The Shmita Project Mishnah Bomb obligates us in reciting and upholding the traditions cited in Mishnah Sheviit. Within this tractate I’ve chosen to highlight mishnah 10:1, which articulates a basic principle that ‘שְׂכַר שָׂכִיר, אֵינוֹ מְשַׁמֵּט’ - ‘A workers’ wage-debt is not cancelled. As we’re living in a world where wealth is further consolidated by obscenely rich owners/employers, we must fight even harder for workers rights and wages. Wage-theft: the failure to pay workers what is owed to them, is still a prominent issue for low-income wage workers. These people are those that are already struggling most to make ends meet, and further disenfranchisement has a disproportionate impact on their suffering. In reflecting on our sages wisdom, we are charged with safeguarding the wages of workers and paying them what is due, an imperative that does not cease with the shmita year.
The Shmita Project Mishnah Bomb Card therefore has a number of expressed uses:
- To recite and recognize our commitment to workers and the debts due to them
- To encourage our communities to hold employers accountable for their exploitation of labor
- To encourage workers to demand what’s owed to them
Sheviit 10:1 Transliterated:
Shevi'it, meshametet et ha'milvah b'shtar v'shlo b'shtar. Hakafat h'chanut, eynah meshametet, v'im asa-ah milvah, harey zeh meshamet.
Rabbi Yehuda omer, harishon harishon meshamet. Schar schir eyno meshamet, v'im asa-o milvah, harey zeh meshamet.
Rabbi Yossi omer, kol melacha sh'poseket b'shevi'it, meshametet, v'sheynah poseket b'shevi'it eynah meshametet.
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