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All farmers who kept Shemitah (sabbatical year) were saved

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Shemitah refers to the commandment of working the land of Israel for six years and then allowing it to rest on the seventh year.

Shabbat and Shemitah are related concepts. Compare the verses in the Torah that describe Shabbat and Shemitah:

Shabbat (Exodus 20:9-10)

Six days you shall labor

And do all your work

But the seventh day is a sabbath of your G-d

You shall not do any work

Shemitah (Leviticus 25:3-4, 6)

Six years you may sow your field

…You may prune your vineyard and gather in the yield

But in the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath of complete rest, a sabbath of G-d

You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard

Both Shabbat and Shemitah teach us to set aside the focus on our livelihoods, to believe that the Creator of the world will take care of us even if we’re not working, and to enjoy a special time of holiness and spirituality.

During the recent Shemitah year (2021-2022), the Kol Barama Ramat Elchanan magazine ran a series of interviews with many farmers who were keeping the laws of Shemitah.

Following the events of October 7, the magazine followed up with the farmers, many of whom live near Gaza. They conducted an investigation and discovered that not one farmer who kept Shemitah was killed or kidnapped on October 7, despite the fact that many of them live in towns or kibbutzim near Gaza such as Kfar Maimon, Ami’oz, and Maslul. 

When magazine staff spoke to the farmers, many of them attributed their being saved to the sacrifices they made to keep Shemitah according to Torah law.


Image credit:

מאת Eliran t - נוצר על־ידי מעלה היצירה, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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