With the Jews' return to the Land of Israel, the Shmita needed to be addressed once again, and, as is typical of Jewish Law, there were many differences of opinion.
In 2008, the Knesset passed a law concerning the Sabbatical year, according to which a National Shmita Commission would refer questions concerning the laws of Shmita to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. The committee would be headed by the Chief Rabbi presiding over the Chief Rabbinate Council. The term of the Shmita Commission is seven years, in accordance with the Shmita cycle.
“The sabbatical year is based on two fundamental concepts, two principles from which most of the laws of the sabbatical year are derived—the prohibition of cultivating the land and the requirement of dispossessing its produce. In situations where the products of the land of Israel are the only source of income for Jews in Israel, disconnecting from the source of income for an entire year is a very difficult demand and a big challenge that requires self-sacrifice and great faith.
“This difficult commandment was not meant to disconnect us from the land or from cultivation of the land. On the contrary, it was meant to connect us deeply to the land of Israel. The sabbatical year teaches us that we are living in a special land where there is holiness in the land and in its produce. The sabbatical year was meant to plant within us the knowledge that this land belongs to the Creator of the World, Who gave us the great and demanding privilege of living on His land. Living in this special palace of the Creator obliges us and has to enlighten our behavior not only during the sabbatical year but always, as long as we have the privilege of living in the land of Israel, ‘For the land is Mine; for you are sojourning with Me’ "
Rabbi Zev Whitman