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Shiurim & Adult Education
THOUGHTS ON PARASHAT EMOR BY AVI SON
Shmittah and Me by Samuel Koslover
The opening mitzvah in this week’s parsha is shemittah, desisting from working land in Eretz Yisrael every seventh year. This mitzvah is not exclusive to farmers but contains timeless lessons for all.
Rashi’s commentary indicates the unusual significance of this law. He explains the laws of shmittah follow a reference to Sinai as to teach how every detail of halacha was given at Sinai. Therefore, the central connection of all oral Torah rests on this one mitzvah.
Shmittah is relevant to us because it is a Shabbos.
The power of shmittah is an additional dimension to Shabbos in its ability to pause regular life.
Each week we go from Shabbos to Shabbos but there is far more than week to week. Shmittah teaches how there is a larger macro-shabbos in our lives.
Shabbos is not about rest. It is certainly included, yet the essence of Shabbos is directing the energies of the week towards a relationship with Hashem. This relationship constructed in the week is then fully experienced on Shabbos.
In shmittah, the 7th year, the Shabbos, sets the axis around which our lives are planned. Alongside life’s plans, there must be Shabbos as our guide and destination.
The verse says, “When you enter the land that I assign over to you, the land shall observe a sabbath of the Hashem.” A Chassidic teaching notes that the command of shmittah is given as soon as they enter the land. Instead of six years of work, the first shmittah year happened immediately in year one.
This is as shmittah is not about agriculture, it is about cultivating trust in Hashem.
Shabbat Shalom/Good Shabbos