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Gut Shabbos, Eretz Yisrael!

Avigail Sharer

Erev Rosh Hashanah. The Ponevezher Rav, Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman ztz”l, stooped down to the dusty, dry earth in the fields just beyond Bnei Brak. “Gut Shabbos, Eretz Yisrael!” he whispered. As the sun sets on Erev Rosh Hashanah, the world ushers in a year of shemittah. Let’s find out what it’s all about…

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What is Shemittah? Shemittah, or shviis, is a very special year that is kadosh to Hashem. Just like Am Yisrael rests on Shabbos, Eretz Yisrael rests during the seventh year. Fields, gardens, and orchards are left unworked. Shemittah: Three Flavors! Only Hashem knows the reason for the mitzvos that He gives us. We are, though, given what’s called a taam — a reason that we can understand, to help us feel connected to the mitzvah and appreciate it. In fact, that’s why the word taam means both reason and also… taste. Because it’s the reasons that give this mitzvah such a great flavor. So… here’s the mitzvah of shemittah like you never tasted it before!


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