Summing up a Sabbatical year

At the end of the Sabbatical year, my plants are looking rather sad and forlorn. During the Sabbatical, a Biblical concept unique to Israel, Orthodox Jews must observe a range of rules, but in a nutshell it comes to this: not planting and doing just the bare minimum to keep existing plants alive.

It’s a bummer for hobbyists gardeners and backyard homesteaders, but much beyond that for people who rely on growing crops to make a living. Some resort to ritual “selling” of the field to a non-Jewish person; others abandon their crops altogether and spend a year doing something different from agriculture, or go into hydroponics.

Similarly, when buying vegetables, one has to check that they come either from a “sold” area or from regions that don’t count as part of Biblical Israel – which includes some regions of the modern State of Israel, like Eilat and parts of the Arava.

I wish I could say I can’t wait to get to planting again after Rosh HaShana, but the truth is, I’ve gotten a bit of used to neglecting my plants. There’s just too much to do – and sometimes I wish I could enjoy lush greenery and succulent tomatoes without doing any of the work 😉 I guess I’ll get back into the swing eventually.

Either way, I’m wishing everyone a most happy Jewish new year and look forward to seeing what it brings.

Author: Anna

An Orthodox Jewish wife and mother enjoying a simple life with her family and chickens, somewhere in the hills, in Israel.

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