THE fad!, from which we get the word Jubilee, was a ram's horn which was used in Biblical times as a trumpet. At the risk of being accused of papist sedition and perfidious popery, if not forced into recusancy for resurrecting the Stuart cause, the Catholic Herald encourages its readers to examine the origins of the year of jubilee.
According to Leviticus (25:8551 amid much trumpeting: "You shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty to all It. inhabitants."
The rules of the jubilee are that it should be a glorified Sabbath. Nobody must do any work, but live off what has been stored up or what the fields produce of their own accord. There is then a section on how food prices are affected by the advent of a jubilee year.
The exact meaning is difficult to understand, but the message is spelt out at the end: "You shall not wrong one another."
The next section deals with property speculation. Thus says the Lord: "The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with me."
If a man becomes so poor that he has to sell his property and neither ha nor his family are able to buy it back, in the jubilee year it will revert to him. There follows a sort of short Town and Country Planning Act.
Furthermore, if a man becomes so poor that he has actually to work for someone else he and his family are released at the jubilee if they are unable to buy themselves out before then.
So it seems as if the original jubilees were occasions for a massive redistribution of wealth and cancellation of wage contracts.
Without wishing to have a blast on the Job!! it is fascinating to reflect on what would happen if the laws of Leviticus were applied to Britain's present economy.