Photo: Deep in the mountains of the rainforest of Southern Ecuador the cattle graze in tall grasses.
What’s a Shmita?! This is a short “story” about the Sabbatical Year or Shmita people around the globe are talking about. This piece will help you understand just how this could possibly apply to you! May this challenge and bless your soul…
Quotes From: unitedwithisrael.org/shmita ~ please note Yahstix does not endorse Kabbala, the religion of Judaism, Oral Law, Talmud, or Mishnah.
“The Sabbatical Year (Shmita) in Israel is finally here… But can a modern nation disregard their fields for an entire year? Observing the laws of Shmita is a test of faith and an opportunity to reaffirm one’s commitment to God.”
”Observing the laws of Shmita demonstrates the understanding that nothing truly belongs to us. Even the land that one owns and cultivates belongs to God.”
“It is on loan to us to be used according to His will. All our possessions are His — we are merely the watchmen. You think you have a landlord? There is only one true landlord in this world.
There is a famous story that illustrates this point. The famed sage, Rabbi Yisrael Kagan (1838-1933), known as the Chafetz Chaim (meaning “One who Desires Life”), was once visited by a wealthy admirer. When the visitor entered the rabbi’s tiny home he got the shock of his life: The living room was furnished with nothing but an old table and rickety bench. The kitchen was tiny and primitive. There were no modern amenities at all.
The man turned to the Chafetz Chaim and asked: “How do you live like this? Where are all your possessions?” The Chafetz Chaim asked him: “How did you get here?” “By coach” the visitor replied.
The Chafetz Chaim went outside to see the carriage. After examining it, he commented to his guest: “I don’t see a dining room, kitchen or even a bed inside of this thing!” “But Rabbi, I am just traveling through your town. Travelers don’t bring their beds and kitchens with them!”
The Chafetz Chaim answered: “I too am traveling…traveling through this world to the World to Come. This lifetime is temporary. Why should I amass amenities and possessions?”
This is the lesson of shmita: Life is temporary. Life is fragile. We are merely passing through this world, stopping here for 80 or 90 years only to do His will. We need not get carried away with luxuries and superfluous amenities.
Even today, as we read the Torah portion this week, [Behar, meaning “at the mountain” (Leviticus 25:1-26:2)] the laws of shmita are a timeless lesson. The farmer sits back in obedience to God and does not work his land. Just as the farmer understands that the land belongs to God and obeys His command, he also knows that God could provide for him in many other ways.
We, too, should remember: Everything is His, this world is only temporary, and even when things look bleak and scary, God is there to provide.”
In Exodus (23:10-11) the Sabbatical Year (Shmita) is established: “And for six years you are to sow your land, and shall gather its increase, but the seventh year you are to let it rest, and shall leave it, and the poor of your people shall eat. And what they leave, the beasts of the field eat. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive yard. “
In Leviticus (25:20-22) Israel is promised an abundant harvest if they obey the scriptures: ‘And since you might say, “What do we eat in the seventh year, since we do not sow nor gather in our crops?” ‘Therefore I have commanded my blessing on you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth the crop for three years. ‘And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat of the old crop until the ninth year. Eat of the old until its crop comes in.’
Mathew (6:19-21) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. “For where your treasure is, there your heart shall be also. “
Spelling Variations: Shmittah / Shemitah / Shmita ~ All Scripture from: The Scriptures 1998+
~Emphasis Added by Yahstix