As Hamas was shooting thousands of missiles upon southern Israel last month, brave Israeli farmers planted thousands of fruit trees in advance of the upcoming Sabbatical year, known in Hebrew as ‘Shmita’.
The Jewish New Year begins at sundown on Wednesday evening Sept 24. This Rosh Hashana also ushers in the once-every-seven-year holy Sabbatical in the Land of Israel, as mandated by the Bible:
“…the seventh year shall be a complete rest for the Land”
Just as the People of Israel rest every week on Shabbat, the Land of Israel will rest for the entire year of Shmita. Last month – on August 11, 2014 corresponding to the 15th day of Av on the Jewish calendar – most forms of tree planting became forbidden, in advance of the Sabbatical year.
In the midst of Operation Protective Edge, as Hamas terrorists were shooting missiles into Israeli towns, Israeli farmers were planting as many trees as possible before the deadline – even while under fire…
Brave farmers such Hanan from Moshav Yavul (shown in video), located on the Gaza-Egypt border, planted peach trees until the very last moment.
While many of Hanan’s peach trees, as well as other fruit varieties (planted by neighboring farmers – also under threat of rocket fire) have already been sponsored by Israel supporters from around the world, some trees are still available for dedications before the onset of the Jewish New Year.
Those who have dedicated fruit trees were motivated in part by the Divine promise to bless those who help in the observance of the Sabbatical laws. Many farmers will suffer financially from not planting or working the Land for an entire year. Those who help the farmers by dedicating trees, are actually helping the farmers to observe the Sabbatical more easily.
In the Bible, God promises to bless everyone who helps in the observance of Shmita:
“I will ordain My blessing for you…”
The next opportunity for this blessing will be, of-course, in seven years, during the next shmita cycle.
Fruit trees can be dedicated in honor or memory of loved ones. Many dedications have been made in memory of the 3 beloved boys who were kidnapped and murdered this past June – Eyal, Naftali and Gilad.
Sponsoring fruit trees helps the farmers financially and enables those who live outside Israel to participate in the commandment and blessing of Shmita.
Everyone who sponsors a tree will receive authentic tree certificates directly from Israel.
Those who dedicate trees will be able to:
– Beautify the Land of Israel and make it more fruitful
– Have their name connected to their own tree, block, section or orchard
– Honor a loved one with a meaningful, timeless dedication
– Help Israeli farmers who observe the Sabbatical Year
– Participate in a very special “once-in-seven-year” biblical observance
This project will not only help the brave, dedicated farmers of Israel, it will enable those who dedicate trees to enjoy the blessings of the Sabbatical year.
Compiled by United with Israel staff