The end of shmitah

This Rosh Hashanah marks the end of the shmittah year in Israel. During the sabbatical year the land is supposed to be left fallow, and whatever grows by itself in the field and on the trees is “hefker,” or free for the taking. At the end of the sabbatical year, the Torah requires lenders to forgive debts. (In practice, methods have been developed to circumvent many of these laws, with varying levels of support in the religious community.) Relinquishing ownership of produce and cancellation of debts are ways of mitigating societal inequalities. At the end of 5768, events in the financial world illustrated how economic certainties can change in an instant.

May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life and blessed with a year of peace, prosperity, and happiness. As we look forward to a peaceful and stable 5769, I want to thank all of you who participate in this blog community. I especially thank Leora for the beautiful blog design. Thanks also to Robin, Rafi, Melissa, RivkA, Baila, Lion of Zion, Jameel, Abbi, Regular Anon, Anon Reader, Orthonomics, Tamiri, Trilcat, TherapyDoc, ALN, Liza, Juggling Frogs, Raanana Ramblings, Mimi, Klara, Annie, Miriam, Frum Satire, Ariella, Raggedy Mom, BB, Ilana-Davita, Super Raizy, Sylvia-Rachel, Batya, “Zippo,” my brother and sister, and the many others who read, comment, link, send news, and provide corrections and constructive criticism.

Bli neder, we’ll meet again next year.