Before we tell you the whole story, please watch a video Shlomo just recorded expressing his deep appreciation for everyone’s support:
A year ago, on the eve of the Shemitta (Sabbatical) year, we were put into contact with a very special farmer. His name is Shlomo Keshet. He owns and harvests a large olive tree grove and a vineyard in the Samarian settlement of Kochav HaShachar (The Morning Star).
In previous Shemitta years, Shlomo sold his grove to Arabs for the year. It’s not the ideal way to observe the Shemitta year, but some religious authorities allow this under certain circumstances of financial distress. It did allow him to continue to work the land, earn an income, and pay off his loans each month.
Although farmers take a break during the Shemitta year, the banks do not. If a farmer can’t make his mortgage or equipment loan payments, the banks will penalize and repossess his land or equipment (or both!). This is the main reason that Israeli farmers find it very difficult to observe the Shemitta year.
This Shemitta year, however, Shlomo decided to fully observe the Biblical command to let the land rest. The problem was he couldn’t afford to. But he has faith in God, so he prayed. And God answered his prayers.
After meeting with Shlomo, we recorded this short video as an appeal to the Israel365 donor community. The video is inspiring in and of it itself:
As you now know, the video was a big success!
Thanks to our donors’ love and support, we merited to give Shlomo 5,000 shekels every month for the full 12 months of the Shemitta year.
That 60,000 shekels ($17564.79) helped him cover his monthly loan payments and blessed him to fully observe God’s will.
And just like God blesses the farmers, He also blesses those who bless the farmers.
Thank you for standing with the People of Israel in the Land of Israel.
Now that the Shemitta year is almost over, there are new opportunities to bless the Land of Israel.
Click here to learn about the new 10,000-tree forest we’re planting right next to Shlomo’s settlement of Kochav HaShachar!