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Shmita and Debt Cancellation with Rabbi David Seidenberg
August 31, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Join us on Wednesday, August 31 at 12 noon EDT / 9 a.m. PDT / 7 p.m. Israel
Did you know that the Shmita (Sabbatical year) cancels all debts between Jews, whether in our outside of the land of Israel? Not only that — debts are not canceled at the beginning of the Shmita year (last fall), but rather at the end (this coming Rosh Hashanah)? Why did the Shmita (release) of debts happen after a whole Shmita year had passed? How did the Shmita year transform people’s relationships to get them ready for this great societal reset? How was release and liberation for the land entwined with liberation for human beings? After an overview of Shmita, we will look deeply into these questions to discover something so important: our ancestors understanding of money, of blessing, of caring for the needy, were all very different from our contemporary society’s. Hillel compromised the vision of Shmita in order to allow Jews to function in the Roman Empire — but now it is time to reclaim our heritage. How can we remodel our lives to give life to that utopian vision of so long ago?
Rabbi David Seidenberg is the creator of neohasid.org and the author of Kabbalah and Ecology: God’s Image in the More-Than-Human World. He has published widely on Judaism and human rights, animal rights, ethics, and ecology, and is well-known for his liturgy and translations. David is also an avid dancer, composes Jewish and other music, and leads programs on Judaism and astronomy.
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