Nourish Your Biblical Roots Podcast
Explore the ancient Jewish roots of Christianity and their relevance to your life today with podcast host Yael Eckstein, President and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Join Yael from the Holy Land as she shares spiritual insights, lessons from the Torah, and conversations about life in Israel. This podcast will take you on a unique journey through the Bible that will deepen your personal connection with Israel and offer you inspirational insights into your Christian faith.
Since last September, the people of Israel have been living out the biblical command to observe a sabbatical year as found in the Book of Leviticus. But what does that mean? For many in Israel, it has meant allowing fields to go unplowed, not planting a vegetable garden, or simply letting the ground rest. And while this biblical directive is focused on the land, there is a deeper spiritual lesson for us all. As podcast host Yael Eckstein shares, the practice of shmita, the sabbatical year, teaches us that sometimes we need to do less in order to receive more blessings in our lives. Listen now!
This week’s parshah, the Torah portion read and studied by Jews around the world each week, is called Behar, which means “the mountain,” and it covers Leviticus 25:1-26:2. In today’s study, podcast host Yael Eckstein focuses on Leviticus 25:1-4:
The LORD said to Moses at Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the LORD. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards.”
These verses contain God’s directive to observe the sabbatical year, known as shmita in Hebrew, in the land of Israel. And for the past year, the people of Israel have been doing just that — observing the sabbatical year by allowing the ground to lay fallow.
As Yael explains in today’s episode, the observance of shmita has been revived in the years since the return of the Jewish people to their biblical homeland. Every seventh year, farmers and families observe this biblical command by not sowing or tending to their fields (even home gardens) for an entire year.
While this directive has to do specifically with the land, Yael shares Jewish teachings about the spiritual significance of shmita and the universal message it holds for us all.
Based on these teachings, Yael challenges the widely held belief that we have to do more and work harder in order to achieve the results that we want to see in our lives. Yael helps us understand the faulty thinking underlying that belief and how, as believers, we need to take a different approach.
As Yael shares, the biblical requirement to let the land rest during the sabbatical year teaches us how to relate to our own goals and aspirations. Through today’s lesson, we’ll discover why sometimes the most productive thing we can do is nothing at all!
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