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הָרַחֲמָן עַל שְׁנַת הַשְׁמִיטָה | Haraḥaman for the Shmitah Year, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

"Shmita sign." A resident of Holon, Israel, announcing the fruits on the trees in his backyard are hefker (ownerless property) during the year of Shmita, and that anyone can enter and harvest them. עברית: תושב חולון מודיע כי הפירות על העצים בחצרו הם הפקר לרגל שנת שמיטה. (credit: Drork, Public Domain.)

Shmita sign.” A resident of Holon, Israel, announcing the fruits on the trees in his backyard are hefker (ownerless property) during the year of Shmita, and that anyone can enter and harvest them.
עברית: תושב חולון מודיע כי הפירות על העצים בחצרו הם הפקר לרגל שנת שמיטה. (credit: Drork, Public Domain.)

Additions to the Birkat Hamazon

This Haraḥaman (prayer to the merciful or compassionate One) for the Shmitah or sabbatical year can be added to Birkat Hamazon (blessing after meals) during the whole Shmitah year, in order to remember and open our hearts to the sanctity of the land. Say it right before the Harachaman for Shabbat, since Shmitah is the grand shabbat, and right after the paragraph beginning with Bamarom (a/k/a, Mimarom).


הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יָשִׁיב לִבֵּינוּ אֶל הָאָרֶץ,
לְמַעַן נֵשַׁב יָחַד עִמָהּ,
בְּשָׁבְתָהּ,
כָּל שְׁנַת הַשְׁמִיטָה.‏
May the merciful One turn our hearts toward the land,
so that together we may dwell with her,
in her sabbath-resting
during the whole year of the Shmitah.

Haraḥaman hu yashiv libeinu el ha’arets l’ma’an neishev yaḥad imah
b’shovtah kol sh’nat hash’mitah

Here’s a niggun (melody) by Nili Simḥai for the haraḥaman, sung by Rabbi David Seidenberg.

For your festive meal, you can also print out this PDF and add the Haraḥaman prayer to your birkon (bentsher).


1 comment to הָרַחֲמָן עַל שְׁנַת הַשְׁמִיטָה | Haraḥaman for the Shmitah Year, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

  • Where can we remind ourselves that we are living in the year of the Shmita, the year-long Shabbat for the Earth? Feeling satiated after eating is just the moment when one is liable to become self-satisfied and forget that one’s nourishment is due to the vast and complex interconnections of all rooted in and wovenby the Source of All life. This is the reason for blessings after meals, and this is why during the shmita year we must remind ourselves that the Earth too depends on our mindfulness, everyday for its welfare as the home for us and all our fellow human and non-human passengers on our Earth.

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