Rosh Hashanah 5782 (Sept. 2021-Sept. 2022) signaled the start of the traditional Shnat Shmita—the sabbatical year.
During this year of teaching, not only will we study scripture, Pulse24 will also deep dive ancient timing and culture. First mentioned in the Book of Exodus, the Year of Rest encompasses the entirety of every seventh year in the Hebrew communal cycle. Traditionally, it called on farmers to stop tilling fields and welcomed all people to partake of their produce. It also stipulated the cancellation of debts and other economic adjustments aimed at ensuring everyone was provided for in society.
The Sabbatical year is a time the land should rest. While the land is resting, Shnat Shmita should facilitate self-reflection, and provides a “break” for creativity, finishing projects, and brainstorming innovative ways to strengthen the land and each other. The Year of Rest should ignite action! In Israel during this year of reset and rest, it is common practice for employers to give all the workers a half a day off to go learn, some teachers give students one afternoon a week to go paint nature for nurturing creativity, people change eating habits along with other acts of giving to build.
The Year of Rest is not an outdated practice. It is relevant and revolutionary! According to Jewish custom, Shmita respects private property and its legitimacy in the six years prior. However, every seventh year is a reminder that at the end of the day nothing is owned. The Earth is the Lord’s. We come here as guests to sojourn for a short time.