Yay! Hooray!! It’s a Shmita Year!!!
About LEIB NOVEMBER
Cartoons give me inspiration, and that why I paint in a cartoonist style. I really am humble, but I think if people were asked for adjectives that best describe me, they would say clever, smart, adventurous, courageous, brave, and energetic. My mother would say I’m talented, unique, great, precocious, gifted, and artistic. I like hiking and exploring the forest as that energizes me. And I like good vibes and being with people who are kind. I am very friendly and try to include others to make people feel happy. My dream is to be a stand-up comedian.
About Yay! Hooray!! It’s a Shmita Year!!!
My painting shows people going into a field en masse during Shmita year to pick fruits and vegetables from the trees and plants. The biblical text of Exodus (23:10,11) is a source of the Shmita mitzva, as it says, “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce. But in the seventh year, you shall let it go and abandon it, and the needy of your people shall eat, and the wildlife of the field shall eat what is left; so shall you do to your vineyard and your olive grove.” I was concerned and curious about Shmita and how people would survive a year in Israel as the land rests. So, I did my research and found out that new seeds cannot be planted, but trees can be cared for, so orchards and farms not lost. So where do religious Jews in Israel get their produce during Shmita? I read that crops grown during the sixth year can be canned and preserved for the seventh year. Also, produce grown on land owned by non-Jews can be purchased, typically from Arab farmers in Israel. Produce grown outside the land of Israel can be used which is why large numbers of greenhouses have been set up in Jordan this year to provide for Israel’s religious families. Lastly produce grown in greenhouses and not in fields can be sold during Shmita, and hydroponics is acceptable as well. Shmita is complicated for the shopper wishing to make a salad, but there are ecological reasons for Shmita so the land can replenish. And finally, by not planting, we are reminded spiritually to have more reverence and respect for the land we use.