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What is Shemita?

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Quick Answer

The Shemittah is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle observed in contemporary Judaism. The Torah mandated the Shemittah for the Land of Israel.

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Based on the Torah, the Jewish faith considers every seventh year a shnat shmita. During this period, any land owned by Jews in the Land of Israel cannot be cultivated, and the Torah forbids all farming activities such as plowing, planting, pruning and harvesting on the land during the cycle. Furthermore, during Shemittah, people cannot buy or sell land. However, the Shemittah law does not apply to land in the Diaspora. The observance of Shemittah also includes the waiving of all outstanding debts between any Jewish debtors and creditors.

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