Shmita Niggun

Eliana Light

About Eliana Light

I’m Eliana Light, a singer-songwriter/ritualist/educator living on Lumbee/Shakori land, also known as Durham North Carolina. I help communities elevate their prayer offerings and individuals connect to their prayer traditions through rooted, relevant ritual, meaningful music, and a new prayer podcast, The Light Lab. Through my work with folks of all ages, I seek to move the world towards Oneness, reminding us of the innate connections that exist between all people and the planet at all times.

About Shmita Niggun

I was inspired by a friend of my who lovingly challenged me to write a melody only to be used in a shmita year, just as we have melodies for weekdays, holidays, and Shabbat. I used the Hazon Shmita resources to find the Torah texts, and Exodus 23:11 jumped out at my first. I sang the words “V’hashvi’it Tishmetena” (in the 7th, shmita) over and over until something flowed, feeling into a rest, a cessation, a dropping out. The niggun section builds before landing and digging back into the earth, a re-rooting and re-localizing that the laws of shmita call for. The video for the niggun was filmed the only place I could imagine- in a forrest on the new home of One Soil Farm. It was a blessing to sing, distanced and safely, with Meredith Cohen, farmer and friend. This was the vision- a celebration of land, earth, community, and closeness. I envision this niggun raised high by a whole group of voices, singing their own melodies within the frame, and feeling into the land together. Or, it can be a personal mantra to follow throughout the shmita year. Either way, I’m grateful that this niggun came through me and I’m grateful to share it with you.