Refusing to work the land is a bad decision for a farmer trying to provide for his family. But in the case of Ben Rosenberg, and many other farmers in Israel this year, it is a Biblical obligation.
That’s because this Hebrew year is the Shmita (Sabbatical) year. And as the Bible commands us, it’s the year when farming in the land of Israel must come to a screeching halt and allow the land to ‘rest’:
“But in the seventh year, the land shall have a Shabbat of complete rest, a Shabbat of Hashem (God): you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.” (Leviticus 25:4)
The story of one such farmer
One farmer observing the Shemittah is Ben Rosenberg. Ben Rosenberg grew up on a small family dairy farm outside Binghamton, New York.
Ben loved farm life, but when Ben was in his mid-twenties, something inside said he had to visit the Land of Israel. And so, he did just that – boarded a plane to the holy land.
During his last few days in his visit to Israel, Rosenberg visited the Western Wall. When Ben walked into the Kotel (Western Wall) Plaza, he broke down into tears.
After two-thousand years of the Jewish People being in exile, Rosenberg knew that he had to return to his Biblical Heartland. He realized that he had to move to Israel.
Years later, Ben took a leap of faith and followed his dream of moving to Israel and starting his very own organic vegetable farm. To Rosenberg, farming is an integral part of returning to his Biblical homeland.
Another leap of faith
Today, Rosenberg is taking another leap of faith—he’s observing Shmita.
Shmita (The Sabbatical year) is a once-in-seven-year Biblical commandment where farmers in Israel stop working their fields for an entire year.
This means that it is forbidden for anyone to plant or sell any produce grown in the Land of Israel during the Shmita Year. All fields must remain untouched.
And even though Ben is not making any money from selling his vegetables…he’s still observing the Shmita year, all in honor of God’s will.
Because of Ben’s deep faith and trust in God, he is sacrificing his livelihood for an entire year to let the Land rest…and it’s all for the name of God.
But adhering to God’s will could come at a heavy price. That’s because void of any income this year, Rosenberg might lose his farm.
Bills, salaries, and loans are making the decision to observe the Sabbatical especially stressful. That’s because the banks don’t care that he’s keeping God’s word, and they require him to continue paying his loans, even though he’s not making any income from his crop.
God commanded that we keep Shmita over three thousand years ago. And today, in 2022, Rosenberg is keeping that very same commandment. And, today, you have an opportunity to join him.
To do that, consider making a donation today to help Ben in observing the Shmita year. Help him cover his costs while the Land rests…just as God commanded.