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Since the renewal of Jewish agricultural activity in the Land of Israel In the late 19th century, the question of Shemita – the Sabbatical year – has been the focus of a fierce debate among the religious authorities. Leading rabbis in the Land of Israel and in Europe were divided between those who proposed that land should be formally “sold” to non-Jews in order to enable farming to continue as normal (the “sale permit” approach), and those who demanded that Jewish agriculture cease operations during the Sabbatical year; agricultural produce would then be obtained from alternative sources, while farmers would receive compensation for suspending their work.
This argument, which resurges each time the Sabbatical year approaches, has been particularly evident in the public posters. We present here some examples of such posters, as well as other documents relating to the “Shemita debate” over the years. The material is drawn from the collections of the National Library of Israel, together with links to contemporary Hebrew-language newspapers.
This virtual exhibition is part of the David and Fela Shapell Family Digitization Project