We started a new theme today! All Anafim learned about our new theme, שמיטה (Sh’mitah), were the following facts:

  • שמיטה (Sh’mitah) happens every 7 years.
  • שמיטה (Sh’mitah) means release. IMG_6860.JPG
  • During the שמיטה (Sh’mitah) year, all agricultural activity, including plowing, planting, pruning and harvesting, is forbidden in the land of Israel.
  • שמיטה (Sh’mitah) laws regarding the land apply only in the land of Israel.
  • Any fruits which grow on their own–without you planting them–are deemed הפקר (hefker – ownerless) and may be picked by anyone.
  • During the שמיטה (Sh’mitah) year, all debts–money people owe–are forgiven. No one has to pay them back.


Pictured below are our 3rd and 4th graders’ first impressions of what goes on during a שמיטה (Sh’mitah) year–how people feel and what effects it might have on the community.

Some immidiately made the connection between harvesting and employment:



And others imagined the joy of being debt-free: IMG_6863.JPG



After just a day thinking about what it means to “release” for a year–the land from it’s owner and the poor from their debts (these were the children’s words)–ideas and questions were flowing. It’s definitely going to be a thought provoking few weeks in Anafim!


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