Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

9 Kislev 5761 - December 6, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











A Sacred Call: To our Brothers of Sephardi and Oriental Descent

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 correct way.

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, Yitchak Ratzabi


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