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Oct 31, 2007

Shmitta: a story indicating the state of affairs

The editor of the Mishpacha magazine (Hebrew edition) related a story that happened to a friend of his this past week.

This Rabbi is a teacher and travels once a week from Tel Aviv to a city in Southern Israel to teach there.

He frequently fills his tank of gas at the same gas station on his way down south and often the same twenty-something female attendant is there filling his tank.

She asked the Rabbi that she noticed he comes down and fills up often on Mondays. Where are you from?

Rabbi: from Tel Aviv

GA (gas attendant): Why specifically here?

Rabbi: I am travellign to a nearby yeshiva where I teach on Monday's. This is on the way.

GA: What do you teach?

R: Today I will be teaching a class about the shmitta year. Do you know what shmitta is?

GA: Don't make fund of me. I do not know much but I know what shmitta year is.

R: Tell me what you know..

GA: Just like every week has one day of shabbos, so once in seven years there is one full year of shabbos.

R: Wonderful! You know more than many other people. Do you also know what you do during the shmitta year?

GA: Yes. The religious people sit at home the whole year, just like on shabbos. They do not travel, don't work, don't buy things. They sit home and daven the whole year!

R: And how do they support themselves for the whole year, if they do not work?

GA: You guys are religious. You have agreements with the government and they give you enough money to live for the entire year.

R: If so, why am I here filling up my gas tank? Isn't it desecrating the year of shabbos?

GA: Either shmitta did not yet begin or you are not really religious...

That is the story, and that gives us an indication of what the general. non-religious public really understand about shmitta..

Maybe we need to stop fighting in public about the nitty gritty and money involved and work more towards educating the general public about what shmitta really is. Maybe then they will be more understanding of the needs of the religious public and the requirements of shmitta that must be adhered to.

Maybe we need to act in general with more integrity so we do not allow the impression that maybe the religious Jews are not really religious (i.e. they only act religious when it is convenient)

1 comment:

  1. oh man, i should be taking off the whole year?! No one tells me anything! im going home... see ya next rosh hashana!


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