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or 2,000 years the Jewish people dreamed and prayed to return to Tzion, to cultivate the land and have the privilege of fulfilling mitzvot hat’luyot ba’Aretz – the special Commandments of Eretz Yisrael.

Today, only 2% of Israel’s workforce are farmers, but the mitzvah of shmitah is not just for those on the Moshavim and Kibbutzim. It is a collective mitzvah for all Jews, whether living in Israel or around the world.

Just as we would never transgress the sanctity of Shabbat, so we are obligated to uphold the integrity of Shabbat Ha’Aretz. In the Diaspora, this goes beyond avoiding certain produce.

The Shmitah Fund provides opportunities to partner with the courageous farmers who shoulder the burden of this important mitzvah on behalf of the entire Jewish people. We owe them our support so they can make it through the cycle and begin anew, with G-d’s help, to bring forth the bounty of Eretz Yisrael and feed the Jewish nation.

Now, as many farmers reinvest in cultivating the sacred soil of Eretz Yisrael, they need our help to get back on their feet. Meanwhile, for other farmers shmitah remains in effect until spring 2016, the prospect of revenue to meet their payments and feed their families still a distant dream. Please consider helping these humble but valiant families, the vanguard of Religious Zionism today, who sacrifice their very livelihood so that all Israel may prosper.