Saturday, September 08, 2007


Dear Friends,
No, the title of this letter doesn't signal an intention to convert the sometimes long breaks between my letters into a year off.  Rather, a reminder that this Wednesday night is Rosh Hashanah - and the start of a sabbatical year.  The seventh year in a cycle; a great equaliser when we remember that all we have is by the grace of G-d, and we "return" it to him, allowing fields to lie fallow, making the produce available for all to take - rich or poor, and forgiving debts owed to us. 
With the re-emergence of the Jewish state, the sabbatical year is being progressively reinstated.  A remarkable testament to the Jewish scholars who studied and kept alive the complex laws for centuries, believing that one day the prophesies would be fulfilled, with our people returning to their ancestral land.   How ridiculous it must have seemed.  Even the derisory Roman name "Palaestina" had stuck to the Holy Land.  As if it was more likely that the extinct Philistine enemies of Israel would return than the Jews. 
As I prepared our small garden for the sabbatical year - cutting and pruning in extra measure so that the plants won't grow too wild in the coming year - I thought how lucky I was to be able to practice this ancient custom, and to be part of the fulfilment of prophesy.
Wishing all my family and friends "Shana tova".  May you be inscribed and sealed for a year of happiness, health and prosperity.  A year of peace for all.


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