The Sabbatical Year as an Answer to Modern Woes

December 20, 2017 | Aharon Ariel Lavi

Described in multiple parts of the Pentateuch, the sabbatical year, or shmitah, is the culmination of a seven-year tithing cycle. As Aharon Ariel Lavi points out, its laws affect agriculture (by requiring that the land lie fallow), national religious life (by requiring the king to read from the Torah before the assembled people), and economics (by requiring forgiveness of outstanding loans). Lavi argues that shmitah can have implications for Israeli society today, even in an era when most citizens are not farmers, and could help solve some of the problems created by the modern boom-and-bust economic cycle as well as the current situation of frequent career changes. (Video, 14 minutes.)

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