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Aug 14, 2007

the train is keeping shmitta l'chumroh

intriguing title, isn't it?

It does not refer to the various "flower gardens" in front of the train stations that need to be watered, though I hope it includes that as well.

It was reported in the Mishpacha newspaper that officials from Rakevet Yisrael (the train authority) have agreed to coordinate their work and activities with Rabbonim and Poskei Halacha. Specifically the work being done on the light rail system in Jerusalem. Some people were concerned that the construction of the light rail system includes landscaping and digging of land. The concern is that this work be done in a way that violates the rules of shmitta.

They arranged a meeting between the heads of the train authority, the mayor and a group of Rabbonim led by Rav Efrati, one of the men considered THE expert on mitzvos of the land (in which shmitta is included).

They met and came to an agreement that all landscaping and digging would be done in coordination and consultation with this group of Rabbis who will bring all problematic issues for decision to rav Elyashiv.

So the train is now keeping shmitta la'mehadrin!

5 comments:

  1. That's great. What about the Jews who classify themselves as "not Orthodox". Do they keep shmitta laws? Last Sunday I met a secular Israeli who lived on a kibbutz and from what he told me, they don't. Should we focus more on those people than the train keeping shmitta?

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  2. I guess it is not mutually exclusive.... both can be worked on....

    I do know that as shmitta approaches the various groups who work for added shmitta observance go into high gera and try to get more and more farmers to agree to keep shmitta properly. Every shmitta more and more do sign up with any of various groups, be it otzar haaretz or vaad l'inyaneio shymitta or keren this or that or whichever. Sure most still are not keeping it, and many still rely on the hetter mechira which even the Rabbanut is trying to move away from as much as possible, but slowly more and more farmers are agreeing to try to keep shmitta.

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  3. Rafi and Rebel: The heter mechira as a default for secular Israelis is better than nothing at all.

    Shmita is drabanan these days, and there are more pressing issues (IMHO) for helping our secular brothers and sisters with.

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  4. jameel -how dare you. I was just going to have our bretheren in ramat bs b add to the signs for tznius about banning stores for shmitta violations. oy, now I have to find something else.....

    ok, just kidding, but you know, someone is going to jump up and down yelling - how dare you say "just d'rabbonan".

    ReplyDelete
  5. my mistake - you didn't write "just"

    ReplyDelete

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