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Yated Shmitah Ad Causes a Storm Among Sephardi Poskim


Kol Berama Radio on Tuesday morning 18 Marcheshvan dedicated significant air time to the inyan of shmitah and heter mechira. Part of that discussion included a letter appearing in a prominent spot in the daily Yated Neeman. The letter, which spoke out against heter mechira in no uncertain terms, was signed by prominent Sephardi rabbonim/poskim.

The Yated letter was mentioned since the tzibur is surprised to see prominent Sephardi Rabbonim signing a letter against heter mechira, with some affiliated with the Moetzas Gedolei Hatorah of Shas since Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L was the significant force giving credibility to heter mechira.

Kol Berama reports a prominent avreich (name not given) who spends his entire days as the gabbai to Rabbi Moshe Tzadka Shlita and is “closest to him” called to explain he spoke with the rav this morning and the rav insists he never signed such a letter. When asked if the letter was a forgery, the avreich stated in the name of Rav Tzadka “I cannot talk about a forgery but I can say I never signed such a letter”.

A person representing Rabbi Bentzion Mutzafi Shlita reported the rav states l’chatchila he opposes heter mechira but one may rely on it b’shas hadchak as he has written in piskei halacha.

And yet another person clarified in the name of Rabbi Shalom Cohen Shlita, who is the head of the Shas Moetzas Gedolei Hatorah, explaining Rav Cohen never signed it either. The same holds true for the gabbai of Rabbi Shimon Ba’adani, who is also a member of Shas’ Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael. He too announced he never signed it.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

9 Responses

  1. Chacham Yosef has been an advocator of Heter Mechira in every Shmittah year, why would anyone believe this letter published in Yated rag??

  2. this is a most important discovery by kol berama-
    On a daily basis, We are flooded by public announcements, tzedakah recommendations, billboard notices etc. which are signed and even often stamped by prominent rabanim . How careful must one be to check the source personally before believing everything in print. It is very upsetting because the yeted is respected and widely read in America . I am sure the editors printed the letter in total innocence believing the signatures were correct.

  3. For some reason Yaated is alays causing storms. Every few weeks there’s another group of yidden that get insulted by them. It’s a real L”h newspaper.

  4. You would think something of such importance the rabonim in question here would let us hear it from their own mouths….this is how trouble begins….if they would just say it straight we could never question

  5. It’s not the first time that Rabbonim’s names were forged. While I use Otzar HaAretz myself, I would certainly use Heter Mechira before I use the produce of choice among most Chareidi Rabbonim, which is non-Jewish produce, ie. Arab supplied, in most cases.

    My reasoning is this; First from a Halachic standpoint, more Arabs than we know have Jewish mothers, so that’s an issue and even if they were honest (lol) they may not know it themselves. Second, some Chiloni farmers who do not keep Shmittah sell their produce to Arabs, who then sell it to Jews, so the produce is Kedushas Sheviis and also violated Shmittah.

    For health reasons, Arabs are not sanitary. Last go round, many Chareidim got stomach ailments or hepititus from it because they didn’t wash it in soap and water before consuming. Even so, who wants to eat something that was grown with sewer water?

    For safety and political reasons, though a certain amount of Arab produce is in the market all the time, why should we be supporting them, who they intern may support terrorism that leads ch’v to Jewish deaths?

  6. And people wonder why there are some who do not believe every Kol koreh that graces the buildings and streetlights everywhere.

  7. #2 #4

    So the Yated it is alright to defame across the board?
    A little love ,maybe?

    “First from a Halachic standpoint, more Arabs than we know have Jewish mothers”


    So how abot showing them some more ahavat yisroel
    ( in comparison to the russian gentiles)

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