What is “Shmittah Yisraelit”?

Since the establishment of the State of Israel, Israeli society’s exposure to the Shmittah year has generally been that of strife between rabbis and different religious philosophies.

In contrast, the Shmittah Yisraelit initiative is an attempt to restore Shmittah to its intended place in society as an uplifting experience for all of the Jewish People.

Shmittah YisraelitThe initiative is headed by Teva Ivri organization, in partnership with Beit Hillel.

Earlier this month, we gathered with hundreds of people – secular and religious – all of whom are seeking the same thing: that the Shmittah year have influence on not just fruits and vegetables at the store, but also on the educational system and the public discourse in Israel.

That sounds nice, but how will this be done?

  • We will endeavor to make the laws and philosophical underpinnings of Shmittah accessible to the public.
  • We will emphasize the mitzvot relevant to nature, such as allowing the land to rest, and appropriate gardening in urban areas.
  • We will study the mitzvot related to economics, such as encouraging interest-free loans, postponement of loan repayments after the Shmittah year; and the establishment of a loan fund for repayments.
  • Most importantly, we will encourage a nationwide dialogue about the concept of Shmittah as it relates to financial and social conduct.

So, in summary, what is Shmittah Yisraelit?

It is an ideal year for learning and change, communal involvement, reduction of social gaps, and environmental responsibility.

THAT is Shmittah Yisraelit.

For more information, visit שמיטה ישראלית

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