The mitzvah of Shmittah is introduced with Hashem speaking to Moshe at Har Sinai. Chazal ask what is the connection of this particular mitzvah to Har Sinai when all mitzvos of Torah were revealed at Sinai? Rashi brings the Chazal that answers that Shmittah is the model for all mitzvos. Just as Shmittah is described in the Torah with all its pertaining generalities and particular halachos, so too, every mitzvah was revealed at Sinai with its generalities and all its details. But we must still ask the question why was the specific mitzvah of Shmittah chosen by Hashem to serve as the model lesson for all the mitzvos?
We can answer that the mitzvah of Shmittah is brought as one of the proofs that Hashem who revealed Himself at Sinai to millions of people and gave them the Torah. For how is it possible that one can persuade an entire nation to accept such a mitzvah and observe the Shemittah and Yovel Halachos with the complete cessation of any agricultural production and they are told not to worry because everyone will be sustained nevertheless for three years? It must only be that the revelation of Sinai was indeed a true irrefutable fact. According to this, we can understand why Shemittah was chosen as the model mitzvah since it’s very essence also possesses the proof of the Sinai Revelation. However, there is a deeper meaning between Shemittah’s and its connection to Sinai as we shall soon see.
There are two pessukim that seem to contradict themselves from one extreme to the other. One says (Tehillim 115 16)השמים שמים לה’ והארץ נתן לבני אדם . The heavens belong to Hashem while the earth was given to man. Yet in contrast is the passuk (Tehillim 24, 1) לה’ הארץ ומלואה the earth and all its contents belong to Hashem? The answer is that both of these statements are true but it depends upon by which vision man chooses to live his life. As the Tallelei Chaim explains that two worlds exist simultaneously within Olam Hazeh: עלמא דפירודא which describes a world of separations, objects, fragmentation, and private ownerships. This is in contrast toעלמא דאיחודא , the world of unity, oneness, and possessing only one owner, Hashem. The outside façade of nature and bechirah, presents a world that appears as if everyone can be an owner, have his own personal domain, his own possessions etc. In fact the Torah supports such a reality by commanding us with befitting mitzvos, such as Do not steal and Do not covet.
However, there is yet a deeper reality which is the absolute and ultimate truth. This reality proclaims that everything in the world belongs to Hashem; not just property and domains but even man himself. In this world of achdus, all four levels of matter, inanimate, vegetative, animal, and humans, function in harmony and Unisom as a single unit. In this world of echad there are no conflicting interests or ambitions, no petty jealousies or disappointments, just one sole and encompassing ambition and that is to only serve the proprietor of the universe, Hashem.
As we mentioned above, Man has the choice to live in either reality. It is man alone who was gifted with דעת the ability of self awareness and ego, which he could inflate following a life syle of self indulgence and acquisition, or negate his self awareness to the service of Hashem since in the absolute reality he is nothing more than Hashem’s property. For man can choose to direct his vision to the deeper reality and live consciously with no self interest other than Hashem. As Dovid Hamelech says ( Tehillim 100,3) כי ה’ הוא האלקים הוא עשנו ולו אנחנו Hashem made us and we are His. The moment that this reality that Hashem completely owns sets in his heart, one realizes that Hashem owns him and surely all his possessions and domains as it says in Pesachim (88b) כל מה שקנה העבד קנה רבו whatever the servant acquires automatically belongs to his master.
This is the secret of Shemittah and Yovel. For during these years Hashem reveals to Am Yisrael a more deeper and profound type of living, the one that is the ultimate desired essential truth. Life as such has no separate domains, properties, lands, trees and neighbors. They are all one entity belonging to Hashem. The reason why we do not plough and seed the land during the Shemittah year leaving it hefker for everyone is because every Yid identifies with the deeper reality. ושבתה הארץ שבת לה’ (Vayikrah 25,2). The reason why the land rests is because there exists the realization לה’ which alludes to the passuk לה’ הארץ ומלואה. It is throughout this year that the concealed reality surfaces and takes the forefront and becomes the norm while the natural reality which supports self interests is recognized as the abnormal way of life.
With this we can understand why the mitzvah of Shemitah is prefaced with the words בהר סיני לאמר. For the same revelation that occurred at Har Sinai during Matan Torah which was אתה הראית לדעת כי הי הוא האלקים אין עוד מלבדו (Devarim 4,35) the עלמא דאיחודא , was also present during the Shemittah year. At Sinai we received the דעת to clearly realize that we belong to Hashem together with everything that we thought we owned.
The passuk says להנחיל לאוהבי יש (Mishlei 8,21) upon which the gemarah darshans from this (Uketzin 3,12) that in the Next World each tzadik will inherit 310 worlds which is the gematriah יש. We can now understand this Chazal in a very deep way. In the עלמא דפירודא one can be easily deceived that nature is a reality which conforms to the rules of cause and effect. Man plays a major role in this reality by harnessing, manipulating, and conquering it. One relates to this world with his five senses, the windows which feed theאני ( the I) and which presents this world as real. In other words, this that we can see, touch, feel, smell, and hear our surroundings makes us view the world as aיש – there is, a reality. The Next World which is beyond our senses can only be described in the terms of אין a non reality to us. However, when the עלמא דאיחודא such as the experience of Sinai is revealed, then it is this world of Torah that is transformed intoיש the absolute reality while the world of nature in contrast together with the self interests of the אני is the אין (the identical letters) an illusion and imposter.
If one indulges in this world ofוהארץ נתן לבני אדם without experiencing periods of contact with the inner world of the Sinai realization, he places himself in grave danger of losing sight of his tachlis and the mission for which he was placed here in the first place. This is hinted in the Chazal (Avos 3,1) you should know where you came from andולאן אתה הולך where you are going to. The acronym of the word ולאן isוהארץ נתן לבני אדם. When one focuses on the drives of theאני and the ego which prod him to think that he his rights and privileges allow him to pursue his physical cravings, he can easily stray away from the Derech Hachayim, lose his bearings, and become lost forever.
The Nachash in Gan Eden swayed Adam and Chava to transgress the command of Hashem =prohibiting the eating from the Aitz Hadaas by persuading them that the spiritual state that they were created in is אין – nothing compared to the ultimate state of יש that they will be privileged to after eating from the Aitz Hadaas. However, they were deceived by the Nachash for by eating the Aitz Hadaas they forfeited theיש world in which they presently dwelled and fell deep into the world of אין אני and focus on the self. This is the meaning of the words of Chavah when she excused herself by claiming that the Nachash השיאני (Bereishis 3,13) which Rashi interprets as deceived me. However, according to our mamar it alludes to the Nachash’s persuasion for the word containsיש אין . In other words the Nachash mixed them up into thinking that Gan Eden was אין and the world after eating from the Aitz Hadaas is the real יש.
In Lashon Hakodesh the language with which the world was created the expression of I have is יש לי which translates as there is to me. It is grammatically incorrect to sayאני יש Here lies an incredible lesson. In the world of פירוד dictated by the I, one can be easily tricked into thinking that “I have”. But in the true reality theאני is אין non existent for everything belongs to Hashem. In Lashon Hakodesh which is the essence of the inner reality, the same expression takes on the form ofיש לי there is to me. I might own something legally and technically, but in the deeper sense, being a servant of Hashem, everything including me belongs to my master.
להנחיל לאוהבי יש the 310 worlds of Olam Habbah are the expression of reward for the tsaddik who lived his life in the inner world of יש. The Zohar Hakadosh tells us that the acronym of יש is יובל שמיטה. For experiencing these years when Hashem reveals theעלמא דאיחודא we have a taste of what those 310 worlds are all about. We have a glimpse of the promise of the Navi Zecharya (14,9) who says והיה ה’ למלך על כל הארץ ביום ההוא יהיה ה’ אחד ושמו אחד. The meaning of ושמו אחדis that until the final geulah we recite Hashem’s name different from the way it is written. It is written with the letters of יהו’ yet it is pronounced Adonoi. When Moshiach will come it will be pronounced in the manner it is written and thereby His name will be one. The external reality which is the world of אני and אין is ruled by the name of Hashem אדניwhich contains the letters of אני and the letter ד which symbolizes the four directions towards where the אני craves to expand. Accepting Hashem as אדני we strive to harness thatאני and control its expansion. However, at the geulah Hashem will reveal His name of יהו’ the עלמא דאיחודא and His name will be one ושמו אחד. Even today through the fulfillment of the mitzvah Shemittah we can taste ושמו אחד. Therefore we find that the gematriah ofשמיטה is ושמו אחד when it will be recognizable unto the world that all along there was really only one owner who sustains every micro second the entire universe.