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Shmita Blog

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Beshalach: The Knowledge Of Water, Fire And Clouds By Rabbi Gila Caine

Beshalach: The Knowledge Of Water, Fire And Clouds By Rabbi Gila Caine

January 12th, 2022

"This is the strongest lesson of shmita, that the non-human world around and within us is filled with its own intelligence, and its own Torah." This week’s Torah portion kicks off with our ancestors leaving Mitzrayim (the Biblical Egypt, the place[...]

Bo: In Times Of Darkness, Can We Share Our Light? By Yali Szulanski

Bo: In Times Of Darkness, Can We Share Our Light? By Yali Szulanski

January 6th, 2022

"The plague of darkness evokes imagery of desperation, fear, and of dark times. It is the plague, perhaps, that most echoes the time we live in now." Parashat Bo occurs in anticipation of Bne’i Israel’s exodus from Egypt. Here, the last[...]

Vaera: What Gives Me Hope? By Dr. Barak Gale

Vaera: What Gives Me Hope? By Dr. Barak Gale

December 29th, 2021

"Shmita offers a “release” from this harsh legacy, whispering to us: Aspire to this time when you no longer harden your heart."   Vaera recounts the Ten Plagues and the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart.  I am often asked in my climate presentations[...]

Shemot: Building A Society That Rejects Decadence And Oppression, By Rabbi Binyamin Zimmerman

Shemot: Building A Society That Rejects Decadence And Oppression, By Rabbi Binyamin Zimmerman

December 23rd, 2021

Shemitah and jubilee ensure that Israeli society will be protective of the weak, combating wage gaps and building a redeemed economy. If it worked with the Exodus, it could work now.   Parashat Shemot begins the second book of the Torah, Exodus,[...]

Parashat Vayechi: E Pluribus Unum? by Judry Subar

Parashat Vayechi: E Pluribus Unum? by Judry Subar

December 16th, 2021

We must temper using our own resources to satisfy our individual human desires in recognition of our responsibility to preserve our Earth for the benefit of humanity. Mortality sets the scene for the concluding chapters of Genesis. Vayechi, the last portion[...]

Parashat Vayigash: Feeding the World, By Shoshana Michael Zucker

Parashat Vayigash: Feeding the World, By Shoshana Michael Zucker

December 3rd, 2021

"From both the story of Joseph and the practice of Shmita, we learn that the earth, if respected, is capable of producing adequate food. Hunger is a human-caused problem that humans can solve." Parashat Vayigash is set during the famine that[...]

Miketz: Learning from Joseph's Mistakes, By Rabbi David Seidenberg

Miketz: Learning from Joseph's Mistakes, By Rabbi David Seidenberg

December 2nd, 2021

"Therein lies a basic lesson of Shmita: You can’t deprive other people or the land of their freedom in order to preserve your own." The Shabbat of Chanukah is here. When we left Joseph last week, he was in the dungeon.[...]

Vayeshev: Equal Social Dignity, By Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin

Vayeshev: Equal Social Dignity, By Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin

November 24th, 2021

"So whether you wear a coat of many colors or a simple shift when you glean, shmita is a reminder that we are all the same: temporary tenants wholly dependent on the gifts of this God-given world." “Now Israel loved Joseph[...]

Vayishlach: Wrestling Awaits even in the Shmita Year, By Bruce Spierer

Vayishlach: Wrestling Awaits even in the Shmita Year, By Bruce Spierer

November 17th, 2021

"When you finally slow down for the shmita year, don’t be surprised if there is confrontation waiting for you to wrestle with. If you see it through, you might find new blessings in your life." In Parashat Vayishlach, Jacob returns to[...]

Vayetze: “Set In The Land” Mutzav Artza - Jacob's Ladder Through a Geocentric Lens, by Dr. Allen Katz

Vayetze: “Set In The Land” Mutzav Artza - Jacob's Ladder Through a Geocentric Lens, by Dr. Allen Katz

November 10th, 2021

"In order to effectively combat climate change and live more sustainably, our attitude must be mutzav artza, firmly grounded in the land." This week's Torah portion of Vayetze offers us a rare opportunity to glimpse into the mind of a tzaddik, Jacob[...]