The Sabbatical Year as an Answer to Modern Woes

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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Read more at ELI Talks

More about: Economics, Hebrew Bible, Judaism, Religion & Holidays, Sabbatical year

Thoughts on Yitzhak Rabin’s Assassination, a Quarter-Century On

On the Jewish calendar, today is the 25th anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzḥak Rabin’s assassination at the hands of a fellow Jewish Israeli. Rabin, after a long and impressive career in the military and in politics, had not long beforehand signed the Oslo Accords, and was murdered by a zealous opponent of that decision. Reflecting on the occasion, David Horovitz writes:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israeli politics, Oslo Accords, Yitzhak Rabin