In today’s Chumash, we learn about a person who gives a field to Hashem. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good field that grows very well or not such a good field — it costs the same amount to buy it from the Beis Hamikdash: 50 shekels for the space it takes to plant a “kor” of barley seeds.
We learned before that when you buy houses or fields in Eretz Yisroel, you are only buying them until Yovel, so you pay only for that time. The same thing is also with this field that was given as a present to Hashem: 50 shekel divided by 49 years (the years of Yovel) is a shekel and a pundyon per year. The person pays based on the amount of time left until the next Yovel — a shekel and a pundyon per year.
If the person who gave it to the Beis Hamikdash wants to buy it back, he has to pay an extra fifth, and then the field will belong to him again in Yovel.
If he doesn’t buy it back before Yovel, then he lost his chance! The kohanim sell it to someone else, and in the next Yovel, it goes to the kohanim, not to the first owner!
If someone bought a field which was not part of his yerusha in Eretz Yisroel, and he decides to give it as a present to Hashem, the halachos are different. If he doesn’t buy it back before Yovel, it doesn’t belong to the kohanim forever, instead it goes back to the original owner. It wasn’t HIS field to give away, just a field he bought until Yovel. So when he gives it to Hashem, he is only giving it until Yovel.
One thing a person can’t give as a present to Hashem is a firstborn animal, since it already belongs to Hashem!
Usually, when a person gives a kosher animal as a present to Hashem, it belongs to the Beis Hamikdash. With a non-kosher animal, like a horse, it is different. The kohen decides how much it is worth, and if the person wants he can buy it back, by paying that amount plus an extra fifth. If not, the kohen sells it to someone else.
Another way to give a present to Hashem is called Cherem. If a person says that something is Cherem, it belongs to the kohanim, and he can’t buy it back.
A person can also say that something is a Cherem for Hashem. Then it goes to pay for things for the Mishkan or Beis Hamikdash, and it can be bought back like other presents to Hashem.
We learned that we can give the amount of money someone is worth as a present to Hashem, called Erkin. But if a person decides to give an amount of money for a person who is going to be killed by Beis Din, it doesn’t mean anything. There is no amount of money given for someone who is going to be killed.
We also learn about Maaser Sheini. Maaser Sheini means that a person needs to bring 1 of every 10 of his grain (like wheat and barley), wine, and oil from that year. He needs to take it to Yerushalayim and eat it there!
If a person doesn’t want to bring the food to Yerushalayim, he can pay the amount of money the food is worth plus an extra 1/5th, and then he can use the money to buy another kind of food and eat it in Yerushalayim.
We also learn about Maaser Beheimah. It is a mitzvah to give the tenth of each baby sheep or cow to Hashem. This is done by letting the animals out of their pen one at a time. The 10th one is marked with a red line so we know that this one is maaser! Even if this animal gets a mum and can’t bring it as a korban, it still belongs to Hashem and can’t be traded for a different animal.
The Torah finishes off all of these mitzvos by saying that these are the mitzvos that Hashem told Moshe to tell the Yidden when they camped by Har Sinai.
Chazak, Chazak, Venis’chazeik! Mazel Tov! We now finish the sefer of Vayikra!