Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
Shmittah And You

In the days of old when the Bnei Yisroel came into Eretz Yisroel the mitzva of Shmittah had a powerful impact on almost everyone's life. In the mainly agrarian society the work stoppage which affected a big proportion of the population grounded to the economy to a halt. Bnei Yisroel who had little chance for foreign aid placed all their hope in Hashem to help them pull through until the next crop could be harvested. This period of unemployment was not wasted by the people. The whole idea was to give to us a "Sabbatical" year to rekindle our relationship with Hashem through the study of Torah and the sheer emunah that it took to just drop everything without and backup support..

Fast forward to the year 5768. While there are a group of courageous farmers facing the real test of Shmittah, most of us in Eretz Yisroel are only facing some roadblocks trying to figure out how to deal with food issues. Outside of Eretz Yisroel, Shmittah is more of a curious phenomenon than a real issue. True some of us have taken advantage of the various offers to participate in Shmittah by buying into projects that charge a few hundred dollars for land before Shmittah, and most of us have generously opened up our hearts and wallets to help the farmers survive this great nisayon, but by and large our interaction with Shmittah does not make a real impact on our lives and certainly doesn't contain enough substance to bring us closer to Hashem in any meaningful way.

So what to do? I guess the choices are either A) Chalk this up as a mitzva that doesn't really apply to us and be satisfied with the meager way in which we participate or B) Think of ways that we can somehow participate in the spirit of the shmittah. Just like the farmers we can decide at least once a week to drop our cell phone, blackberry, business meeting and connect to things that are more important; whether its spending time raising the kids, learning a little extra torah, participating in a chesed project, or even catching that minyan that we usually miss because we are too busy.

More important than what we actually choose, is the conscious decision that Hashem runs the world and he can take care of everything for me so when he asks me to stop and take care of his business for a while we should go in heartbeat knowing that he knows how to handle our business at least as well as we do.

Do it for the Farmers, Do it for Yourself.