Thursday, November 8, 2007

On Shmita (Shemitah), continued

The laws of the Shmita, or the sabattical year, are fascinating. In the coming blogs, I wish to explore the concept of Shmita.

Leviticus 25: "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto HaShem."

It is clear from this passage that God views the Shmita year as a sort of Sabbath for himself. God is saying that the Shmita year is important to him just as a Sabbath is important to us!

So, it should be that, if Shmita is so important to Hashem, then we should not only honor it in the land of Israel, but everywhere! If God deems that it is important that the land should rest every 7 years, then why would this not apply to lands outside Israel? If Shmita is good, when would it be good only for Israel?


Holy Hyrax said...

>then why would this not apply to lands outside Israel?

You can ask this question about any other commandment as well.

badrabbi said...


Indeed I do! If X is a good deed, then barring something special about the place, then X should be good everywhere. No?

If Shabbat and its observance is good, then one would need to provide a very good reason to decree that Shabbat should only be observed in Israel. I am therefore asking why has the law of Shmitah come to be observed only in Israel.