Shmita Vision Summit

These are the recordings of sessions at the second Shmita Vision Summit on Wednesday, July 28, 2020. This summit brought together individuals from across to globe to brainstorm and connect as a greater shmita movement in this unique moment in time.

Understanding Shmita: an Ancient Aspiration for Modern Times

In this 3-part series, Jeremy Benstein and Shira Hecht-Koller from 929 and Nigel Savage from Hazon explore the many dimensions of the Shmita tradition, as well as share the lessons, insights, and aspirations it offers about society, the economy, and the environment.

The Hazon Shmita Sourcebook 3rd Edition – Hardcopy and PDF

Completely redesigned with the user experience in mind, many additional sources, and more thorough commentary and explanations; the updated Shmita Sourcebook is designed to encourage readers to think critically about Shmita, its values, challenges, and opportunities, and how we might apply the Shmita tradition in a modern context to support building healthier and more sustainable Jewish communities today. The updated Sourcebook draws on a range of texts from within Jewish tradition, tracing the development and evolution of Shmita from biblical, rabbinic, historical, and contemporary perspectives. This comprehensive, accessible sourcebook is well-suited for individual, partnered, and group study, with guiding text and discussion questions to enhance your learning, regardless of educational background. The Hazon Shmita Sourcebook offers a holistic understanding of Shmita, from the depth of Jewish tradition to the most pressing issues of our time.

Upcoming Shmita Year: Why It’s Important… And a Fabulous Brainstorm on How You Might Observe It!

Rosh Hashanah this year starts on the evening of September 6th - and that date is also, therefore, the start of the shmita (sabbatical) year in Jewish life. In this session, Nigel will briefly frame/introduce shmita - and will then open up a space to brainstorm the many different (and great) ways that we might choose to observe the shmita year - as individuals, as institutions, and in the wider world.

The Shemitah Year and the Social-Theological Vision of the Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy)

Rabbi Shai Held joined Shmita Project Northwest on 4/13/21 to discuss the Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy). Despite our usual associations of Shemitah (the Sabbatical year) with land, Shemitah in Devarim is about something else: It is a year for remitting debts and liberating slaves. In this session, we’ll do a close reading of Devarim 15, and explore such questions as: What kind of social ethic does Devarim seek to instill? How does it work to ensure that there will be no permanent underclass in the land of Israel? What strategies does it use to motivate people to treat one another generously? Along the way, we’ll see how Devarim radicalizes the social vision of Shemot (Exodus).

Understanding Yishuv ha-Olam, the command to sustain the world

Join Rabbis Avram Reisner and Nina Beth Cardin to learn about the most important mitzvah you never heard of: yishuv ha-olam, the command to sustain the world. Underlying many of the 613 commandments is the call to sustain a healthy, regenerative world. This is the imperative of yishuv ha-olam – establishing and supporting a livable world. Yishuv ha-olam is a call from our tradition that speaks to the urgency of the moment we find ourselves in today. We will explore texts that teach us about this mitzvah and talk about how we must live out its imperative today.

Creatively Engaging with Shmita with Nigel Savage

Part of Shmita Project Northwest's speaker series. Join Nigel Savage, founder and CEO of Hazon, for a creative and engaging learning experience examining core texts of Shmita and how they relate to our lives today. We’ll take a look at this ancient tradition through a new lens and invite attendees to think creatively about their own interactions with Jewish tradition through the Shmita Prizes.

Preparing for a Year of Release: Shmita 5782

The Year of Release, or Shmita, is a practice rooted in Torah and halachically required only in the Land of Israel. However, as many aspects of the world are under increasing stress from large forces, including a rapidly changing climate and profound wealth inequality, texts surrounding Shmita offer the possibility that a different path forward is possible. How could a seven-year cycle encompassing growth but also rest and release help bring balance and renewal into our relationships with the Earth and one another? And have we learned anything important letting go from the global pandemic of 2020? Come learn about the wisdom of Shmita, and be inspired to explore ways large and small to bring Shmita into your life and community next year, and for the seven-year Shmita cycle ahead.

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