Preparing for a Year of Release: Shmita 5782

The Year of Release, or Shmita, is a practice rooted in Torah and halachically required only in the Land of Israel. However, as many aspects of the world are under increasing stress from large forces, including a rapidly changing climate and profound wealth inequality, texts surrounding Shmita offer the possibility that a different path forward is possible. How could a seven-year cycle encompassing growth but also rest and release help bring balance and renewal into our relationships with the Earth and one another? And have we learned anything important letting go from the global pandemic of 2020? Come learn about the wisdom of Shmita, and be inspired to explore ways large and small to bring Shmita into your life and community next year, and for the seven-year Shmita cycle ahead.

About the Presenter: Deirdre Gabbay founded Ahavat v’Avodat HaAdamah, “Love and Service of the Earth,” in 2015 to establish an environmental presence for the Pacific Northwest rooted in Jewish text, tradition and practice, specifically to support a response to climate change. She teaches and speaks in a variety of settings on Jewish ethics relating to Earth care and the environment. She is the first Jewish board member of Washington Interfaith Power and Light/Earth Ministry and is deeply committed to multi-faith partnership in nurturing and caring for our common home. Shmita has been a particular fascination for her over the past seven years. She blogs at, where she unpacks relationships between contemporary challenges and the timeless wisdom of Torah around the Year of Release. Deirdre is a member of Congregation Beth Shalom.