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    Proclaiming freedom – B’har

    freedomThe Torah tells us early in this week’s reading to proclaim liberty, d’ror, for everyone who inhabits the land (Lev. 25:10).

    D’ror is a very strange word to use for liberty. The Targum Onkelos renders it as cherut, a more usual word for freedom. The sages offer various linguistic analogies, such as a connection with ladur, “to dwell”, since a person with liberty can chose how and where to dwell. Another rabbinic view links it with a noun, d’ror, a swallow, a bird which sings when it is free but not otherwise.

    If we take it that the word has a three-letter root, d-r-r, there is an underlying meaning of “to stream, to flow” – which enables us to see the word in our verse as indicating being unhampered, unhindered, unrestrained.

    A person or nation blessed with d’ror in this sense is master of their own destiny.

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