What’s in it for me? This question, asked so often in our world today is one of the key elements of the Shmita year. The Shmita year is for me!It demands that we focus on ourselves, our families, our personal growth and our spiritual growth. It demands that we take time for ourselves and invest in our personal development. What’s in it for me you ask? Shmita is for me!
Shmita is the focal point of Jewish earth-based traditions. More than a calendar year, Shmita is primarily a way of being, a blueprint for a sacred, whole-systems culture, one grounded in vibrant, healthy and diverse relations between self, community, ecology, economy, and spirit.
גבורי כח עושי דברו. במה הכתוב מדבר אמר רבי יצחק: בשומרי שביעית הכתוב מדבר. בנוהג שבעולם, אדם עושה מצוה ליום א’, לשבת אחת, לחודש א’, שמא לשאר ימות השנה?! ודין חמי חקליה ביירה, כרמיה ביירה, ויהבי ארנונא ושתיק, יש לך גבור גדול מזה.
(ויקרא רבה פרשה א' א')
Mighty in strength are those who fulfill God’s word.” Who is the text speaking of? Rabbi Yitzchak says: It speaks of those who observe the Shmita year. It is common to find someone who keeps it for a day, for a week, for a month; but do we really find many people who keep the shmita for the entire year? Is there a mightier person who sees their field go untilled, their vineyard go untilled, yet still pays their taxes and doesn’t complain?
(Vayikra Raba: Parsha A’, A’)
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We are Masorti Olami, the official International Movement of Masorti/Conservative Judaism, based in Jerusalem, Israel.