G‑d told Moses that the Jewish people must let their fields in the Land of Israel lie fallow for one full year after working them for six years. In order to enable them to do this, G‑d said that He would “bless” the produce of the sixth year, making the land yield enough for both years.
G‑d Promises; G‑d Fulfills
וּבַשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁבִיעִת שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן יִהְיֶה לָאָרֶץ. . . . וְצִוִּיתִי אֶת בִּרְכָתִי לָכֶם בַּשָּׁנָה הַשִּׁשִּׁית וגו': (ויקרא כה:ד)
[G‑d instructed Moses to tell the Jewish people,] “In the seventh year, the land must be given a complete rest. . . . I will command My blessing for you in the sixth year.” Leviticus 25:4

Although leaving the land fallow for a year may indeed improve its fertility, this cannot be the purpose of the sabbatical year. If it were, G‑d would have promised to increase the yield of the year following the fallow year, not the year preceding it. By promising an increased yield in the sixth year – which should naturally be the least productive! – G‑d shows us that it is specifically and exclusively His blessing that is the source of the increased yield.

The lesson for us is as follows: As Jews, we are required to spend time every day praying and studying the Torah; we must give charity, support Jewish education, and abstain from work on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. How can we hope to live financially sound lives when our non-Jewish neighbors, who are not “handicapped” by any of these obligations and restrictions, struggle to earn their livelihood?

The sabbatical year teaches us that when we do what G‑d desires, He will bless us – not only spiritually, but materially as well.1