Shmittah Shmottah

Today on my weekly shopping trip to the local supermarket, I witnessed a conversation between two ladies.

“No don’t buy those yellow peppers they are from Israel, you can buy the red and orange. They are fine. They are from Spain.”

“Thank you,” the other replied.

I continued to watch as they wheeled their trollies up the vegetable aisle, making sure the items on their shopping list did not have a ‘made in Israel’ label.

These two ladies were not BDS supporters or members of the anti-Israel campaign, rather, they were two religious Jews observing the Shmittah year and its commandments.

This unfortunately still left me annoyed.

I too am a religious Jew who tries to observe G-d’s commandments to the best of my ability, but I too am also a Zionist Jew who supports a state for the Jewish people.

I work for a Zionist organisation and am exposed to the realities of boycott activity on a regular basis. Boycotts are an ever present threat even if our local Tescos has not succumbed to it.

We should not take the ‘made in Israel’ produce for granted. We are lucky that with increasing BDS pressure, our supermarkets have not given in. But let’s show them we are grateful and at the same time help our beloved Israel’s economy. If we do not buy Israeli produce, our supermarkets may think that no one wants it and may even stop selling it – doing exactly what our enemies want. When the world is turning against Israel, we should not just sit back and watch, we should protect Israel and its economy.

Please do not think that I am choosing Zionism over G-d. I am not.

I believe in G-d and I believe that He provides for us. I do not believe that we should sit back and do nothing waiting for G-d to do everything for us. We should actively try and improve the world and be successful in our personal lives. There is a phrase ‘G-d will provide,” which I do not doubt for a second if we also put in effort.

By buying Israeli produce we are doing our bit helping Israel prosper and stopping BDS from succeeding.

One reason for the Shmittah year is to give to the poor. Farmers must leave their land and allow the needy to take what they like.

If people still will not buy Israeli produce this year for themselves, at least buy it and give it to the needy. There are plenty of soup kitchens and unfortunately homeless people — Jewish and non-Jewish alike — who would appreciate fruit and vegetables.

This Shmittah year, let’s not let BDS win and forget the needy, let’s buy Israeli produce and create a Shmittah project by giving to the poor.

About the Author
Rachel is Campaign Manager at We Believe in Israel
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