Seven: Shmita Inspired Social and Economic Ideas New book by social entrepreneur, Aharon Ariel Lavi, offers an innovative look on the Biblical Sabbatical Year and Modern Economic Challenges

June 01 17:48 2022

“…charts a way for shmita to have a genuine impact at the 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 world-wide pandemic and global warming.”Howard Rosen, former Executive Director of the US Competitiveness Policy Council.

Seven, the new book by Aharon Ariel Lavi published with Contento Now, is one of the first attempts of its kind to interpret the ancient idea of Shmita (the Biblical Sabbatical year) in relation to contemporary economic and social issues: sustainability, community, the job market, the debt crisis, economic cycles, and more. The book brings traditional sources and commentary, alongside cutting-edge scientific knowledge and insights. Seven offers a broad educated audience a rare opportunity to contemplate on how millennia old Jewish wisdom can help us cope with the challenges of our time.

The book is divided into two major parts:

Shmita Looking Backwards – A description of how Shmita evolved through the generations, how interpreting it has changed, and how it is practiced now, in Israel and around the globe.

Shmita Moving Forward  The main part of the book contains its most innovative ideas. It distills the philosophical and spiritual principles underlying Shmita and presents it as a source of inspiration to face modern challenges at the forefront of economic and social discourse: the national debt crisis, the volatile job market, economic cycles, the expected collapse of Social Security and more.

Contrary to popular belief that Shmita was, and can be again, a utopian sabbatical year, the book suggests that Shmita was, in fact, a year of pre-planned crisis. It was a complex and challenging year, explaining why all generations evaded it in various methods. Shmita is an educational mechanism against human over-optimism. It reminds us of a simple yet important truth: crises are a part of life. Instead of repeatedly imagining a crises-free world, leading to disappointment repeatedly when crises appear, it would be better for us to try to purposefully integrate crisis-like cycles, prepared for in advance.

For an interview with Aharon Ariel Lavi, contact Contento Now’s team at: [email protected]

Or Aharon Ariel Lavi directly at: [email protected], or via his business Facebook page:

About the author:

Aharon Ariel Lavi is a social entrepreneur who believes communities and networks are the keys to shaping the reality in the next generation, and that we can draw inspiration from Judaism to all aspects of life, and vice-versa. He holds advanced degrees in economics, geography, and the history and philosophy of science, as well as Rabbinical ordination. Currently he is authoring his PhD on the role of Jewish political conservatism in Israel-Diaspora relations. Lavi was a member of several research institutions, 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 best seller . Nowadays in his professional life, he runs the Hakhel project, which he founded in 2014. Hakhel is an international Jewish intentional communities incubator, a partnership between Hazon and Israel’s 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 free time he is a mountain bike instructor and racer.

ISBN: 978-965-550-641-9

Pages: 350

Price: $24.5

Format: Paper cover

Advance praise of Seven

“Rabbi Aharon Ariel Lavi won the privilege of providing us with a table full of goodness, that discusses 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 with personal experience and solid generalizations based on data and facts. This combination creates a unique book in shape and content” – Dr. Sara Shadmi, The International Center for Community Building.

“A wonderful piece of scholarship and written in a style that is very accessible to a general audience. Not an easy combination” – Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Senior Fellow, Hazon; Author, Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World.

“This is an exceptional book … points to the enduring relevance of the deep purposes of both Shmita and Yovel. Highly recommended!” – Prof. Moshe Koppel, computer scientist and founder of the Kohelet Policy Forum.

“The method of thought presented in this book is unusual, both in religious and economic writing, and precisely because of this it may allow a fresh insight that may assist in coming up with real solutions” – Rabbi Yehuda Altshuler, Head of the Institute for Advanced Torah Studies, Bar-Ilan University.

“Just like the introduction of Shabbat to the ancient world, the introduction of Shmita is one of the greatest gifts the Jewish people can provide to the world in the 21st century. The remarkable book of Aharon Ariel sets the necessary foundation for this move” – Yossi Tsuria, hi-tech entrepreneur.

“A book filled with original and interesting ideas that implement the principles of Shmita on contemporary economy and society” – Dr. Hodaya Lampert, Economist.

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