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The Last Word
"The Land Should Rest a Sabbath to God. You May Sow Your Field for Six Years..." (25:2-3)

The order in the text seems to be reversed, for the six work years precede the Sabbatical rest year, and not vice versa. Hence, the text should have first mentioned the six years of planting, and then decree the resting.

However, the lesson here is: When one "comes to the Land" and desires to establish one's way or life; which involves "working the soil" it is necessary to bear in mind that first and foremost, as an idea and as a goal, is to prepare a "Sabbath to God"; not the "earthly'" and material, but the spiritual and sacred. This approach will ensure that one does not become submerged by the material and mundane aspects of life. Moreover, bearing constantly in mind the above idea and goal will transform the six mundane working years; they wilt lose much of their drabness and become more refined and, meaningful. Furthermore, the change and elevating of the six years will also raise the seventh year to a higher plane.

Similarly, in daily life there are those aspects which have to do with material preoccupations (to earn a livelihood, etc.) and "common" necessities, such as eating and drinking, etc. - all those aspects wherein there is "no pre-eminence in man over animal." But there is also the area of "earthly rest" - of breaking away from mundane living. Here, too, the teaching of the Sabbatical year is that it is necessary to begin the day with the idea and approach that, although it may be necessary later in the day to engage in "mundane" activities, the essence and purpose of these things are ­to attain a "Sabbath unto God." In this way, even· the mundane aspects will attain refinement and real content, while the aspects of holiness and Godliness will be intensified and elevated to a higher order. This is the way to attain a complete and harmonious life.

(Free translation of excerpts from a public letter written by the Rebbe during the Days of Selichos 5725)
 

 


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