This week we are told about Shmittah; that there is to be a sabbatical year of rest - and it's a shmittah year this year! What's the idea of having one year each seven of rest? It is explained by some (Sforno, i think) that what one does in their 'time off' shows what they would really want to be doing all day. Thus, Shmittah is supposed to be a year free from working land so that we can devote a year to learning Torah. And using the year to devote our time to Torah shows that if we did not have to work for 6 years then our ideal would be to learn Torah as much as possible. But sitting there wasting time on the seventh year shows that i am happy not to learn Torah for any of the 6 years, and i want my work to be a distraction to my obligation to learn Torah.' In other words

, what I do on the seventh year proves what i would really like to be doing on the other 6 years. And the same is true of Shabbes - our day off. Learning Torah on Shabbes has such effect and reward because it proves that ideally i would want to learn as much in the week as possible too, just time constraints prevent me. So let's use Shmittah and Shabbes to maximum effect!

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