The goal and purpose of the Torah covenant, for society as a whole, is that the Israelites will observe the Shmitah (Sabbatical) year, and that in doing so, they will repair the relationship with the Earth that was destroyed in the generations leading up to the flood. Essentially, the covenant with Abraham is meant to take one people and one land, and put them in a right relationship with each other, in order to create a model for how humanity should live. That model is found in the observance of Shmitah and the Jubilee.
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.
A conceptual view of shmita from Yeshivat Gush Etzion
Just as the Torah is a guidebook on mending the relationships between men and women, sibling and sibling, nation and nation, so too, the Torah contains within it commandments whose aim is to heal the brokenness in humanity’s relationship to the Earth. Shmita, the sabbatical year, comprises a number of the 613 commandments (mitzvot) of the Torah. With today’s environmental challenges, these mitzvot may be more relevant and needed today than at any time in Jewish and world history. Posted as part of Jewcology's "Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment," in partnership with Canfei Nesharim.