GrowTorah Core Value: Stewarding the Earth, Incubating Emunah
The Shemitah and Yovel years, explained again in Parshat Behar, are the most radical of the agricultural mitzvot. They obligate those in Eretz Israel to let their land lie fallow every seventh and fiftieth year – to cede control of their land. How do the Rabbis explain the reasons for shemitah? How can we learn from this and apply it even outside of Israel?
Lesson Title: Shemitah and Yovel!
What are the reasons given by commentaries for Shemittah and Yovel?
- serve Hashem, reminder that the land belongs to Hashem
How are we serving Hashem, the land and ourselves in keeping the mitzvah?
- refocusing, recognizing Hashem's authority
Living the Lesson
Even outside Eretz Yisrael, how can we still observe some of the laws related to shemittah?
- We could, although are not required to still let the land lie fallow. We also could open up our gardens and farms and fields to the public. Generally the recognition of Hashem and his ownership extends beyond Eretz Israel, even if we are not obligated in the mitzvot outside of it.
How can we think of our garden as Bnei Yisrael are commanded to think of Eretz Yisrael?
- ownerless, belongs to Hashem