Bringing the Text to Life
Anybody need a sabbatical? Increasingly business is following academe's lead in offering long-standing employees a period of renewal and refreshment.
The concept of a "sabbatical" stems in part from the Old Testament tradition of a "Jubilee Year." According to scriptural directives, every seven years a Jubilee Year was to be announced, a declaration that canceled all outstanding debts. The jubilee tradition allowed debtors a chance to get back to a blank slate, to start over again fresh. You didn't know how much you needed a sabbatical, did you?
In theory this Jubilee Year sounds great. But in practice it promotes all manner of difficulties -- not least of which is what all the owed creditors are supposed to do in order to obtain any income at all. Despite the fact that ancient Israel operated with only the smallest of credit bases, activating a Jubilee Year tradition proved untenable to the young nation. Although there are clear scriptural prescriptions about granting jubilee...