No Heter Mechira for farmers during Shmita

18

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tractor.jpgINN is reporting, that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel recently announced that it will do everything possible to avoid giving farmers a “heter mechira” for the upcoming Shmitah year. The heter mechira allows the farms to keep running after the land is sold to a non-Jew for the year.

The Rabbinate announced that in the upcoming Shmitah year, a heter mechira will only be given in urgent cases, such as damage to the national Kashruth levels or the impoverishment of Jewish farmers. The heter will only be given to farmers who can prove legal ownership of their land, and who can prove that a non-Jew will perform all forbidden labor.

While some do not rely on the heter mechira, others prefer it to the common alternative of buying produce from Arabs.



18 COMMENTS

  1. I received the letter sent out by the Chief Rabbinate and it said that they plan to minimize the use of the heter, but it will still be used. The letter contained a very broad explanation of the cases in which it will be permitted.

    To the editor: If you wish to post a copy of the letter for downloading, please contact me.

    KT,

    tzvi73

  2. You wrote that:
    While some do not rely on the heter mechira, others prefer it to the common alternative of buying produce from Arabs.

    The Chazon Ish was aginst it.

  3. Is this not going to cause many people to be over on issurei d’oraita b’maizid (for example a non-religious farmer who does’nt care about shmita and works the land and sells his produce anyway and other non-religious people buy it or even unknowing religious epople and aren’t careful about the kedusha, etc.)? Not a smart move for Am Yisrael, IMHO.

  4. I think it’s a very important thing. beside the point that most of our Rabonnim don’t hold from this Heter. It’s also a big michsul. I have already consumed many bottles of a famous Israeli wine when I suddenly noticed that it was under heter mechira. WHAT WAS SUCH WINE DOING IN CHUTZ LEARETZ? I didn’t even think of checking beforehand. It isn’t even properly labeled you really have to know what you’re looking for to find it.

  5. MelechEitan

    Without responding to your concern directly, please note that as I understand it, shmittah bizman hazeh is derabonon according to most poskim.

  6. MelechEitan

    ACCORDING TO MANY POSKIM HETER MICHIRA IS NOT MUTTER. IN OTHER WORDS ITS BEING OVER THE ISUR OF SHMITA WITH A STAMP OF THE RABANUT

  7. We wish to live in our Holy land and all H”B asks us to do is follow his laws.
    Shimita laws and the punishments for violating them are very severe. How can anyone issue a heter for any law that is from H”B directly to us, in the Beis Hamidash there was no room for rabbanic law it is and always will be H”B laws as given on Har Sinai.
    Our leadership has slipped up and caused us great spiritual harm.
    Our problems in our Holy land are a direct result of our not keeping H”B Laws. Let us follow that laws our Father in Heaven has given us and then maybe he will have mercy on us and bring us the Righous Moshiach!

  8. True, but shouldn’t we be chosesh for the other shitas that hold its d’oraita anyway, since after all we are talking about EY ( and we are machmir with so many other things that aren’t as choshuv)?

  9. “How can anyone issue a heter for any law that is from H”B directly to us, in the Beis Hamidash there was no room for rabbanic law it is and always will be H”B laws as given on Har Sinai.
    Our leadership has slipped up and caused us great spiritual harm.”

    torahtotty- can you explain further your view on the concept and content of Rabbinic law? Do you mean you only keep what is mi-d’oraisa?

  10. to kodesh 18 while I do fault Rav Spektor ztl”, as with any ruling there are other opinions, let us keep in mind if all rabanim agreed our Gemarahs and other works would be mere pamphlets. Torah’s strenght is thru our discussions of Torah, Hillel vs Shamai

    To Melech Eitan, I disagree with you on the statement that Shemita is not so choshuv. H’B clearly writes that you shall work the land 6 years and on the seventh it shall lay fallow. Do we violate the shabbos of work, we shall work six days on the seventh we shall rest. Where do we have a rite to violate the shabbos of our Holy Land.

    TO Sarah says. When Torah states you shall keep the Shabbos day and keep it holy, H”B does not explain further other then you shall do no work.
    This open law allows for interputation, ie the 39 Melachos of shabbos derived from the building of the Mishkan, and all our seforim on shabbos laws not to mention the many Minhagim from our various group. When H”B clearly states the land shall also have a Shabbos, in the seventh year, while there is room for interpation as to when the seventh years starts and for which plants etc. Also the Torah does not say that Shimta laws apply only when there is a Beis Hamidash, it say when the Jews enter and land.
    We lost our land and our Holy Temple Twice. Shouldn’t we do all we can to protect our Land so that G-D forbid we should be thrown from our land a third time

    The Torah also calls for punishments when we violate HIS Shabbos. For just as the Torah was a gift to the Jewish people from H”B so too is the shabbos, for his people and his land

  11. R abba shaul and r gustman held that the heter mechira has a basis along with r yosef-this i personally heard from r abba shaul talmid., the r yehiva in netchack israel and written in r yosef sefer-the only problem as r abba shaul says is are all the conditions of the heter being fufilled. many rabbanim held there is no basis at all. the charedi olam is not somech on it.

  12. torahtotty, I do not disagree with your posititon vis-a-vis Shemitah, but rather your assertions regarding Rabbinic law. I don’t need to give you examples of other “Heterim” through the ages- you know them as well as I do. You don’t need me to explain to you the importance of “Rabbinical” law either, and it’s place in Torah observance.

    One additional point: Somehow, I am not sure that you are of the caliber to “fault” Rav Spektor, ZTL- please refine your language. You may bring down other positions if you choose, without the chutzpah.

  13. torahtotty

    I think you misread my comment: I said that we SHOULD be choshesh about shmitta as we are with other things that AREN’T as choshuv (as shmitta)

  14. To Sarah
    I apologize for any loshon that I may have used that towards Rav Spektor ztl or anyone else that you may have found in appropiate