Posts tagged " Shemitah "

Loans with no payback? The Shemitah Year

July 26th, 2017 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 12 comments

I’ve read a lot of your books, yet didn’t see you ever speak about this particular thing: 

Reading the Books of Law, I see quite a few mentions about helping out the poor. Not by giveaways, but by lending them what they need (Deut. 15:7-8). It would seem to be logical to give away, But Scripture says, “Lend,” and then, every seventh year you should forgive the debt if that is not paid. 

My questions is: I’d never think that the Bible would endorse free-rides or parasitism, but I can’t find the Bible speaking harshly to the borrower. It is quite demanding—you must give, if they don’t pay—you must forgive. Seems like license for a free-ride. I borrow, do not pay, they must forgive, and then, when I come to borrow again, they must give again… Can’t believe it to be what the Bible means to say. Could you, please share more light on that? Thank you.

Victor

 

Dear Victor,

How should a society deal with money? After thousands of years of human history, we are still trying to figure this out. Should it be, “From each according to his ability to each according to his need,” as Karl Marx wrote? Should we follow Ayn Rand’s vision where only those who produce survive and charity is a vulgar concept?

In our opinion, the closer countries get to the Biblical vision, which neither of the above mentioned authors did, the stronger the society will be. Yet, the Biblical vision is complex, and while it includes the verses you quote, that is not by any means the entire story.

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How Do I Keep the Bible’s Sabbatical Year?

June 17th, 2015 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

I really enjoyed listening to you on the Glenn Beck show and thought I might ask a quick question, if that’s all right…
 
I am a farmer/rancher and have decided to observe Shemitah, even though I don’t think it is “required” of gentiles. I just want to, as a sign of obedience to Him. But, I do wonder if it is permissible to cut hay for our cattle this winter? I am far from being an authority on this matter and don’t want a “loophole”. I really want to properly observe it to the best of my ability. I believe He will provide for us in any case. He always has.
 
Any help you might offer would be greatly appreciated.
 
Blessings,

∼ Ted C.

Answer:

Dear Ted,

Let me start my response to you by praying that God rewards you for your faithfulness.

Second, thanks for watching the Glenn Beck show on which I appeared.

Your question is really interesting because not an hour before receiving it, I had just completed writing the Thought Tool that went out to over 40,000 of my students.  I taught on the Shemitah and the Yoveil/Jubilee 50 year cycle.

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