Aliyah tip #7- Shmita
It is appropriate that Aliyah tip #7 is about shmita – the seventh year in the agricultural cycle. For those of you who don’t know, during the shmita year we are required to allow the land a chance to rest. As you could imagine, this leads to many questions and the potential for considerable division among the different segments of religious and non-religious Jews. The division rivals that of Pesach- kitniyot, gebrakht, mustard, garlic, etc. becomes heter mechira, otzar beit din, yevu m’chul, and more. For new olim the different groups (I hate to use the word “factions”) can be quite confusing. Over the summer I will be going through the history of shmita, the different terminology used, and many differing opinions in subsequent posts to help each of you make an informed decision as to what opinion you will hold by. My main concern, however, is that we use this shmita year not as a way to grow further apart from each other and our land, but to help us become even closer.
This Thursday, 17 July 2014 will be a large one-day conference on shmita at Kibbutz Gan Shmuel. Admission is free and there will be shuttle service from the Binyamina train station from 8am-10am that day. If you sign up in advance, there will also be a shuttle from the Arlozorov train station in Tel Aviv. The conference is in Hebrew. For more information, go to their web site or their Facebook page.
Click on the schedule to see a full-sized copy.