“In the seventh, you are to let it go [tishm’tenah] and to let it be [u’nitashta]”
– Exodus 23.1-11
“What the Sabbath achieves regarding the individual, the Shmita achieves with regard to the nation as a whole. A year of solemn rest is essential for both the nation and the land, a year of peace and quiet without oppressor and tyrant…it is a year of equality and rest, in which the soul reaches out towards divine justice. Rav Kook, Shabbat Ha’aretz
“True rest is discovering the wild self”. Rabbi Jill Hammer
Shmita is a Shabbat of the land. A year of letting go. Of resting the land. Of forgiving debt.
What might this ancient Jewish practice mean for us in 2022?
Join us for a 6 week virtual dive into the Torah, politics and ecology of Shmita exploring land & food justice, radical diasporism, reparations, disability justice, re-wilding and agro-ecology.
No prior knowledge assumed! These sessions are open to all – you don’t have to be Jewish, or have any knowledge of Shmita to attend. We think these sessions will be relevant & exciting for anyone!
All sessions will be recorded for participants, so if you can’t attend live, don’t worry – you’ll be able to access the session afterwards.
Thursday’s at 7:30-9:00pm GMT, Feb 17th – March 24th
Tickets Sliding Scale from £6-12 per session. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Book here: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/miknafhaaretz/639538
17th February – Introduction: Torah of Shmita & Orientation to personal Shmita practice
What is Shmita and was it ever practiced? What does it teach us about our ancestors and how does it look around the world today? What might it contribute to our movements for political, social & ecological change? How might this ancient practice support our own journey’s of rest and renewal in these times? Join Kohenet Shamirah Bechirah aka Sarah Chandler with Sara & Samson to ground in the Torah of Shmita and begin our enquiry together.
24nd February – A History of Land struggle in the UK through story and song
Shmita offers us time for a profound reckoning with our relationship to the land on which we live. Shmita asks us, can we ever really own land? What is the consequence of believing that we can?
In the UK, our relationship with the land we live on is shaped by histories of dispossession, enclosure, activism and resistance that many of us were not taught in school. Join Kohenet Rachel Rose Reid (Yelala / Three Acres and a Cow) to discover and reclaim inspiring ancestors who bravely struggled for themselves and for the land.
3rd March – Jewish Land Justice & Radical Diasporism
How do we, as a Jewish people, reckon with relationship to land, after millenia of displacement? Is there an alternative to nationalism and how might Shmita speak to this alternative? Join land-worker, activist and researcher Rachel Solnick in conversation with Linke Fligl, the radical, queer leftie Jewish chicken farm offering a blueprint for what radical Jewish diasporism might look like in practice and why we need it for co-liberation, healing and justice.
10th March – Shmita & Reparations
In the Shmita year we forgive all debt and release all enslaved. What might this mean for confronting the legacies of slavery and colonalism in the UK today? How might it help us to dismantle white supremacy and embolden our racial justice organising? What might reparations mean in the UK context and how might we support this movement? Join Sam Siva and Kate Bernstock from Land in Our Names, a grassroots Black-led collective committed to reparations in Britain by connecting land and climate justice with racial justice.
17th March – Shmita of Disability Justice
Shmita teaches us that rest is radical and that society cannot live on productivity alone. Isn’t this the expertise of the disabled community, who carry and live this wisdom so powerfully? Join queer, Jewish, disabled activists and educators Felix and Camille to delve into how disability justice has the power to liberate us all – disabled or not – and explore rest as resistance in a society that so often only values us when we are ‘productive’.
24th March – Ecologies of Shmita
It is said we may have 100 harvests left if we continue to treat the soil as we do. In a time of ecological collapse, what medicine might Shmita offer to our soils? If the Shmita year can be distilled into two words: ‘Everybody Eats’, how can we eat without destroying the earth? And how might Shmita speak to the concepts of re-wilding & agro-ecology more broadly? Join Laura Fair, ecologist and re-wilding lead at Embercombe to examine the crises and opportunities facing Britain’s wildlife today and how as ‘ecological humans’ we may act as a ‘keystone species’, re-wilding ourselves and the earth.
More Speaker(s) TBC
Please note, these sessions are ticketed so we can properly support our amazing array of speakers. We ask that you pay whatever amount feels most comfortable to you. NO ONE WILL BE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS. If these options are not within your budget at this time, please get in touch for a free ticket at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We aim to make these sessions as accessible as possible. The sessions themselves will be very informal and you will be invited to participate with video on or off, to engage as much or as little as you would like, from bed or out on a walk. We will take a short ‘bio’ break half-way through the session. All sessions will offer closed captioning, be recorded for later viewing or re-watch and participants will be muted, unless speaking.
If there’s anything else we can do to support your access, presence and comfort at these sessions please let us know at email@example.com