A Torah Thought for Parshat Mishpatim by Moshe Feiglin
“And six years you shall sow your land and you will gather its produce. And the seventh let it rest and lie fallow. Six days you shall do your work and on the seventh day you shall rest.” (From this week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim, Exodus 23: 10-12)
The Land of Israel was given to us so that we could establish a ‘kingdom of priests and a holy nation’ that would crown the Creator over His world. That is the purpose of the Land of Israel, of Jerusalem and of the royal palace, the Temple on the Temple Mount. Those who renounce their connection to the Temple and to the Mount renounce the foundation on which the entire Jewish home is built. Without the Mount, there is no home. Without the Temple Mount, we are losing the Land of Israel. Without the destiny for which the Nation of Israel exists and for which we received the Land, there is no meaning, reason or validity for Jewish sovereignty. And as we see with our very own eyes, the State of Israel continues its free fall.
When we let the Land rest during the seventh, Shmittah year, we remember that this is our Land, but that there are definitely conditions that we must meet. First and foremost, we must remember the true Master of the Land. We have received His authority to plant and to reap. But during the Shmittah year, this authority is revoked. A Jew who continues to work the Chosen Land during the Shmittah year somehow does not accept the Divine sovereignty of the Master of the World.
The Divine Sovereignty principle in space is parallel to the Divine Sovereignty principle in time. Just as we accept G-d’s sovereignty over the Land by allowing it to rest during the Shmittah year, so, when we refrain from work on the Holy Shabbat, we declare that we accept Divine Sovereignty over time. It is our acknowledgement that all the work that we do during the other six days of the week is only with G-d’s authority.
If we don’t accept Divine Sovereignty over the Land of Israel, we certainly cannot expect to enjoy Jewish sovereignty, either.