The Shemitta Sensation by Rabbi Binyamin Zimmerman
A Deeper Look into the Jewish Sabbatical Year
Shemitta, the Jewish sabbatical year, is a sensational holiday year that is often overlooked and at times misunderstood. Shemitta calls for a once-in-seven-year ‘time out’ for an agricultural society. It proclaims a year off, a rest period for the rich and poor al’ike. This break from one’s· regular routine and mindset, provides a year of Shabbat wtien the wheels of progress push towards other forms of advancement -when the economy can be set aside for the sake of growth in realms other than business. Shemitta’s return to the historical arena is testimony to the Jewish people’s return to Eretz YisraeJ (the Land of Israel). After almost two thousand years of exile, the nation’s return to the Land brought with it an agricultural rebirth. In place of the “sackcloth and ashes” famously described by Mark Twain, Israel is now a world leader in agricultural development and innovation, and Shemitta and its messages have returned in full force. Beyond agriculture, Shemitta entails central teachings that are crucial for all Jews and the entire world. Shemitta is the source of the modern sabbatical for academics and others, and its lessons have inspired worldwide economic movements. The more we understand it, the more we will appreciate it and observe it properly while finding ways to inculcate its messages. World Mizrachi is proud to present The Shemitta Sensation, inviting the reader to embark on a journey, exploring this sensational year’s lessons and its contemporary messages.
Year first published: 2021