At Beit Uziel, Israel, Thai workers prune artichokes. This is the beginning of an agricultural sabbatical year in the country, the result of a biblical decree that the land should remain fallow once every seven years. To get around this, Israeli farmers traditionally "sold" their land to non-Jews in paper transactions so the fields could continue to be farmed. But controversy erupted when a prominent rabbi declared recently that the ancient practice was invalid.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society