The Seventh Year

Akiva Gersh

About Akiva Gersh

I have been working in the field of Jewish and Israel Education for over 20 years to students both in the U.S. and Israel. Amongst other topics that I teach, I have been strongly passionate about sharing the connection between Judaism and the environment, animal welfare and veganism throughout my career. Over the years, I have had the great opportunity to teach thousands of students about these important topics through classes, courses and workshops. About a year ago I began to share many of these teachings on social media through my “Vegan Rabbi” Facebook and Instagram accounts and have been very excited by the response, which motivates me to share even more.I hold a BA in Religious Studies from Brown University, an MA in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University and rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Sulam Yaakov in Jerusalem. I made aliyah to Israel in 2004 and live in Pardes Hanna with my wife Tamar and our four children.

About The Seventh Year

Music is a big part of my life. I have been playing instruments since I was a little kid and picked up the guitar in college to add music to many of the poems I was writing. Through song I feel that I can convey ideas and messages in a way that people are more receptive to hear. This song, for me, is a strong example of that. There are so many inspiring teachings about how Shmita can, and is meant to, transform us as individuals, as a people, and as a global society. I wanted to express these meaningful ideas through a song so that people can hear about them in the span of just a few minutes, instead of what might take many, many hours of reading and studying. For me, Shmita holds the essential Jewish vision of an improved world, a fixed world, even a perfect world. My hope is that my song shares that message.

Time to put down our plows.

Take a rest.

Stop running,

Catch our breath.

We can

Blur the lines

Between what is yours 

And what is mine.

Time we look back

At footprints we left,

See the good we’ve done

And what we regret.

And if not now

Tell me when,

We’ll have a chance

To start over again.

The seventh year is here.

Take down our fences,

Open up our fields,

When we don’t own anything,

There’s nothing to steal.

As the sun of the sixth year,

Set one last time,

We were given the chance,

To leave our old minds behind.

It’s a year to envision,

Our dreams coming true,

Peace with the Earth,

People living in truth.

So let’s get together,

You and me,

Let’s build the world,

We know needs to be.

The seventh year is here.

And this could be,

What we’ve been waiting for,

Another understanding,

Of what life’s worth living for.

Once every seven years,

Time to re-birth,

To dispel the notion,

That we own the Earth.

Raise our eyes to the skies,

Look up and see,

There’s more to the world,

Than our eyes can see.

The seventh year is here.