The Sabbath of the Land

Rav Kook on the Meaning and Practice of the Sabbatical Year

“If you have time for just one book on the upcoming Shemitta year, this is it!”

Yehudah Mirsky, Brandeis University, Author, Rav Kook, Mystic in a Time of Revolution.


The Book

Shabbat Ha’aretz, by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, is the most important and influential book on shmita to have appeared in the modern era. In Shabbat Ha’aretz, Rav Kook gave a bold and brilliant argument allowing the struggling farmers of his day to continue working during shmita. Imbued with Rav Kook’s love for the land and for the secular Zionist pioneers, the work expresses a soaring, lyrical vision of the social and spiritual renewal that shmita could one day embody.

The Sabbath of the Land makes this essential book accessible to English-speaking readers for the first time. It includes original, annotated translations from Rav Kook’s work and framing essays on his life, times and thought, the historical background to Shabbat Ha’aretz and the book’s enduring power to inspire the renewal of shmita in our time.

Yedidya Sinclair

Julian Sinclair

I am an economist, writer and rabbi, inspired by bringing Jewish teachings to life in new ways here in Jerusalem. Worked for five years as Vice President at Energiya Global, an Israeli solar energy company bringing renewable power to Africa, before that in a startup designing eco-cities. Energized by Israeli hi-tech ventures solving huge global problems. Degrees from Oxford and Harvard Universities, as well as Orthodox semicha and Phd. studies in Rav Kook’s Thought. I was campus rabbi at Cambridge University, where I also taught Jewish Studies in the Divinity School. Married to Yaffa, with five children.

Yedidya Sinclair

Blurbs and Reviews


I would be thrilled to speak to your community, synagogue, campus group or school. Please contact me here to arrange a talk (on Zoom, for now, if outside Israel.)

Here are some short videos of me teaching about shmita

Shmita in the Bible

Shmita and our food

Shmita and Economics


Golders Green Shul


I also do a range of walking tours (developed with Bet Harav) bringing to life the inspiring stories of Rav Kook's engagement with the secular pioneers, in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Galilee. Contact me here to learn more or book a tour.


knesset building (south_side)

The Messiah comes to the Knesset

The Messiah poked his head around the door of a committee room in the Knesset one Monday morning a few weeks ago. His appearance was not widely reported in the mainstream media, but it did not go unnoticed by all of those present.

Read More »


Please contact me at [email protected] or fill out the form below:

Available for purchase soon


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