While the laws of Shmitta are complex and can be hard to understand, the 6th and 7th grade girls in Morristown proved it can be child’s play.
More than just an expo, The Shmitta Experience brought the halachos to life. Following the Rebbe’s directives to live and learn from Shmitta, the preschool and elementary classes were brought to Eretz Yisroel this past Tu B’Shvat for an unforgettable adventure.
Children boarded an airplane and learned about their destination, and the boundaries wherein Shmitta applies. When they landed, they visited a farm. The young American tourists were charged with the task of identifying which equipment must be removed from the fields, such as watering cans, rakes and shovels. With big smiles, kids planted grass heads to take back to the states as souvenirs, and were brought to a Hefker Tree where they could pick fruits they wanted to eat.
Once tasty fruits were chosen, the excited classes went to a kitchen, where they made fruit kabobs. All peels and pits had to be wrapped up and left to rot, since they held the Kedusha of Shvi’is.
The middle school girls then directed their wide-eyed younger schoolmates to the Shuk, where students learned which foods are allowed to be eaten during Shmitta, such as those from an Otzar Beis Din, imported crops, or fruits grown on non-Jewish owned land.
Their last stop before heading back to America was a special treat. They got to see a Beis Medrash, where all the farmers, called Giborei Koach, were using their time to sit and learn. The youngsters came away with another special treat: edible Sifrei Torah!
A big Yasher Koach to the creative and hard-working students!
One teacher remarked, “I am really impressed by the chinuch aspect. The [middle school] girls made sure it was hands-on for the kids, and also a great learning opportunity.”