Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home), together with several leading Israeli rabbis, joined Israeli cabbage farmers for an auspicious occasion Wednesday: working their land for the first time in a year, after the end of the shmitta sabbatical year.

The Torah mandates that every seventh year of the Jewish agricultural cycle in Israel farmers must let their land lie fallow. Although there are various ways of circumventing a total ban on working their land or selling produce, those farmers who choose to keep Jewish law still face considerable challenges during the shmitta year to maintain their livelihood.

With Rosh Hashanah and the start of a new Jewish year this week, farmers are now free to work their land without restrictions once more. 

Ariel praised the increasing number of Jewish farmers choosing to observe the sabbatical year, and expressed confidence that the next shmitta would be even more successful.