Shaalvim Farmers Celebrate Return To Fields With Agronomist Who Has Kept 14 Shmitta Years


JERUSALEM (VINnews) — As the Shemitta year ended this week, the members of Kibbutz Shaalvim, a Poalei Agudath Yisrael (PAI) kibbutz, celebrated the momentous event with one of their oldest members, who has kept 14 shmitta years in his life.

95-year-old Dr. Moshe Chaim Zaks is an agronomist and farmer who has been involved in agriculture all of his life and is one of the founders of Shaalvim. In 1957 he established the Institute for the Research of Agriculture According to Torah, which sought halachic solutions for the religious farmer. Topics like Orlah, destroying blossom, types of Orlah, Kilayim as well as milking on Shabbat, gathering eggs, biannual crops, hydroponics and many other issues were researched by the institute.

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Dr. Moshe Chaim Zaks

The members of the kibbutz returned to their fields Wednesday together with their children after they had left them fallow for the entire year. In honor of the joyous event, they brought Dr. Zaks (in center of circle) and danced with him to honor the 14 shmitta years he has observed.

Members of kibbutz Shaalvim danced as they returned to their fields after Shmitta


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