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The Shemittah (Sabbatical) Year—its laws, traditions and timeless messages.

Shemittah

Shemittah

A Year of Faith

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Like the seventh day of the week, every seventh year is holy. The Shemittah (Sabbatical) year is a year devoted to strengthening our bond with G‑d—specifically, honing our faith in His omnipotence and our trust in His kindness.

This year, 5775 since creation (Sept. 25, 2014–Sept. 13, 2015), is a Shemittah year. The articles and classes in the following sections will discuss this year’s special observances as well as its spiritual message.

Wishing you an inspiring, uplifting, and meaningful Shemittah year!

What Is Shemittah?
The Sabbatical Year basics: absolution of loans, desisting from all field work, and the spiritual objective of all the above.
Loan Amnesty: Pruzbul
Questions and answers about the cancellation of debts on the Sabbatical year, and what we do about it
Deserting the Farms
A digest of the pertinent laws of shemittat karka, the agricultural restrictions of the Sabbatical (Shemittah) year.
Shemittah Essays
A selection of reading, essays and insights on the Shemittah year—the once-in-every-seven-years Sabbatical year
Shemittah First-Hand
Jewish farmers in Israel today talk about Shemittah and their lives
Shemittah Q&A
Questions and answers on the laws of Shemittah, the Sabbatical year
Letters from the Rebbe
The Lubavitcher Rebbe's message in honor of the shemitah year
Shemittah Videos
Video classes and more on the Sabbatical (Shemittah) year
Shemittah Audio
Audio classes and more on the Sabbatical (Shemittah) year
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Discussion (11)
September 27, 2014
When is the next Jubilee Year?
June Green
Lynnville
September 25, 2014
New Moon and the Shemitah
I just had a question and I hope someone will answer it for me ! Does the New Moon have anything to do with the Shemitah ? I was told that the Shemitah cannot start until the New Moon ( Silver Sliver) is spotted. Is this true ?
Stacy
Texas
September 23, 2014
Enlightening!
Very interesting! Good stuff!
BC ADAMKOWSKI
HUMMELSTOWN
May 15, 2014
Keeping Shmita in Chutz La'aretz (Outside of Israel)
Hi, Tami. You wanted to know whether or not it was possible to keep Shmita outside of Israel.
There is a new organization out there that lets Jews everywhere purchase land in Israel for the Shmita year, thereby allowing them to halachically fulfill the mitzvah of Shmita.
They have tons of rabbinic endorsements. I will be buying a small plot of land so that I'll be able to keep Shmita this coming year. You can search on the internet for more information.
Sarah C.
May 1, 2014
Is it true that Shemitah only applies to Israel and that area?
Tami
December 9, 2012
Shemitah
This is still God's law. It is even built into some of the justice system. When a judgement is placed on someone after small claims, the judgement will fall off after 7 years. Also, couldn't the stock market crash and the economic collapse and mortgage collapse be considered a Shemitah? Debts and credit fell away.
Anonymous
January 25, 2012
A HARBINGER
Read Isaiah 9:10
Bancruptcy - Bailouts - debts forgiven
Anonymous
Wayne
October 8, 2008
Market crash
Stock market crashed in this Shemitah year and had been vulnerable in previous Shemitah years. How should we interpret this phenomenon?
Anonymous
June 27, 2008
RE: Shemitah
Shemitah only applies in the biblical land of Israel. Since you live outside of Israel, you are exempt from these restrictions. You do however, need to excercise caution when purchasing fruit from Israel.
Menachem Posner for Chabad.org
June 26, 2008
shemitah
We are new to the ways of our fathers. I had heard of the shemitah but had thought that it began 5769.

In our ignorance we had begun a garden, what do we do?

Does this mean that we are not to even harvest or pick any wild fruit, fruit trees and corn when in season?

I had picked some wild blackberries recently and the consequencies have become evident. Since reading this I understand that it is the Shemitah. Oy vey!

So, no gardening or harvesting of any kind? wild or domestic?
Anonymous
Williamsburg, VA, USA
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