The Faith of Shabbat and Shmita

Zeesy November

About Zeesy November

I’m deaf. I had cochlear implant surgery on my right ear at age 3, and my left ear at age 3 1/2, which gave me access to many sounds. I am a miracle girl because I can hear and speak. I attended school for the deaf and hard of hearing from age 4 to 12. Now I go to the Sinai School and I love it. Two years ago, I had terrible pains in my head that traveled all over my body. Many doctors could not figure out the cause. After a year of constant pain, a tiny wire was coming from my ear. The ear surgeon scheduled immediate surgery. My implant and middle ear got infected, but after surgery, there was no more pain. The good parts about myself is that I am great at gymnastics. I am artistic and like to paint and draw. I’m a hairstylist with long hair and can style it and braid it many different ways. I’m a responsible babysitter. Cooking is my specialty. I bake challah, cakes, and make spinach filled pierogi from scratch. I’m neat, organized, and helpful. I’m especially good at math. My friends like me because I’m friendly and kind.

About The Faith of Shabbat and Shmita

This is my original painting which I call “The Faith of Shabbat and Shmita.” It’s a painting of me near a table set for Shabbat with two covered challahs, a Shabbat candle, a wine cup, and a place setting. I am lighting my candle to welcome the Shabbat, a day of rest, learning, and reflection. Just as many Jews work for six days and then have a Shabbat, a day of rest every seventh day, in Israel, Jews work the land for six years and then have a year of rest and not working the land every seventh year. To me, both Shabbat and shmita shows faith. People who work six days a week instead of seven have to hope and have faith that their loss of income for the day of Shabbat will not have a bad effect on them or their family. They have to have faith that the loss of a day’s salary will still enable them to pay their bills, buy their necessities, and meet their expenses. It seems to me that Shabbat is more than a commandment, or a tradition, or a ritual; to keep the Shabbat and not work, also shows faith. So too with the shmita and leaving the land is left unplanted for an entire year, where private property become open to all, and food is made accessible to all. This too is a true act of faith. The farmer does not know how his land will do after being left unattended for a whole year and he does not know if he can survive without a whole year’s income. His act of keeping shmita is a true act of faith.