Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Learning Shevi’is in Advance of Shemitta Year

This Elul culminates with the onset of a Shemittah year in Eretz Yisrael. In preparation for observing its Torah-mandated agricultural laws, tens of thousands of Jews -- especially in Israel -- are studying the laws of Shemittah, just as it is a universal practice to study the laws pertaining to a Jewish holiday thirty days prior to its arrival. The primary Talmudic source of these complex laws is Tractate Shev'is in the Tamud Yerushalmi -- which has been a problem for centuries, due to the great difficulty of, and shortage of commentaries on Yerushalmi. Thus it has been nearly impossible for most Jews to study the source of the laws. They have been linguistically locked out -- until this year.
For the first time in history, the Torah public has in-depth access to . Both volumes of the English elucidation of Shevi’is are available in Judaica bookstores nationwide. Volume 1 of the Hebrew edition is also in print, with Volume 2 scheduled for release next month.
In addition, the Hebrew language Ryzman Edition of Mishnah Shevi’is is available to study the tractate solely from the Mishnah. This edition includes the commentary of R’ Ovadiah of Bertinoro [the “Rav.”] The anthologized commentary, edited by Rabbi Pesach Goldman, was composed in consultation with Jerusalem’s famed Kollel for Agricultural Halachah, directed by Rabbi Yosef Efrati and guided by Maran Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv shlit”a. And, of course, the English-language Mishnah Shevi'is is available, as well.