This year is a sabbatical year in Israel, and as usual, it’s a huge problem. The commandment described in Leviticus 25:1-7 mandates letting the land owned by Jews in their own country lie fallow every seventh year. The resemblance to Shabbat, the weekly Sabbath when no work is done, is more than coincidental: The seventh year of “release” (shemitah) is called a “Sabbath of the land.”
Stop The Machine! The Sabbatical Year Principle
by Jeremy Benstein
This short article by Jeremy Benstein is a glimpse into a chapter about Shmita in his book, The Way into Judaism and the Environment (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2006).