Photos courtesy of Keren Hashviis By Y. Dov Krakowski While shemittah (the Sabbatical year of the land) has unfortunately become a hot political topic in modern-day Israel, it is important to remember that shemittah is actually a mitzvah with its own set of halachot. It is especially vital for the American tourist or student who […]
by Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb Why would the Torah dictate such a challenging set of laws, requiring that landowners relinquish their land and neither plant nor reap for an entire year? Many great sages have asked this question and have offered a variety of answers. The Rambam offers two very different reasons for shemittah. Firstly, that shemittah is […]
“The laws governing the shemittah year were designed to strengthen the Jewish people’s trust in Hashem and to serve as a reminder that as important as our efforts are, ultimately everything comes from above. It is an opportunity, every seven years, to witness the manifestation of Hashem’s presence in the world.” As we are little […]
The spice products certified by the Orthodox Union include tropical aromatics (pepper, cinnamon, cloves, etc); leafy herbs (basil, oregano, marjoram, etc.); spice seeds (sesame, poppy, mustard, etc.), and dehydrated vegetables, among others. Spice companies typically produce blends such as curry and chili powders, poultry seasoning and all sorts of other custom blends.
Israeli Farmer Ariel Porat Speaks with Journalist Michael Freund
It’s that time of year again in the Jewish State. An entire industry has shut down, workers are refraining from taking up their posts, and their tools and machinery lie about idly gathering dust.
“And the land shall rest” (Vayikra 25:1-7).
Every seventh year, residents of the land of Israel are reminded that the land that flows with milk and honey is God’s property and domain. He grants the bounty of the six “regular” years and He commands that the land lie fallow during the seventh year, the shemittah year. During this period, landowners are required to relinquish ownership of their produce–whatever grows on their property must be made accessible to all. In this way, shemittah also serves as an antidote to greed and stinginess. Special halachot regarding the sanctity of the produce also prohibit their disposal as well as their profitable sale.
Shemitah: Background According to tradition, it took Joshua seven years to conquer the Land of Israel, and another seven years to divide it among the various tribes and individuals. The Talmud tells us that only after these fourteen years, when the conquest of the land had been completed, was it endowed with kedushah, holiness, with […]