Sunday, September 28, 2008

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Important for the End of Shemittah!

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Shemitta is the 7 year growing cycle and mitvah in the Torah, where on the 7th year a number of special rules apply about leaving the land fallow, specifically the Land of Israel. (Similar to resting on the 7th day, for Shabbat, we allow the land (and ourselves) to rest on the 7th year.)

The 7th year is about to end. As such, a general mitzvah comes upon all of Klal Yisroel, not only the farmers about to end the year and return to planting.

*** Forgiving of Debts. There are a number of specific required mitzvot relating to the forgiving of personal debts in the 7th year. If you have personal debts owed to you that you're not prepared to forgive, you should consult your competent orthodox rabbi immediately about a pruzbul. Immediately means BEFORE the start of Rosh Hashanah.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe specifically noted in the past...

...Another important practice connected to the Shemittah year applies in contemporary times for all Jews in Eretz Yisroel as well as in the diaspora. This is the "Pruzbul" contract which transfers all debts receivable to a rabbinic court.

The Alter Rebbe writes in the Shulchan Aruch:

Every G-d-fearing individual should be strict to make a Pruzbul in which there is no loss and which is easy to do. He should gather three qualified men and form a Bais Din and he should make the following declaration: "I hereby transfer to you all debts receivable which I have, so that I may be permitted to collect them whenever I wish." ...the proper time for the enactment of the Pruzbul is at the close of the sixth year before Rosh Hashanah of the seventh (Shemittah) year. - (Shulchan Aruch Harav, Choshen Mishpot, Loans, 1:35-36) (Akiva - Many other sources hold that the time for the Pruzbul is before the END of the 7th / Shemittah year, and the Shulchan Aruch HaRav further writes "but if he didn't do it at the end of the sixth year, he should do it in the seventh." That's RIGHT NOW!!!)

It is likewise a mitzvah to publicize this rule in all places. Since the appropriate time for the Pruzbul is Erev Rosh Hashanah, it will be good and proper to make the Pruzbul immediately after Hataras Nedarim (absolution of oaths) on the morning of Erev Rosh Hashanah; at that time the three competent people will be available.


Chabad.Org has an online pruzbul.
Yeshiva World News has a Pruzbul form you can print out (in Hebrew).

L'Shana Tova, may Hashem grant you a good year, and a year where no one in Klal Yisroel has debts, but rather all are able to lend!

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