A Sacred Call: To our Brothers of Sephardi and Oriental
The following call was issued at the close of last year,
in Elul 5760.
The seventh year, shmitta to Hashem, is nearing. The
geula is dependent upon the fulfillment of this
sacred, weighty mitzvah; the geula that will redeem
our souls and usher in an era in which the dominion of
Hashem will be reinstated in the world. It is written, "Then
the land will be appeased for its sabbaticals"
(Vayikra 2:43). Chazal have said: "Exile comes to the
world as a result of the violation of the mitzvah of
shmitta (Avos, Chapter Five).
We therefore call upon you from the depths of our hearts to
gather your strength and courage and make every effort to
uphold this precious mitzvah according to halacha, in
all particulars, as is appropriate for everyone who serves
Hashem, just as His emissaries, the great Torah leaders and
luminaries of our times -- the eyes of the Nation -- have
instructed us. Our rabbanim, the great Sephardi geonim,
zt"l, have ordered us to be stringent in keeping this
mitzvah without relying on any heter mechirah. Among
these many great sages are the sacred Maharsha Elfandri and
other luminaries of his stature, up to the chachamim
of our times in whose light we walk, the roshei
yeshiva of Porat Yosef, the great geonim: HaRav Ezra
Attia, HaRav Yaakov Addes, HaRav Yehuda Tzadka, HaRav
Benzion Abba Shaul ztk"l, all of whom strengthened
shmitta observance according to halacha.
An awareness of the importance of this mitzvah is especially
compelling in our times when there are no life threatening
factors, nor starvation, nor threats to the existence of the
country as was the case a hundred years ago. As a result, it
is clear that we must observe shmitta according to
halacha without relaying on a "heter."
We therefore appeal to you to join the legion of the King,
the Master of the Universe, yitbarach Shemo, and to
become giborei koach osei devaro, sanctifying
Heaven's Name and fulfilling this precious mitzvah in the
In the merit of observance of the mitzvah of shmitta
according to halacha, the Torah's promise that, "then
the land will appease her Sabbaticals" will be fulfilled,
and we will all quickly be redeemed for eternity, and merit
the blessing of, "and you shall sit in your land securely,"
which Rashi explains as meaning, `on the merit of the
observance of shmitta.'"
Shabtai Aton, Shimon Ba'adani, Shalom Cohen, Yehuda Mualem,
Moshe Tzadka, Emanuel Toledano, Yaakov Chaim Sofer, Yaakov
Tufik, Eliyahu Abba Shaul, Yaakov Yosef, Shlomo Machpud,