THE SHMITA ASSOCIATION- ALLOWING JEWS WORLDWIDE TO FULFILL THE MITZVOT OF SHMITA
The Shmita Association is an innovative new project that allows Jews in Israel, and throughout the Diaspora, to properly fulfill the mitzvot of Shmita. The Torah’s commandments to allow agricultural land in Israel to lie fallow every seventh year, can now be observed in a simple, powerful and inexpensive way.
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER – SHMITA IS PRACTICAL AND RELEVANT; NO LONGER THEORETICAL
For the first time for many people, Shmita has become a practical, relevant mitzva, rather than a theoretical commandment for discussion and learning.
In anticipation of the upcoming Shmita year, rabbis, farmers, yeshivot, agricultural organizations, major corporations, small businesses and millions of kosher consumers are studying methods to avoid transgressing the many laws of Shmita.
While this learning is important, necessary and praiseworthy, Jews everywhere are missing out on the opportunity to fulfill the mitzva of actually letting the land lie fallow.
POWERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO REAP THE REWARDS OF SHMITA
The Shmita Association has created a simple and powerful opportunity for Jews to once again observe this commandment, one of the few in the Torah where the reward, G-d’s blessing, is specifically mentioned.
The Shmita Association has purchased a large tract of land located in an apricot field near Rosh Pinna that is currently being used for agricultural purposes. All work on this land will come to a complete stop prior to Rosh Hashana, 5775.
PURCHASING TRACTS OF LAND IN ISRAEL
Jews from all over the world are invited to purchase small tracts of this land. In so doing, each person will be the rightful owner of agricultural property in the Land of Israel according to both halacha and Israeli law, and will fulfill the mitzva of Shmita by letting that land lie fallow for the entire sabbatical year – Shmita.
The Shmita Association ensures that the land will be under full private ownership with no partial ownership by the Israel Lands Authority. (This is a necessary condition since agricultural lands partially owned by the Israel Lands Authority are not considered wholly owned by the owner. According to a majority of halachic authorities, it is not possible to properly fulfill the mitzva of letting the land lie fallow with land owned by the Israel Lands Authority).
WORKING IN CONJUNCTION WITH A LEADING DAYAN
The Shmita Association worked in conjunction with the Gaon Rav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, shlita, Av Beit Din of Shaarei Horaa, Rav of Western Bnei Brak and a Rabbinical Judge in the Beis Din (Jewish Court of Law) of Rav Shmuel Wosner, shlita, to research the appropriate method of transferring ownerships according to halacha.
Rav Stern ruled that this purchase must be like all other land purchases in Israel, with full legal backing of the Israeli legal system. The Shmita Association worked accordingly with a team of prominent, professional lawyers in writing up the appropriate legal documents for the purchase agreements.
The land being sold is a field which is currently growing with the sanctity of Shvi’is and with the approval of rabbinic authority. Throughout the Shmita year, this land lies fallow without being worked and anyone is allowed to enter the fields and take from its produce. All the land purchased through The Shmita Association is marked accordingly on site.
BEHIND THE INITIATIVE
The Shmita Association is the project of three G-d fearing, Torah observant Jews in Israel, who wish to increase the public’s knowledge and practice of Shmita observance.
HOW WAS THE IDEA CONCEIVED?
For many years, two of The Shmita Association’s founders have been studying Torah together through the night on Shavuot. On Shavuot of 5767, the idea of The Shmita Association suddenly occurred to them while studying the laws of Shmita.
DOES THIS PROJECT HAVE RABBINICAL ENDORSEMENT?
A broad range of leading rabbis and Halachic authorities from across the observant Jewish spectrum have given their blessings to the project.
For a full list of endorsements, click here.