Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Shmita is every 7 years and we leave the land unused. In Egypt there were 7 years of feast, then 7 years of famine. As leaving the land unused could be considered famine like conditions, are there any sources that relate these two?

Shmita is often compared to creation, 7 day:7 years. If this is the case the reverse question can be asked: were the feast and famine periods related to creation?

Or, neither are compared at all and seven is just a oft used number in Torah.

share|improve this question
What do you mean by compared? – avi Jan 14 '12 at 17:47
related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/7389/… – Menachem Jan 15 '12 at 3:50
The Use of the number 7 in the dream, may be telling us that this was a natural cycle, and not a miraculous one done for Yoseph's benefit. – avi Jan 17 '12 at 8:25

The MaHaral says that the number 7 is the number of natural occurrence, while the number 8 is for supernatural. Therefore a baby has his Bris on the 8th day to show that we are L'Maalah M'Derech Hatevah. There are many things in the Torah with the number 7. 7 days of the week, 7 years in a Shemita cycle, 7 Shemitas then a Yoveil, and many other examples of 7. I have never seen anyone connecting Shemita which is only once in 7 years to the 7 years in a row of plenty and then 7 years in a row (cut short when Yaakov arrived) of famine.

share|improve this answer
It may also be worth bearing in mind that Shmita only applies in Eretz Yisroel (not Egypt). – Avrohom Yitzchok Jan 15 '12 at 22:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.