The Komemiyut moshav in Israel is one of the only places in Israel where shmitta has always been observed to the letter. Amazingly, despite the difficult situation, the moshav always managed to survive and even thrive. The moshav’s rabbi, Rabbi Binyamin Mendelson, recorded in his letters many miracles the moshav farmers witnessed while observing shmitta.

Perhaps the best-known incident of hashgocha protis happened in 1953. “It was just after a shmitta year and we didn’t have wheat to sow,” wrote Rabbi Mendelson. “We didn’t want to use wheat seeds from the shmitta year, and the only seeds we could find from the sixth year were broken and unfit for planting. The farmers came to ask for my advice and I told them that since they couldn’t find other wheat they should ‘maamin bechai haolamin vezorea’ (believe in the eternally-living and plant) as the Talmud Yerushalmi says.”

All the villages around Komemiyut mocked the religious farmers for planting those seeds and warned them that they would incur a huge loss. But they went ahead nonetheless. And in that ‘Eighth Year’ there were no rains in the beginning of the winter and all the seeds of all those who had plowed the land during the shmitta and planted immediately at the end of shmitta died in the dry land. But for the Komemiyut farmers, who started plowing only after Sukkos and planted in the first months of the winter, the rain came just on time. Miraculously, the damaged seeds grew into high quality wheat.

“And that,” concluded Rabbi Mendelson, “was a sign that Hashem sends his blessings to those who observe shmitta.”