What are farmers (in Israel) supposed to do with all their free time during the shemita year? Are we, today, supposed to do anything special during the shemita year (in addition to actions related to produce of the land). I am asking about actions we might take that are reflective of what farmers in the past did (or might have done) with their extra time?

  • 1
    "in addition to actions related to produce of the land" and canceling loans
    – Heshy
    May 22 at 14:55
  • sefaria.org.il/…
    – Joel K
    May 22 at 14:58
  • @Heshy Yes, but that does not take much time.
    – Yehuda W
    May 22 at 15:39
  • @JoelK I do not understand the source to which you linked. What does it say we should do with our time during the shemita year?
    – Yehuda W
    May 22 at 15:46
  • 1
    I don't have a source handy (hence this being a comment) but most commentaries I've read say that we're supposed to study Torah full time May 22 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


As has already been mentioned in the comments - with their now free time, it affords the farmers the opportunity to learn and daven more.

Rav Tzadok in the first Pri Tzadik of Behar writes:

מפני שמצות שמיטה היא כמו מצות שבת שהוא קבלת מלכות שמים ששובתין כל אומה ישראלית ביום השבת וכן שמיטה בא"י שהי' כל עסקיהם בעבדות הארץ, ובשמיטה פנוים לתורה ועבודה,

...Because the mitzvah of Shemitta is like the mitzvah of Shabbos, that is an acceptance of the kingship of Heaven - that every Jew stops on the day of Shabbos, and similarly during Shemitta in Eretz Yisroel; all those that engage in working the land - during shemittah they turn to Torah and prayer.

  • 1
    So, we who are not farmers (and not in Israel) get a complete pass?
    – Yehuda W
    May 23 at 17:05
  • No I am just answering the first part of the question - "What are farmers (in Israel) supposed to do with all their free time during the shemita year?"
    – Dov
    May 23 at 19:05
  • So, is there anything that we who live outside of Israel are supposed to do nowadays, such as something to reflect what the farmers of old in Israel did with their considerable free time?
    – Yehuda W
    May 23 at 19:46
  • @YehudaW yes, if you are not a farmer you don't have the mitzvah to not farm and instead learn torah. All you have to do is be careful with shmitta fruits, and if you weren't going to have any anyways, then you have nothing to do.
    – Esther
    May 23 at 20:00

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