You CAN keep Shmitta (Sabbatical) too!

Amazing Psak (legal ruling) from Harav Efrati

Head of the "Institute for Advanced Studies in Halacha for Agricultural Settlements" בית מדרש להלכה בהתישבות and former assistant שמש to Harav Shalom Elyashiv, explains how you can keep Shmitta too even from anywhere in the world.

ושְֵׁשׁ שָׁניִם תִּזרְַע אֶת אַרְצֶךָ, ואְָסַפְתָּ אֶת תְּבוּאָתָהּ. והְשַּׁבְיִעתִ תִּשְׁמְטֶנּהָ וּנטְַשְׁתָּהּ... שמות כ"ג, י

"You may plant your land for 6 years and gather its crops.

But during the 7th year, you must leave it alone and withdraw from it..."

 

Leaders of Zo Artzeinu (Shmuel Sackett and Shlomo Walfish) 

recently met with Rav Efrati, the Rosh Yeshiva and Head of:

Beit Midrash L'Halacha V'Hityashvut.  בית מדרש להלכה בהתישבות 

"The Institute for Advanced Studies in Halacha for Agricultural Settlements"

 

Rav Efrati was the personal Shamash שמש (assistant) to the world renown leader and Gadol Hador, HaRav Shalom Elyashiv for over a decade, and is known as the #1 expert on all Halachot (laws) pertaining to agriculture in Eretz Yisrael.

 

He said that people who support farmers in Israel and sponsor trees durring the Sh'mittah year so that they can prepare to plant them after Sh'mittah are considered like partners and can be "mikayem" (fulfill) the mitzvoth of Sh'mitta. This is similar to the arrangement of the tribes Yissaschar and Zevulun which means that People – anywhere in the world – can partner with one of our farmers, who keep all Biblical Shmitta laws "L'mehadrin", and fulfill the mitzvoth just like the farmers in Israel!! AMAZING!

"The Institute for Advanced Studies in Halacha for Agricultural Settlements" in Jerusalem ............. בית מדרש להלכה בהתישבות

Q: What can be done during Shmitta?

 

A: Although the farmers can not PLANT the trees during Shmitta, they can do certain things to prepare for their planting, such as; buying and installing fences, purchasing irrigation systems for watering the trees, planning and marking off locations, etc...

 

Q: What's the big deal of Shmitta these days?

 

A: HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, said the following on Erev Yom Kippur 5774

"We will be redeemed in the merit of Shmitta". בשביעית נגאלין

 

Other interesting quotes regarding planting fruit trees in Israel: 

 

Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai:

"If you find out that Moshiach (The Messia) has arrived while you are holding a fruit tree to plant in Israel, plant the tree first and only THEN can you come and greet the Moshiach."

 

The Vilna Gaon:

"If only Hashem (G-d) would grant me the merit to plant a fruit tree in Jerusalem..."

 

The Tora (Bible) says in Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:20

“Vitzivisi Es Birchosi” וצויתי את ברכתי "I will ordain my Blessing for you" which is an AMAZING PROMISE from Hashem (G-d), that he will Command or Ordain his Blessing on those who help keep Shmitta! We have merited to witness this MANY times over the years. You can read about some miraculous Shmitta stories here.

 

Therefore – use this opportunity to do a wonderful thing and partner in the opportunity and mitzvah of Shmitta in a real and significant way.

 

Let's keep Shmitta TOGETHER!

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