Monday, May 11, 2015

Above Nature

"When you come to the land that I am giving you, the land shall rest a Sabbath to the Lord.
You may sow your field for six years, and for six years you may prune your vineyard, and gather in its produce,
But in the seventh year, the land shall have a complete rest a Sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field, nor shall you prune your vineyard." [Behar 25: 2-4]

One of the reasons for the Sabbatical year is to allow the land to rest for a year, to enhance its fertility. From this it follows that after six consecutive years of intensive agriculture, the land is at its least fertile point in the seven year cycle. So the Torah's promise that the land "will yield produce [sufficient] for three years" in the naturally infertile sixth year, is totally irrational and requires a person to accept an authority which is higher than his mortal understanding.

The Talmud [Sanhedrin 97a] compares the six agricultural years to the six millenia of this world, and the Sabbatical year to the seventh millennium [when the Redemption will have arrived].

Since the Jewish people suffer from a gradual regression in spiritual stature as the generations pass, a person might ask: "How could the efforts of the spiritually weak and "infertile" sixth millennium bring the true and complete redemption?

The Torah answers: It is the super-rational self-sacrifice and commitment to Judaism of the final generations of exile, that will bring the blessings of the Redemption.

Based on Likutei Sichos vol 27, Lubavitcher Rebbe

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