Dvar for Bechukotai (Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34)
The Torah details the law regarding land purchased and then consecrated by the buyer and how it reverts to the original owner when Yovel (Jubilee year) arrives. The passuk (verse) details that “the kohen shall calculate the value until the Jubilee year, and give the valuation on that day…” (27:23). If the kohen calculates the value of the consecrated field, it seems evident that the value is the present value. What is the purpose of the Torah’s addition of the words “on that day” to the instructions?
The Gemara (Arachin 14a) explains that these words indicate that rather than paying a pre-established fixed price for a field, one pays the value of the produce at that time, which becomes a variable based on time and location and highlights an essential element in how we value things. We often raise the value of items based on their scarcity. We value the time we spend with our parents, but often only when we move out. We value quiet time, particularly when we otherwise lack it. It behooves us to be mindful of valuing commodities on the day we enjoy them, especially the scarcest of them all: time.