The following is a translation of an article about the global food crisis that was recently published in one of Israel’s leading newspapers, Yediot Aharonot:
What Does a Fallow Year Have to Do with Rice?
Next Sabbath we are going to read Parashat BaHar (a weekly Torah portion), which deals with one of the most ancient and complex precepts that were entrusted with the people of Israel – the precept of a fallow year. Once every seven years the people of Israel are commanded to rest from cultivating the fields and leave the fruit to whoever wishes to pick it. What will we eat in the eighth year? The answer is that in the sixth year there will be enough crops to feed on, and even in the ninth year.
It may be symbolic that precisely on a fallow year, when we are promised to have no shortage, we are facing the beginning of a serious global food crisis. Even if we overlook media spins, which were probably meant to raise the price of rice, we cannot keep ignoring the fact that the American and global economy are already in a deep crisis. This crisis is likely to plunge us all into a deep recession, affect the structure of society, and shake relationships between various nations and economies.
But what is causing this crazy turbulence, and how do we curb the erosion? Or in other words, what does a fallow year have to do with the stock market in Chicago? Here is the gist of the Kabbalistic explanation to the crisis, along with suggestions for a solution.
In economy, just as with any social system, interdependence is the name of the game. Crises where one factor “infects” others and brings the market to the verge of collapse are part of the symptoms of modern economic globalization. However, the attempt to predict economic crises using sophisticated models has failed time after time. It turns out, that the economic system cannot be controlled or predicted accurately, and an action in one place causes far reaching changes in other, unexpected places. [Read more →]