Seven: Shmita Inspired Social and Economic Ideas Social entrepreneur Aharon Ariel Lavi’s new book offers a groundbreaking look at the biblical gap year and modern economic challenges
“…charts a path for shmita to have real impact at individual, societal and global levels.” – Daniel Taub, former Israeli Ambassador to the UK.
“…provides a thoughtful exploration of how the biblical concept of Shmita remains incredibly relevant, especially in light of the current global pandemic and global warming.” – Howard Rosen, former executive director of the US Competitiveness Policy Council.
Seven, Aharon Ariel Lavi’s new book published with Contento Now, is one of the first such attempts to interpret the ancient idea of Shmita (the biblical sabbatical year) in relation to contemporary economic and social issues: sustainability , community, labor market, debt crisis, economic cycles, etc. The book brings traditional sources and commentary, as well as cutting-edge scientific knowledge and ideas. Seven offers a wide, educated audience a rare opportunity to reflect on how ancient Jewish wisdom can help us meet the challenges of our time.
The book is divided into two main parts:
Shmita looks back – A description of how Shmita has evolved over generations, how its performance has changed, and how it is practiced now, in Israel and around the world.
Shmita go ahead – The main part of the book contains his most innovative ideas. It distills the philosophical and spiritual tenets that underlie Shmita and presents him as inspiration for dealing with modern challenges at the forefront of economic and social discourse: the national debt crisis, labor market volatility, economic cycles, the expected collapse of social security and the aftermath.
Contrary to popular belief that Shmita was, and perhaps again, a utopian sabbatical year, the book suggests that Shmita was, in fact, a year of planned crisis. It was a complex and difficult year, explaining why all generations escaped it in various ways. Shmita is an educational mechanism against excess human optimism. It reminds us of a simple but important truth: Crises are a part of life. Instead of repeatedly imagining a world without crises, leading to disappointment repeatedly when crises appear, it would be better if we tried to deliberately integrate crisis-like cycles, prepared in advance.
For an interview with Aharon Ariel Lavi, contact the Contento Now team at: [email protected]
Or Aharon Ariel Lavi directly at: [email protected]gmail.com, or via his professional Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Aharon-Ariel-Lavi-Jewish-Ideas-Modern-Economics-111674708219028/
About the Author:
Aharon Ariel Lavi is a social entrepreneur who believes that communities and networks are the keys to shaping the reality of the next generation, and that we can draw inspiration from Judaism in all aspects of life, and vice versa. He holds advanced degrees in economics, geography, history and philosophy of science, as well as a rabbinical ordination. He is currently the author of his doctorate on the role of Jewish political conservatism in relations between Israel and the Diaspora. Lavi was a member of several research institutes, a Tikvah Fund Fellow, and a member of the ROI Network. His previous book, On Economy and Sustenance, dealt with economics and Jewish thought and was an Amazon bestseller. Today, in his professional life, he leads the Hakhel Project, which he founded in 2014. Hakhel is an international Jewish intentional community incubator, a partnership between Hazon and the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. Lavi lives with his wife Liat and their five children – Kerem, Pardes, Tenne, Negev and Yovel – on the Gaza border. In his spare time, he is a mountain bike instructor and runner.
Format: Paper cover
Early praise from Seven
“Rabbi Aharon Ariel Lavi was privileged to provide us with a kind chart, which addresses these topics and offers many ways to implement the foundations of Shmita in our time” – Rabbi Yuval Sherlow
“The writing has aspects of direct honesty accompanied by personal experience and strong generalizations based on data and facts. This combination creates a unique book in form and content” – Dr. Sara Shadmi, International Center for Community Development.
“A magnificent piece of scholarship and written in a style very accessible to the general public. Not an easy combination” – Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Senior Fellow, Hazon; Author, Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion for Fixing the World.
“This is an exceptional book… underscores the enduring relevance of Shmita’s and Yovel’s profound goals. Highly recommended!” – Teacher. Moshe Koppel, computer scientist and founder of the Kohelet Policy Forum.
“The method of thinking presented in this book is unusual, both in religious and economic writing, and precisely because of this, it can enable a new perspective that can help find real solutions” – Rabbi Yehuda Altshuler, director of the Institute for Advanced Torah Studies, Bar-Ilan University.
“Like the introduction of Shabbat to the ancient world, the introduction of Shmita is one of the greatest gifts that the Jewish people can offer the world on the 21st century. Aharon Ariel’s Remarkable Book Lays the Groundwork for That Move” – Yossi Tsuria, high-tech entrepreneur.
“A book filled with original and interesting ideas that implement Shmita’s principles on contemporary economy and society” – Dr. Hodaya Lampert, economist.