The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

For the Sabbatical Year: A Shmita Harachaman

"May the merciful One turn our hearts toward the land,
so that we may dwell together with her in her sabbath-rest the whole year of Shmita."

Harachaman hu yashiv libeinu el ha’aretz
l’ma’an neisheiv yachad imah b’shovtah, kol sh’nat hash’mitah

הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יָשִיב לִבֵּינוּ אֶל הָאָרֶץ לְמַעַן נֵשֵב יָחַד עִמָהּ בְּשָׁבְתהּ, כָּל שְׁנַת הַשְׁמִיטָה

ABOUT THE HEBREW: Shmita means "release", and the Shmita year is about release or liberation for the land, liberation between the people and the land, and liberation between people themselves. This Harachaman blessing references all three kinds of liberation, and it does that by using three different verbs that include the letters Shin ש and Bet ב. The first, yashiv, comes from the word "turn", lashuv, לשוב, and it refers to our returning to a right relationship on a heart level with the Earth. The second, neishev, comes from "to settle" or "dwell", lashevet, לשבת, as in shevet achim gam yachad -- how good it is for brothers and sisters to dwell together, and it refers to liberation between invidividuals in the year of release, when debts are canceled and food is shared. The third, b'shovtah, comes from lishbot, לשבות, to rest, and it refers to the shabbat that the land itself enjoys in the Shmita year, as it says, "the land will enjoy her sabbaths".

This is the true nature of tikkun olam: tikkun, repair and restoration, on all these levels together. That is what must happen to fix the world.

The words of this blessing were written by Rabbi David Seidenberg. Nili Simhai made it into a singable liturgy by setting the words to the "Sosne Nigun" by Jonah Adels, z"l, and Hazzan Rachel Hersh helped with the phrasing. Harachaman blessings come after the main part of the blessing after the meals, and they ask for special blessings, including blessings related to Shabbat and holidays. Sing this harachaman at your Tu Bish'vat seder and at every meal this whole Shmita year.


The words only use the first two parts of Jonah's niggun. This recording is sung by myself and Nili Simhai. The third part of the nigun is included after the song is repeated twice.

You can download the PDF by clicking the image (or right-click it to save the PNG graphic file), print out the file, copy it, and cut it (there are 8 Harachaman's per page) to use at every meal during this Shmita year.

Nota Bene for grammarians: there should be a dagesh in the Shin ש of Hashmitah השמיטה, but it won't take in MS Word, so if you want to get it right you'll have to dot it yourself!

The words fit into the song like this:

Harachaman hu yashiv libeinu
el ha’aretz, el ha’aretz
Harachaman hu yashiv libeinu
el ha’aretz, el ha’aretz

l’ma’an neisheiv yachad imah
imah b’shovtah
kol sh’nat hash’mitah
kol sh’nat hash’mitah

neisheiv yachad imah
imah b’shovtah
kol sh’nat hash’mitah
kol sh’nat hash’mitah

Learn more about Shmita here.

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Click the image to download the pdf; right-click it to download the png (graphic):

Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2015