Will Chief Rabbi Lau Permit Heter Mechira?


lauThe coming year, 5775, will be a shemittah year in Eretz Yisrael. Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau prior to being elected indicated he would follow the line of gedolei hador shlita and not permit heter mechira. Rabbi Lau has reportedly done and about face and will permit heter mechira, Yisrael Hayom is reporting. This was not the case in the last shmitah year, when the Chief Rabbinate ruled against heter mechira. One would expect that if this proves to be the case, Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef will concur since Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L supported the Chief Rabbinate okaying heter mechira.

Kashrus is in the hands of Rabbi Lau while the Rishon L’Tzion presides over the Chief Rabbinate Supreme Court as the Av Beis Din.

When asked recently if this would be the case, Rabbi Lau indicated he would not approve heter mechira. It appears we will all have to wait for an official message to the media from the Chief Rabbinate.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. “This was not the case in the last shmitah year, when the Chief Rabbinate ruled against heter mechira” – this is something of a spin. To the best of my recollection, what happened was that the Chief Rabbinate wanted to give local City Rabbinates the choice of whether or not not to recognize the Heter but the Supreme Court forbade that and the Chief Rabbinate upheld the Heter throughout Israel.

    Legufo, if he does not recognize the Heter others (such as Tzohar) will step in – and that will be the end of the Rabbanut’s hechsher. As a great many charedim (and almost no D”Ls) make their living off the Rabbanut’s hechsher, it is highly unlikely to happen. And even if it does, the farmers will continue to implement the Heter and those who hold by it will continue to purchase their produce. The only thing that will change is that several thousand charedim will likely lose their paranassah.

  2. Is this so important? Hareidim (even many who accept government funding) don’t hold by the Heter Mechira. The zionists couldn’t care less. Only a small number of people are frum enough to take shmitta seriously while also not being so frum that they will automatically refuse to accept as valid the government heter mechira.