Thursday, June 05, 2008
A Shemittah Miracle
For nine years it sat in the backyard and did nothing more than produce a few leaves. Then, two years ago, we were amazed to discover that this mongrel tree was really an apricot tree. Sadly, I soon discovered that the fruit was full of worms. The local gardener, Roni, explained that it I act against the egg-bearing flies by the following Pesach, the fruit would be OK.
So, the following Pesach, I spent NIS100 for yellow sticky pads and hung them all around the tree. The results were cosi-cosi. We harvested about 20 apricots, got to take Terumot and Maaserot with a blessing; but about half still had worms.
This year is Shemittah. So I did nothing (figuring that even if putting up the fly traps was allowed, why waste the NIS100, which is now worth 33% more).
Then God took a hand, and the above is the result. The tree is overloaded with beautiful apricots, and nary a worm anywhere! In fact, the entire town is brimming with apricots, pomegranites and (soon) grapes. The cherry trees are sagging (except for my neighbor who scrupulously removed all of his cherries- despite Shemittah rules). It's absolutely incredible (and visually beautiful).
During Shemittah, the fruit is ownerless and anyone can partake. It belongs to all. It comes from God. The local chat list is full of e-mails declaring fruit hefker (ownerless).
It's not exactly what the Torah promised. It is, I truly believe, a sign of Divine Providence. It's a very good sign for when Shemittah becomes a Torah commandment in a few years (for the tragic reason that assimilation and religious suicide in the Diaspora will make the Jews of Eretz Yisrael the majority of World Jewry).
Lev. 25 20-22:
And if ye shall say: 'What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we may not sow, nor gather in our increase'; then I will command My blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth produce for the three years. And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat of the produce, the old store; until the ninth year, until her produce come in, ye shall eat the old store.