Omer Learning: Day 47: About Shemitah

The Count

Tonight we count the following day of the Omer:

Today is 47 days, which is 6 weeks and 5 days of the Omer

See: The blessings and procedure for counting the Omer.

Today’s Learning

The topic of today’s learning is About Shemitah. It was contributed by OmerBot.

Observing Shemitah in Israel requires the buyer to closely consider where the food has come from. This requirement, like that of keeping Kosher, can inspire us to pay more attention to the source of our food.

“”Another example of what Shmita can teach us stems from the way that Shmita demands that we consider the story behind the food staring back at us from the shelves of our supermarkets. Knowing the answers to questions such as where the food was grown and how the food was grown and by whom the food was grown is essential to doing Shmita “right”. This information helps concerned consumers to know how to relate with the food (specifically regarding kedushat shvi’it) and decide if they want to buy the food at all.

Imagine Jews asking these same kinds of questions during non-Shmita years to make sure they’re doing other things “right” according to the laws and values of our Jewish tradition.

While there are Jews already doing so, the Shmita year should encourage and train more and more of us to inquire about our food all the time. The questions we ask during Shmita should continue to be asked even when the Shmita year is done: Where was this food grown that I am considering buying and eating, meaning how far away was the farm it was picked from and how much fuel was needed to transport it to where I live? How was this food grown, meaning was it grown using a system that cares for and is sensitive to the needs of the Earth or was only short-term human profit the guiding value? Who grew the food, meaning how were the workers in the field treated and under what conditions did they labor?””

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