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Shmita Blog

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Vayera: Training in Hospitality, by Dr. Irene Lancaster

Vayera: Training in Hospitality, by Dr. Irene Lancaster

October 18th, 2021

During the Covid epidemic, hospitality has increased. There are many tales of people contacting their neighbours – and even people they didn’t know - in order to help with shopping and other services. This emphasis on loving kindness throughout the[...]

Lech-Lecha: Treating Both the Land and the Stranger with Empathy and Kindness, by Rabbi David Seidenberg

Lech-Lecha: Treating Both the Land and the Stranger with Empathy and Kindness, by Rabbi David Seidenberg

October 14th, 2021

Shmita is about freedom and justice for people, not just rest and regeneration for the land. One of the spookiest stories in the whole Torah is found in Lech Lecha. It’s called the brit bein habetarim, the covenant between the halves. The[...]

Noach: Finding Our Rest, Building Our Ark, by Rabbi Robin Damsky

Noach: Finding Our Rest, Building Our Ark, by Rabbi Robin Damsky

October 7th, 2021

"Rest is not idle, rather active and creative.  I refuel myself through my meditation practice, The winter rest fuels the earth, plants and animals for spring rebirth." “Shabbat Shabbaton” are the words Leviticus 25:4 uses to describe the shmita year –[...]

Bereishit: Revisioning our Relationship to Creation, by Natan Margalit

Bereishit: Revisioning our Relationship to Creation, by Natan Margalit

September 30th, 2021

"Our job in this life is, and has always been, to recognize our kinship with the world, to connect with those sparks as partners, and together with them serve God." Parshat Bresheit tells the creation story of the earth and the[...]

V'zot HaBracha: Flourishing in the Shmita Year, by Elyssa Hurwitz

V'zot HaBracha: Flourishing in the Shmita Year, by Elyssa Hurwitz

September 23rd, 2021

In the same vein that Moshe blessed the tribes of Israel in their own ways at the end of his journey and the next step of theirs, I bless each of us that we lean into our natural strengths[...]

Ha’azinu: God Calls on the Earth to Hear God’s Words, by Amalia Haas

Ha’azinu: God Calls on the Earth to Hear God’s Words, by Amalia Haas

September 17th, 2021

If we have the courage to open our hearts to the Mussar of Shmita we see that all lives emanate equally from the One. They have the same claim to nurturance and protection and well-being as do we, to resources[...]

Vayelech: Release Yourselves, The Shmita Year Has Arrived, by Miriam Midlarsky Lichtenfeld

Vayelech: Release Yourselves, The Shmita Year Has Arrived, by Miriam Midlarsky Lichtenfeld

September 9th, 2021

"In choosing a way to mark Shmita, inspired by the Hakhel ceremony in this week’s parsha, we will be honoring our heritage and rededicating ourselves to the earth, the environment, and the Torah." In our parsha, Vayelech, Moses instructs the priests[...]

Nitzavim: The Great Equalizer, by Sarah Zell Young

Nitzavim: The Great Equalizer, by Sarah Zell Young

September 2nd, 2021

Shmita is not only about the seventh year, shmita is a cycle preceded by 6 other years. It invites us to inventory ourselves, our choices and our middos, character traits, in the previous cycle and envision how we want to[...]

Ki Tavo: Remembering History, by Ruth Messinger

Ki Tavo: Remembering History, by Ruth Messinger

August 26th, 2021

"This is a core principal of shmita to let the fields rest and allow the hungry to eat from them. In a country where there is gross food insecurity, in a world where people are suffering environmental calamities and dangerous[...]

Ki Teitzei: Letting the Mother Go, by Aharon Ariel Lavi

Ki Teitzei: Letting the Mother Go, by Aharon Ariel Lavi

August 19th, 2021

 With one hand we acquire the eggs or the fledglings (or the crops) but with the other we let the mother go (or leave something for the poor to live on). Recognizing the fact that using natural resources for our[...]