Friday, October 03, 2014


Tonight Yom Kippur will begin at sundown, the last day of the Days of Awe.
A new year has begun, and I am so ready for it. 5775 and all that it will hold.

It has been difficult to write or be engaged really. I don't think that I realized how much mourning was going on inside of me, until last week.

Our family was rocked with Sean's death this year. Tears flowing down my cheeks was one thing, but watching my children sobbing was an entirely different level of sorrow. There is nothing you can do to "fix" things when death is involved. You just mourn. Things don't get "better", they just get "different".

Last week, I realized how angry I was that the world has lost such a brilliant young man as Sean.
Last week 5775 was ushered in with honey and shofar blasts.
Last week Shmitah began,.
Last week I wound up at the ER... TWICE! (I learned what pneumothorax meant and got a cardiologist.)

I have been pushing ahead, doing things, running and failing to rest, not even taking shabbat as I need. -Need vs Should- there is a big difference. I need to take shabbat, I need to unplug, I need to be present. I have been doing too much, and not doing enough of what I need. My emotional, mental and spiritual life needs renewing.

For a few weeks Shmitah has been on my heart. I know there is a big media hype and sudden "shemitah" fad. This is NOT that.

What is Shmitah? The sabbath year (shmita Hebrew: שמיטה‎, literally "release") also called the sabbatical year or sheviit (Hebrew: שביעית‎, literally "seventh") is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the Land of Israel,and still observed in contemporary Judaism.-Wikipedia

Ah! Release!A year of RELEASE.

There are a lot of laws of shmitah, most pertain to the actual ground of Israel. You can purchase plots to lay fallow and be a part of fulfilling that command.
" One of the roots of the mitzva is to instill the concept of the renewal of the world in our hearts and to draw a strong picture of this concept in our minds."-Shiivt 
“The entire mitzva of shmita is saturated with compassion and clemency for all people, as it is written, “And the destitute of your nation shall eat, and the animal of the field shall eat the remainder”. Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim (chelek 3 39) 

“Shmita tells you to stop running - not for a day, but for a year - so that you could flourish.” 
I am not buying a plot, but I also will not be planting on my own patch of soil here in California.
This year, I will be tending other things. These are things, I will be focusing on topically for now (with a lil knitting thrown in).

  • Learning Boundaries
  • Practicing Sustainability 
  • Release
  • Personal Renewal
  • Rethinking my consumer/consuming ways
  • Social Justice
  • Creating Sacred Space
  • Rest, Restore, Reset, Reboot
  • Bring Balance
  • Forgive Debts
  • Conserve water, pray for rain
  • Land Conservation (Educate myself)
  • Look for ways to set things right- I don't like this one at the moment. (pride swallowing!)
  • Help with feeding the needy *, Buying a lil extra for food donations
  • Make things "ownerless" (giveaway and donate stuff!)
  • More ART!
  • Appreciate others more

These are just what I can think of. I also want to get back to wogging (walking-jogging) with the Dr's okay, and taking time to fast Thursdays.

“It’s a year when you have time to listen to your soul, to yourself, when you can be attached with your family — to be with them, to have time with them. A year to listen to nature, a year to understand the holiness of Eretz Yisrael,” said Rabbi Yosef ZviRimon.

So in a time of rest and release, what would you do? How would you observe a shmitah? Even if it is a few days, weeks or month. What would you do with a whole year?

*An otzar (storehouse) beit din is an ancient storehouse, mentioned in the Tosefta (Sheviit 8, 1). Under an otzar beit din, a community rabbinical court supervises harvesting by hiring workers to harvest, store, and distribute food to the community. 

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