Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper:
Reprinted with permission www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au
This is also seen in the teaching “Make your Shabbat like a weekday and do not require [the help] of others". Despite the importance of honouring the Shabbat with a beautiful meal, this requirement is less important than self sufficiency. We are taught that one should seek work even if it is to “flay carcasses in the market place (considered shameful work) and earn wages and do not say, 'I am a priest and a great man and it is beneath my dignity”.
The Jubilee concept meant that every fifty years, the Jewish people did the equivalent of turning over the monopoly game board of life and redistributed all farmland on a somewhat equal basis with all lands returning to the original owners. Loans were cancelled every seventh year. Slaves were freed after six years and sent away with generous gifts. In what could be an admonition to employers in our times the Torah makes clear, “You shall not be troubled when you send him free from you, for twice as much as a hired servant, he has served you six years, and the Lord, your God, will bless you in all that you shall do”.