It has been 2000 years since the Jews lived in Israel and developed the land that was given to us. Now that the opportunity exists again, there are unique opportunities that can be taken. Many of us dream about moving to Israel or owning a piece of land in Israel, but apartments are expensive and we aren’t there often enough to justify the cost. Those of us who manage to get an apartment don’t really feel like we are unlocking all the opportunities the land has for reaching spirituality. Sure, we can visit, but one-sixth of the Torah and Mitzvot are based on agriculture of the land - not our hotels.
There is a new exciting company that opened in Israel called Adama 613. They have secured some of the scarce, private land in the middle of Israel. They have subdivided it, and are now offering it for sale to enable us to be able to fulfill all of the Mitzvot that depend on the land of Eretz Yisrael. In the Adama613 project one buys the privately-owned land and then the company management takes care of everything including plowing, fertilizing, planting and reaping the produce according to halachah. They take off the tithes and gifts to the poor as your representative or you may go to your own plot of land with your children and grandchildren and pick the fruits or harvest the grain and take off the tithes when you are in Israel.
Obviously, we aren’t opening a fruit store but the fruit goes to the poor and if desired some is sent to your family members in Israel. Many of you give charity and one-tenth of our money to ma’aser and keep in mind the Talmudic statement of Aser Tasser - give ma’aser and it will make us wealthy; however, the Torah is really referring to the maser of wine, olives, and wheat. This new project is our chance to really make that Talmudic Drash come true.
Some of the perks of this project is picking your own arba’a minim for Sukkot, using your own olive oil for Chanukah and wine for kiddush from your own field. This is a great conversation piece and gives a feeling of pride. As Rav Israel from Ruzin said, “In truth it is a great thing that the fruit of Israel help one with fear of heaven.”
It is unheard of nowadays for people to fulfil the commandments of gifts to the poor on a Torah level, but Adama, using hand and sickle, has a system to pick up the gifts for the poor and turn it to wheat and bring it to the poor.
How amazing will it be if all of us still living in America and fulfill all these Mitzvot that even people living in Israel haven’t yet to fulfill?
It is obvious that our shirt has two sleeves to fit our body, but it isn’t obvious why our bodies are shaped the way they are. Rav Chaim Vital explains that our bodies are shaped the way they are because they cover our 613 spiritual components called Mitzvot, hence we need to have 248 limbs and 365 sinews. The ability for spiritual light to move though our body depends on the number of commandments we fulfill.
Never before has such an opportunity been around with an easy way that enables you to fulfill these important mitzvot without owning a field or even being in the country. It is under Israel top Rabbinic Authority and is being touted as an amazing novel idea for committed Jews to accomplish what has heretofore been impossible to do.
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By Rabbi David Ziering –
Director Aish Hatorah Tel Aviv