I’ve been marinating on the traditional Jewish concept of Shmita, as I feel it relates to the current worldwide COVID pandemic situation and potentially holds some wisdom for the times.
Shmita (also called the sabbatical year) takes place every 7 years and calls for all agricultural production to stop. Fruits and other foods that grow wild are considered ownerless and anyone is welcome to eat them. All unresolved debts within the community are forgiven.
On some level, Shmita tested the resilience (and compassion) of the Jewish people every 7 years.
We are witnessing an unexpected pause in society and we are showing that our infrastructure and ‘house-of-cards’ economy is not prepared for it. People incur further debts. Collectors still collect. Players play the stock market in the margins, furthering volatility. More paper money is injected in the system to keep it from collapsing
Human society seems to have lost its ability to rest.
It doesn’t matter if the water runs just as it did, or if the crops are being produced as they were, or if there is little change in the natural environment. The capitalist economy needs to keep on churning or it collapses.
To me, COVID is not the cause for these secondary perils that we find ourselves in, but is intensifying and bringing to light impacts that will inevitably be further realized should we fail to address the unsustainable and harmful elements of our way of life.
I pray that we are able to do so, and that we find a way of life that is in line with planetary health, community resilience and compassion, and a collective deep breath, rest, and rejuvenation. 🌱