Amongst the laws in the Torah about vineyards comes a couple of laws about not working the vineyards, as we read in Exodus 23:10–11 and Leviticus 25:1–7 (okay, it’s not restricted to vineyards, as it also applies to other agricultural pursuits, but this is a resource focussed on drinking, so vineyards are key in this discussion). This seventh year is known as שמיטה shemittah – the fallow year of the land in which it is not supposed to be worked (for more on this topic, see the Wikipedia page).

When Jews began growing vineyards in Israel in the late 19th century, this became an issue, as discussed in this clip with Adam Montefiore from the 92nd episode of The Jewish Drinking Show. Nowadays, there are a variety of options, including actually not producing wine, as Jacob Ner-David discusses in this clip from the 109th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show.

However, it’s actually surprising what can be done, as discussed by Rabbi Ezra Friedman in the 111th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show.

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