Photo Credit: IsraelTrees.org

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Why should you care about Shmitta if you are not a farmer in Israel?

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Good question!!!

The Torah says

ושְֵׁשׁ שָׁניִם תִּזרְַע אֶת אַרְצֶךָ, ואְָסַפְתָּ אֶת תְּבוּ אָתָהּ. והְשַּׁבְיִעתִ תִּשְׁמְטֶנּהָ וּנטְַשְׁתָּהּ
(שמות כ”ג, י)

“You may plant your land for 6 years and gather its crops. But during the 7th year, you must leave it alone and withdraw from it…” (Exodus 23:10)

This is a national Jewish Mitzvah that parallels Shmirat Shabbos which is 2 pesukim later

 שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲשֶׂה מַעֲשֶׂיךָ, וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי תִּשְׁבֹּת
(שמות כ”ג, יב)

Six days thou shalt do thy work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest (Exodus 23:12)

We keep Shabbat to teach the world that Hashem created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th.

Am Yisrael, the Jewish people were kicked out of Eretz Yisrael since the did NOT keep 70 cycles of Shmitta. See Rashi for a full breakdown of the years during the time of the Mishkan in Shilo and the First Beit Mikdash. Hashem said “You didn’t keep the Shmitta for 70 cycles, I will destroy the 1st Beit Hasmikdash and exile you for 70 years”.

That is exactly what happened up until the story of Purim. Achashveirosh knew about the 70 years of Exile and was celebrating that the Jews did NOT go back after the 70 years, with the very vessels from the Beit Hamikdash! Most of the Jews went to this ball to be good citizens but missed the point, while Mordechai Hayehudi knew this was wrong. B”H the Jews did Teshuva accepted ALL the Torah and were saved from a Holocaust. They were even able to go back to Eretz Yisrael Build the 2nd Beit HaMikdash and start keeping the Shmitta again which they did with Ezra and Nechemya.

So… we see the KEY to saving us from disaster and bring Geulah, is to help KEEP the Shmitta!

In addition, Hashem promises to Bless those who help keep Shmitta!

“I will ordain my Blessing for you” (Vayikra 25:20 )  וְצִוִּיתִי אֶת-בִּרְכָתִי לָכֶם

HaRav Yaakov Ariel, leading Posek , former Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan and President of Torah VeHa’aretz Institute, wrote a letter saying:

“…it is appropriate for every Jew in the world to partner with a farmer in Eretz Yisroel in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of Sh’mittah and through this partnership HE KEEPS THE MITZVAH AS WELL because the Land belongs to us all… I therefore bless the efforts of Zo Artzeinu’s Sh’mittah Campaign.”

Zo Artzeinu’s Israel Trees project, now in its 23rd year, allows EVERYONE to partner with farmers in Eretz Yisroel with Trees planted before shmitta. Zo Artzeinu is extremely selective with the farmers and only allows Shomrei Torah U’Mitzvos (and Shomer Sh’mitta of course) farmers to participate.

When you partner with a farmer, by visiting www.IsraelTrees.org, Zo Artzeinu arranges a partnership between you and a Shomer Shmitta farmer, where the farmer plants a tree that you purchased and then lets it sit for the duration of shmitta, giving you a partnership and Share in that mitzvah and Brocha!

EVERY order receives an authentic personalized Tree Certificate showing your partnership and orders of multiple trees gets you additional free gifts, such as necklaces, silver menorahs and more. Dedicate your trees in honor or memory of friends or loved ones. Keep the certificate for yourself or have Zo Artzeinu mail it to others.

Today is your chance to partake in this once in 7-year opportunity!

Partner with a Farmer in Israel BEFORE Shmitta… Share in the Mitzvah and Brocha!

CLICK HERE to see videos of farmers, schools, and communities and to learn more about partnership opportunities www.IsraelTrees.org

Please share this article with family and friends and share the blessing.

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