Photo Credit: Hanzlers Warped Visions /
Blood Moon

( Jewish agricultural laws aren’t necessarily something the rest of the world easily becomes fixated on, but lately the word “Shemitah” has been popping up frequently in Google searches. From Jeremiah to Nostradamus, anything ancient, or at least time-honored and Jewish can have a mystical resonance to it, and the otherwise mundane topic of Shemitah is no exception. This Rosh Hashanah 5776, on September 13, marks the end of the seventh year, in which the land of Israel, according to the Torah, takes a sabbatical from agricultural activities.

The Hebrew word “Shemitah” means “to release” and it refers to giving the land a “Sabbath” after six years of being cultivated to produce crops. In that year, farmers must stop working their fields and relinquish ownership of the land, and everything that grows is communal property. Today, there are rabbinical measures that allow food to be produced, but they are in line with various interpretations of how Shemitah should be applied in the modern State of Israel. In addition, loans are forgiven in the seventh year, although there are also rabbinic provisions allowing for banks as well as individual creditors to continue to collect on debts.


The Times of India observed a series of mishaps associated with the end of Shemitah, and noted that “Black Monday,” when the Indian stock markets took a dive, happened to occur in the last month of Shemitah. In addition, the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and the Wall Street Crash of 1987 happened during Shemitah years, and the 9/11 terror attack coincided with the end of Shemitah in 2001. The worst financial crisis in the US since the Great Depression also occurred after a Shemitah year, in 2008.

The year that will begin on Rosh Hashanah is not just the year after another Shemitah, but a Jubilee year, or Yovel, in Hebrew, the 50th year after 7 successive 7 year cycles. The Jubilee year has not been celebrated in the Land of Israel for thousands of years, because it involves the return of land according to tribal designations, and since it isn’t clear which tribes today’s Jews belong to (although most are probably from Yehudah or Levi), land can’t be re-apportioned along tribal lines. According to the book of Leviticus, the Sabbatical year is a time when debts are forgiven, slaves are freed, land is returned and the mercies of God will be manifest.

Many Christian websites who have an abiding interest in Jewish lore as it is presented in the “Old Testament” are paying attention to the fact that the upcoming year is the end of Shemitah in Israel and the beginning of the Jubilee year. Those websites detail the correspondence of Shemitah and the Jubilee year to the blood moons and biblical prophecies. Ministers such as John Hagee say that the lunar eclipses on a series of four Jewish holidays are meant to usher in the End of Days. The blood moon (a natural phenomenon that occurs when the Moon hangs low in the sky, just after moon-rise or before it’s about to set below the horizon—red light can pass through the atmosphere and not get scattered, while light at the blue end of the spectrum is more easily scattered, so when we see a red moon, we’re seeing its red light that wasn’t scattered, while the blue and green light has been scattered away) is matched with a prophecy of Joel that says that the moon will turn to blood and signify that “the great and terrible day of the Lord has come.” The fact that the blood moons occur at the same time as the Jubilee year and the potential signing of a UN Peace treaty (with Iran) means, according to some Christians, that the “Rapture” will also take place, followed by the “Second Coming” and the resurrection of the dead.


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  1. This is an excellent article, very well researched and very fair. As a Christian who loves the Jewish roots of her faith, I cringe when I read the way folks such as John Hagee have interpreted the possibilities, but there are many more people who have sound handles on those possibilities. We shall wait and see what happens, and pray G-d will continue to defend Israel as the "apple of His eye," no matter what befalls the nations. Thank you, Jewish Press and JNiMedia.

  2. Good article yet the speculations by those mentioned are incorrect. The events the will come before the secons coming are quite different than those mentioned. The events leading to the start of the Great Tribulation involve watching the activities of the Last Pope. The current Pope could be empowered to be the one. He is certainly acting as he is the one. We will see.

  3. NASA knew about the four blood moons before Hagee or anyothers. First time in 400 years this will happen. But the fact all the High Holy Days are coming in the same year is even more amazing. However, with that said, yes some are saying the Messiah is coming in Sept (some have other months) nobody knows the time or hour of His coming only G_D. But with that said certain prophcies need to happen still and the Temple needs to be rebuilt then more things have to happen….things that nobody can imagine that has never happened before. It is a time when people will be deceived by false promises from someone who claims to be the Messiah and who is not. Best advice is to be in G_D 's Word, know what He says and not what others think they know. Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.

  4. Mankind is too greedy to ever stop "Living for Making a Living!"

    And it doesn't matter if it Jews, the U.S. Government, this Shemitah will never happen!

    It's just another planted story by the Government to keep some people in fear.

    Surviving at all cost is human nature, even homeless people, as polite and decent as most of them are, still want food, shelter and money and it takes "Money" to have those!

  5. I can't tell you what the Creator of Heaven and Earth is trying to tell me to tell you…as this is just too heavy and intellectually cumbersome to put into words. We are all on our own now to put our beliefs into practice. From the Dawn of Time to Eternity is still only one day long for our Creator… whenever we choose to give him/her/etc. a rest from our blasphemy. See only beauty. Hear only good. Leave the lights on for others walking in our intelletual darkness.

  6. Shana Tova, year 5776
    From Psalm 27, I pray for the State of Israel:
    "My father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord gathers me in.
    Instruct me, O Lord, in Your way, and lead me in the straight path because of those who lie in wait for me.
    Do not deliver me to the desires of my adversaries, for false witnesses and speakers of evil have risen against me." — King David

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