This coming year on the Jewish calendar, 5775 (Sept. 24, 2014–Sept. 13, 2015), will be the next Sabbatical year.
The year following the destruction of the second Holy Temple (3829 from creation, equivalent to 68–69 CE) was the first year of the seven-year Sabbatical cycle. We continue counting sevens from then.
Most of the Sabbatical year’s observances are agricultural in nature, and are relevant only in Israel. For those in the Diaspora, the Sabbatical year has two practical ramifications: a) Produce which is imported from Israel must have rabbinical certification, and is also subject to certain laws and restrictions due their sanctity. b) The laws of debt absolution are in effect in all locations. Click here for a method which will allow you to collect debts even during the Sabbatical year.
Needless to say, the spiritual and hallowed nature of this special year is applicable and pertinent worldwide. Click here for more on this subject.
See also When is the next Jubilee year?
Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson