The Torah commands the cessation of farming the Land of Israel every seven years. This `Shabat` for the land is called Shmitah. (5754 was a Shmittah year in Israel.) After every seventh Shmitah, the fiftieth year, Yovel (Jubilee), is announced with the sounds of the shofar on Yom Kipur; this was also a year for the land to lie fallow. HaShem promises to provide a bumper crop prior to the Shmitah and Yovel years to sustain the Jewish people. In the year of Yovel, all land is returned to its original division from the time of Joshua, and all Jewish indentured servants are freed, even if they have not completed their six years of work.
A Jewish indentured servant may not be given any demeaning, unnecessary or excessively difficult work, and may not be sold in the public market. The price of his labour must be calculated according to the amount of time remaining until he will automatically become free. The price of land is similarly calculated. Should anyone sell his ancestral land, he has the right to redeem it after two years. If a house in a walled city is sold, the right of redemption is limited to only the first year after the sale. The Levites` cities belong to them forever. The Jewish People are forbidden to take advantage of each other by lending or borrowing with interest. Family members should redeem any relative who was sold as an indentured servant as a result of impoverishment.