended before they saw the fruit of their labors. They did what they did because they saw a need and they took a first step.
It is the most radical verse in the Bible. It is the most radical statement ever made. None of our economists or jurists or legislators or executors or professors or bureaucrats or smart people in general have ever come up with anything as radical as Leviticus chapter 25.
If you want to be holy as Yahweh is holy, if you want to love your neighbor as yourself, if you want to live sustainably and survive in the land that Yahweh is renting to you, then every 50 years, redistribute. Start over and don’t cheat.
Liberation is costly. We must ask ourselves always, are we willing to pay the cost or will we simply say it is too much work, or it doesn’t matter that much, or oppression really isn’t that bad?
Even after liberation, the Hebrew people complain to Moses that at least they had food in Egypt. They will starve in the desert, they fear. Liberation is only part of the story. The hard part at times is learning how to live with a new freedom, new agency, new choices that are ours to make and not made for us.
Life is a struggle, a competition, a wrestling match, a lover’s quarrel between light and dark, yin and yang, male and female, life and death, mortality and immortality, Jacob and Yahweh.
“Even in these days, let despair be beneath us.” Rev. Don Ludwig