Required Rest
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

May 24, 2016, Israel

On Mount Sinai, the Eternal God told Moshe/Moses all the details of the Sabbatical year: Tell the Children of Israel, When you come to the land I am giving you, the earth will rest on the seventh year. It will be released from tiling as the weekly Sabbath. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its' fruits, but on the  seventh year shall be a year of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath for the Lord.  You shall neither sow your field, nor prune your vineyard.  For it shall be a year of rest for the land. (WaYikra, Leviticus Chapter 25)

I was reading this paragraph, again and again, and again...until I closed my eyes and kept reciting it, again and again. I was sitting at my parents home in the chair next to where my dear father sat, and which I have never sat since his passing. (out of respect as is written in the Talmud, a son must never sit in his father's seat).

And suddenly it hit me. The Children of Israel were slaves in Egypt, far from their native homeland, Canaan, the Land of Israel. They were eager to return, to get back to work, to till the soil and rebuild our homeland. And what is the first thing God Almighty tells them? Rest. Take it easy, one step at a time, don't rush it. Don't overdue it.

And when you return to the land you must understand the seasons. Even the land requires rest, do not be in such a hurry to build, do not try to overcome nature, do not artificially make produce large and chickens and turkeys five times their normal size. Do not use genetically modified organisms to make your crops grow faster: Understand my laws for they are eternal. Rest: you need it, your land needs it. Nature has its own natural rhythm.

And on the seventh year the land will take its required Sabbath, just as you must take your required Sabbath once every seven days. 

Rest, yes, it is vital for progress and success. In modern times too many of us suffer from burnout because we refuse to rest, and the result is a far greater "waste" of time. How many "celebs" are in rehab wasting their time!

This advice is sound and eternal, as valid today as it was when it was written thousands of years ago. Pay attention.

And on the seventh year you will rest, or you will pay the consequences. You will allow the land to rest so it can revitalize itself, and you the farmer will also rest. With your rest your soul will be revived and will turn to spiritual pursuits. Both you and the land shall benefit.

So while we are in a great hurry to accomplish everything yesterday, we are advised, nay we are commanded to rest, take it easy, one step at a time.

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