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.

  • What do you mean by compared?
    – avi
    Jan 14, 2012 at 17:47
  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/7389/…
    – Menachem
    Jan 15, 2012 at 3:50
  • 1
    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, 2012 at 8:25

1 Answer 1


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.

  • It may also be worth bearing in mind that Shmita only applies in Eretz Yisroel (not Egypt). Jan 15, 2012 at 22:31

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