Agricultural Ethics

Agricultural Ethics (Excerpt from Mordechai Becher’s book, Gateway to Judaism) Since the 15th of the month of Shevat is approaching, TuBishvat, the New Year of Trees, it is appropriate to discuss the laws pertaining to the Land of Israel.  Israel’s agricultural products are considered holy, therefore there are special laws that apply to them.  The most well-known, was the obligation in Biblical and Temple times to take tithes, to separate a ...

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Shevat and the Land of Israel 5779

Now that we are in the month of Shevat I would like to continue my theme of the laws of the land of Israel.  The seventh year of the agricultural cycle, is known as Shmittah, the Sabbatical year. In Israel, no new crops are planted and only maintenance work is done on crops and trees that already exist. Farmers may not sell their produce or prevent people (or animals) from ...

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Why All the Hype?

In this week’s Torah portion, VaEra, and in the Passover prayers and Haggadah, we emphasize the miraculous nature of the Exodus from Egypt. Moses’ staff became a snake, ten terrifying plagues punished the Egyptians, the Red Sea split for the Jews but drowned Pharaoh’s army and on and on. It does not appear however, that all of these miracles were necessary to expedite the redemption. God could have ended our ...

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