Yearning for Shemitah

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Shemitah is Approaching

In Preparation for Shemitah
  1. We are currently nearing the beginning of the shemitah year, which
    will take effect, b’ezras Hashem, on Rosh Hashanah 5782/2021.
  2. Worry. Some people start feeling pressure and worry as shemitah
    nears. For farmers, the mitzvah and issurim of shemitah involve real
    sacrifice. Dovid Hamelech refers to farmers who keep shemitah as
    mighty warriors (‘א א”פ רבה ויקרא ,(as their dedication in abandoning
    their fields for a whole year takes lots of strength. Regular people
    also feel restricted because of the kedushas shevi’is of produce.
  3. Joy. In truth though, we should be extra joyful that we have the
    zechus of this holy, precious, and dear mitzvah. Just as there are six
    mundane weekdays and the seventh is Shabbos, we also have six
    years without kedushah followed by a seventh year of kedushah, in
    which we eat produce sanctified with kedushas shevi’is. We should
    yearn to be zocheh to the year of kedushah already, just like a person
    waits on Erev Shabbos in anticipation of the arrival of Shabbos.
  4. Desire to keep the mitzvos hateluyos ba’aretz. Moshe Rabbeinu
    davened 515 tefillos – the gematria of “ ואתחנן – “to be zocheh to
    enter Eretz Yisroel. Chazal say, “Why did Moshe Rabbeinu desire to
    enter Eretz Yisroel? Did he need to eat its produce or be satiated
    from its goodness? Rather, he said, ‘There are many mitzvos Klal
    Yisroel were commanded about that can only be fulfilled in Eretz
    Yisroel. I want to enter so I can fulfill them’” ( א”ע ד”י דף סוטה’ גמ.(
  5. Applies to everyone. People think the halachos of not working the
    land only apply to farmers. In truth though, many halachos apply to
    activities in a city setting, e.g., tending gardens, transporting dirt to
    a construction site upon the completion of a building (see below, 38),
    growing vegetables or seedlings on a windowsill, various plants in a
    house, spilling water from a balcony onto the ground, and so forth.
    Learning the Halachos
  6. One of the reasons people feel pressure is because they do not know
    the halachos and consequently do not know what they can and
    cannot do
    . We therefore determined that it is necessary and
    beneficial to begin organizing the halachos in a clear manner that
    everyone will gain from and to preface with some principles on the
    topic. Throughout the year, b’ezras Hashem, we will focus on
    different shemitah topics that will be relevant at that time. “The one
    who toils on erev Shabbos will eat on Shabbos.”
  7. Chutz La’aretz.Although our fellow Yidden who live in Chutz La’aretz
    are not zocheh to have the experience of keeping shemitah or the
    kedushah of Eretz Yisroel, they too must know the halachos. First of
    all, they need to know to be careful about shemitah produce
    imported from Eretz Yisroel and the halachos about shemitah of
    money, which also applies in Chutz La’aretz.
  8. But the main point is that the halachos also apply to them. Soon
    Hashem will break the yoke of the goyim that is on our necks and He
    will bring us speedily to our land. It is especially important to learn
    these halachos since it was due to a disregard for the halachos of
    shemitah that we were sent far away from our land, as Chazal say,
    “For the aveirah of shemitah and yovel, galus comes to the world”
    ( א”ע ג”ל דף שבת’ גמ .(Thus, by learning and working on the halachos of
    shemitah, we should be zocheh to keep them again.
    Preparing Properly
  9. There are also several topics it is worthwhile to know in advance so
    that one can prepare properly, e.g.,
    when the deadline for planting
    trees is (below, 29) and what type of work is forbidden during
    shemitah so that one can do these things before shemitah.

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  1. Nice

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