Rules relating to Sabbatical Years
The Jewish year (Sep 25, 2014 - Sep 13, 2015) was for traditional Jews, a Sabbatical year. Rules are as follows (from Jewish laws):
- To let the land have a "holiday" in the Sabbatical year (Ex. 23:11; Lev. 25:2)
- To let the people have a "holiday" in the Sabbatical year (Ex. 23:11) (Lev. 25:2) .
- Specifically, not to till the ground in the Sabbatical year (Lev. 25:4)
- Not to do any work on the trees in the Sabbatical year (Lev. 25:4) .
- Not to reap the aftermath that grows in the Sabbatical year, in the same way as it is reaped in other years (Lev. 25:5).
- Not to gather the fruit of the tree in the Sabbatical year in the same way as it is gathered in other years (Lev. 25:5).
- To release debts in the seventh year (Deut. 15:2).
- Specifically, not to demand return of a loan after the Sabbatical year has passed (Deut. 15:2).
- Not to refrain from making a loan to a poor man, because of the release of loans in the Sabbatical year (Deut. 15:9).
- To assemble the people to hear the Torah (i.e. the Law, what the Lord has "Laid Down") at the close of the seventh year (Deut. 31:12)
- To count the years of the Jubilee by years and by cycles of seven years (Lev. 25:8) .
- To sound the Ram's horn in the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:9).
- To keep the Jubilee year holy by resting and letting the land have a "holiday" (Lev. 25:10).
- Not to cultivate the soil nor do any work on the trees, in the Jubilee Year (Lev. 25:11).
- Not to reap the aftermath of the field that grew of itself in the Jubilee Year, in the same way as in other years (Lev. 25:11).
- Not to gather the fruit of the tree in the Jubilee Year, in the same way as in other years (Lev. 25:11) .
- To grant redemption to the land in the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:24) i.e. anyone who sold his land (and himself as a slave/employee to work the land) is to now get his land back.
However the Jubilee year is currently neither observed nor commemorated. The Jewish rabbis generally believe the Jubilee year is to be only observed when all Twelve Tribes of the Jewish nation are living in Israel, from the verse in Leviticus 25:10 "And you shall sanctify the fiftieth year, and proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live on it," which implies that the Jubilee is only sanctified when "all who live on it" — all who have been called to live — in the Land of Israel. Currently not the case.
Note, too, the current phrase "10 Lost Tribes" is not found anywhere in Scripture. Traditionally, the Jews have seen it as referring to Reuben, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon after the northern kingdom disintegrated.
The southern kingdom of Judah, on the other hand, was populated by the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (and also by some members of Levi).
Note too, that membership in the tribes is inherited patrilineally (father to son), as is priesthood (Kohen or Levite status) and royalty (the Davidic line). However, status as a Jew is always inherited matrilineally (mother to child).
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