The Jubilee (Hebrew Yov-el ) year is the year at the end of seven cycles of
Sabbatical years (Hebrew Shmita), and according to Biblical regulations had a
special impact on the ownership and management of land in the territory of the
kingdoms of Israel and of Judah; there is some debate whether it was the 49th
year (the last year of seven sabbatical cycles, referred to as the Sabbath's
Sabbath), or whether it was the following 50th year. The English term Jubilee
derives from the Hebrew term yobel..., which in turn derives from yobhel,
meaning ram; the Jubilee year was announced by a blast on an instrument made
from a ram's horn called a shofar, during that year's Yom Kippur...The
biblical rules concerning Sabbatical years (shmita) are still observed by many
religious Jews in the State of Israel, but the regulations for the Jubilee year
have not been observed for many centuries.
Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all
the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you - and you shall return
every man unto his own clan, you shall return every man to his family.
The land must not be sold permanently, for the land belongs to me. You are only
foreigners, my tenant farmers.
When the field reverts in the Jubilee year it shall become holy unto the LORD,
as a field set apart; and it shall become owned by the priests."
According to biblical law, the Jubilee is only observed when all twelve tribes
of the Jewish nation are living in Israel, as is derived from the verse,1 'And
you shall sanctify the fiftieth year, and proclaim freedom throughout the land
for all who live on it,' which implies that the Jubilee is only sanctified when
'all who live on it', meaning, all who are meant to be living there, are in the
Land of Israel. Furthermore, the Jubilee is only observed when every tribe is
living in the specific part of the land which was it was allotted when the Land
of Israel was divided. However, some are of the opinion that the Jubilee is
observed as long as there is a partial representation of each tribe, even if
most of the tribe is not in Israel.
In the 6th century BCE, the Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel
and sent the majority of its population into exile. Those who were deported are
historically known as the Ten Lost Tribes.
We are certain that before that point in time the Jubilee was regularly
observed. We also know that, with the destruction of the Second Temple and the
disbandment of the Sanhedrin (supreme rabbinical court), we ceased to mark the
Jubilee year in any form. The periods about which there is a question are the
remaining years between the exile of the Ten Tribes and the destruction of the
First Temple, and the Second Temple Era.
According to the opinion that partial representation of each tribe is sufficient
to fulfill the scriptural requirement, biblically mandated Jubilees were fully
observed throughout the periods in question, because there remained a small
representation of each tribe in Israel.
c. Brit-Am Comments:
The Jubilee year is linked to the Shemittah (Sabbatical Year Cycle) in which
every seven years the land would lie fallow.
& times 7 is 49. On the fiftieth year would be a Jubilee. The next cycle would
either begin after the fiftieth year or include it as its first year. There is a
debate on the matter. See the above quoted article by Baruch S. Davidson for
We are no longer obliged by the Jubilee Year because not all the Israelite
Tribes are in the Land of Israel in their Tribal inheritances, or even
(according to another opinion) in only part of them.
Many opinions say that according to the strict Torah Law the same should apply
to the Shemittah Year.
The Sages however according to the authority given them (Deuteronomy 17)
re-instituted the Shemittah Year though according to some they did not need to
since the Torah obligation still held.
They did not re-institute the Jubilee. They assumed that the Jubilee Year is to
be counted as the first year of the Shemitta
The Messiah will do that
3. Brit-Am Health Under Siege?
Some years ago Yair Davidiy suffered from what for him was a serious gout
see: [1-Kings 15:23]
Anyway after a long break the problem has returned with a vengeance. First one
leg then the other.
Chances are that the worst is behind us and the next few days will (God
willing) see a healing.
It has already lasted for quite a while.
We are still working but at a lower level than usual.
Our usual high standards may have suffered a little.
Up until now we have been blessed with relatively good health.