We are in the process of preparing for the Sabbatical year which will start in the spring (Aviv) of 2016. As we get closer to the time, we get questions and comments from others who plan to keep, or oppose the keeping of the Sabbatical year. One comment we received was that a family sized vegetable garden would be exempt from the Sabbatical year commandments due to the following reasons. Vegetables tend not to self seed, have a broad growing season and are not harvested in a bulk way. I value these comments even if they oppose our understanding, because it gives us an opportunity to dig deeper and learn more. In this case I actually want them to be correct seeing that vegetables are more difficult to store and we use so much of it. However, I will remain objective and I believe YHVH will help us find the truth. So, is our own family-sized vegetable garden exempt from the requirements of the Sabbatical year or are we required to keep these instructions?
This sixth year of the Sabbatical cycle is a year of preparation. Just like we have the weekly Sabbath with the sixth day as the preparation day, we have the Sabbatical year, the seventh year, with the sixth year as a year of preparation. So this year when the barley is found aviv and the new moon has been sighted, we will start to prepare for the Sabbatical year which starts 1 Aviv 2016. The purpose of this article is to be a practical guide as to what we are to have in place before the beginning of the next Sabbatical year.