OBSERVING THE SABBATICAL YEAR – SHNAT
God commanded Israel to observe the Shmita year, i.e., the Sabbatical year,
in Leviticus, chapter 25, Parshat Behar. If you read this unusual commandment, you may find it frightening to think of abstaining
from agricultural work for an entire year. God, however tells us that He will provide a bumper crop on the sixth year which
will provide food until the ninth year. Despite this promise, our nation has failed to voluntarily comply with this
Imagine if every person in the land of Israel witnessed the miracle of the
bumper crop at the sixth year’s harvests. Imagine if even skeptics could no longer deny God’s blessings after
witnessing this miracle for each successive Sabbatical year. Can you imagine a more jubilant nation celebrating the Jubilee?
This event would become the transforming episode of the most dynamic culture on earth. How long would it take before any normal
nation requested instruction on how to join in on this miracle? And what kind of world would eventually emerge under God’s
What prevented human evolution from being influenced by this miracle? Was it
lack of faith or lack of courage? Was it fear or greed? Perhaps most practical people simply followed the instructions of
their clerical leaders without having to think too much. In any case Israel, the nation, is now back home in its promised
land and the same contractual laws apply. The similarities between ancient times and now are that the same foes are poised
for a life and death struggle; the people are led by faithless leaders who preempt the observance of this and many other vital
commandments with a man made ordinance; and the nation’s leaders still look to foreign powers for salvation.
The differences between then and now are that Israel and the world know full
well that history has born witness to the disastrous consequences of not complying with God’s laws; Israel denies that
its holocausts and other national calamities are punishments; and there is no longer any prophet who exhorts the people to
compliance with the will of their Maker.
The Prophet Jeremiah asked God to spare Israel form the Babylonians and the
destruction of Jerusalem. In Chapter 5:1, God provides the poor prophet with His answer. “Run ye to and fro through
the streets of Jerusalem….If ye can find a man, If there be any that doeth justly, and seeketh the truth; And I will
Today the nation of Israel is under attack by the same mortal enemies with
a prophesied holocaust predicted in Zachariah 13:8. Even Israel’s friends have come to the conclusion that they would
be better off without her. No leader has come to the fore with an appropriate declaration and the nation of sinners is still
enthralled in its faithlessness.
Therefore I will be the man for whom Jeremiah was told to search and I will
serve as the prophet who will exhort Israel and the other nations towards voluntary compliance with our Maker. Like the boy
in the children’s tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes, I will state the obvious, i.e., that like the emperor in the
story, the clerical and secular establishment of the nation of Israel are naked of any merit worthy of God’s salvation,
but unlike the peasants in the parade who could see the foolishness of the emperor and the courage of the boy, most, if not
all of you will deny the obvious truths provided in Torah Universe and will attack the words which may save you and your loved
This year is the Sabbatical year and once again the sages of Israel espouse
their own and their venerated predecessors’ determination that God did not really intend for them to actually stop agricultural
work. Even the great Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook, the first chief rabbi of pre state Israel advocated the ‘heter
mechirah’, by which the land of Israel was sold to a gentile so that the people ‘could’ farm the land on
the Sabbatical year. He feared that Jewish farmers would not settle the land if they had to refrain from farming every seven
years. This is such a calamitous lack of faith and courage because God is absolutely clear about the consequences of such
infidelity. In chapter 26 of Leviticus, God enumerates His blessings and curses and warns us about the “vengeance of
the covenant”. In verse 33 He states, “And you will I scatter among the nations, and I will draw out the sword
after you; and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste. Then shall the land be paid her Sabbaths,
as long as it lieth desolate, and ye are in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and repay her Sabbaths.
As long as it lieth desolate it shall have rest; even the rest which it had not in your Sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.”
The leadership of Israel has been a fraternity of schlemiels and scoundrels
and the day of reckoning will follow the full-scale war which is on the horizon. God gave us a land for lion cubs and lionesses.
The most faithful, therefore, are expected to be the most courageous and the finest warriors – and that means soldiers
with weapons. If you readers demand of yourselves and your leaders the full compliance with Torah which God requires then
we will come through this storm and enter into the new world for which we have been praying. So instead of trying to figure
out how to buy produce from Israeli farms which were sold to a goy this year; demand that farmers seeking your markets truly
observe the Shmittah year. And instead of figuring out that hydroponics is the real intention of HaShem, let’s just
read what He told Moshe and let’s get on the same page with the courage and determination to finally do it wholeheartedly
so we can be spared the full intensity of the coming war.