Jan 26, 2014

Chief Rabbi Lau on halachic argument

As we head closer towards the shmitta year, we get closer to the fights over hetter mechira that we saw in previous shmitta years.

The smartest approach to it is that expressed by Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau in the recent rabbinic conference on shmitta issues.

Rabbi Lau said "we prefer that farmers will completely cease all work, as commended in the Torah, and we should propose to them the option of 'Otzar Beis Din".. and even those who choose to rely 'bdieved' on the hetter mechria they should do so according to halacha and precisely follow the instructions relevant to the four types of work that are prohibited.... I recommend that instead of every seven years that rabbis speak against each other and present their arguments in their opinions regarding shmitta, that each person should follow his rabbonim and respect others."

Rabbi Lau also said that today arguments between rabbonim are unfortunately painted as chilul hashem and divisiveness. Every word from a rav that is said put of place can cause a great chilul hashem and lead to disregard for rabbonim and other people.

I would qualify Rav Lau's words and point out that nobody expects all rabbis to agree with each other. it is not for the opposing opinions that leads to an impression of divisiveness and chilul hashem. it is the bitter way in which some rabbis try to impose their opinion on everyone else and expect other rabbis to not have any other opinion (regarding shmitta as equally as regarding many other topics of halacha).

Rabbi Lau's conclusion is perfect, but we already know what the chances are of this happening..

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