28 Heshvan, 5775
My mind and heart are weary from recent events. So, I spent time nurturing my soul by reading a fascinating book. It abundantly reminds us mortals that GOD is in control. It's a terrific boost to spiritual health.
An adventure in securing sufficient groceries while observing associated halakhot/Jewish laws, Shmitta (variant spellings exist among English-speakers) year is the result. It makes for an interesting, exciting time of life for farmers, home gardeners, anybody who wants to eat, plus sellers of flowers, produce and trees - even house plants!
You can click here to learn about some of the miracles that have resulted due to Shmitta observance.
From the Sources to Practical Halakha
Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon's masterful Shemita, From the Sources to Practical Halakha provides readers with a comprehensive background into the minutiae of relevant laws, the solutions to relevant controversies and a can-do guide to practical behavior. Readers come away educated, confident that they appreciate, and comply with, the scope of religiously legal issues.
The book's awe-inspiring photography is as beautiful as it is educational. Readers are also treated to an array of rabbinic opinions based on various Biblical passages that address Shmitta observance.
There is no need to worry about Rabbi Rimon's copious coverage of relevant Jewish laws about Shemita. His colorful charts simplify otherwise confusing details. The at-a-glance information empowers the reader, aka consumer, to dine in completely shmitta-compliant comfort.
The array of halakhically compliant though diverse methods in which a person may or may not acquire, use and dispose of shmitta-compliant produce (fruits, vegetables, flowers and saplings) can lend itself to fierce debates. Rabbi Rimon deftly handles the controversial topics with class and simplicity. Without a judgmental word, he explains the methods and rationales for the applications of different, yet halakhically valid, points of view.
Information is underscored with chapter summaries, and with appendices for specific chapters. A chapter entitled The Various Solutions begins on page 386. It ties up many loose ends by posing questions, then providing answers (e.g., Is there a way to permit harvesting an entire crop of Shemita produce?) and expounds of specific solutions to multiple Shmitta issues. One example is that pages 359-369 address hothouses and soil beds detached from the ground as alternatives to the prohibition of eating and/or selling foods grown in the ground. Other alternatives are given equal time, too.
You'll unknot your brow as the author resolves the tension-filled question of Does the Yerushalmi (Talmud) contradict the Mishna (writings from a different historical period)? by citing distinctions in specific passages of text that neatly resolve the controversy. Readers who are very familiar with Jewish law or beginners wending their way through details upon details for the first time will enjoy the sensibly sorted out thoughts in this section.
More marvelous information for minds that must take complicated subjects one at a time appears on page 263. It begins the chapter of The Laws of Produce with Shemita Sanctity: Navigating the Opportunity. The author focuses on upbeat messages such as "opportunity" rather than disheartening vocabulary such as "myriad of details" or some other stultifying word/phrase. There's a heartwarming treat that will bring tears to many eyes at the last page of this section. It's about a naive little boy who ran to the author with a concern about a rainstorm disrupting the land's rest during the previous Shemita season. The purity of that child's devotion to the mitzva of Shemita is too good to summarize here. Read it first-hand, and come away with warmer love for GOD, little ones, and Torah life.
Want to nourish your mind and body's ability to cope with the stresses of illness, as well as your soul? Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.
Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity.
Face Your Future with Optimism.
Fill your mind with healthy thoughts.