9/1/07

Rabbis Gone Wild: Ultras Warn of Sabbatical Doom

Reading the terrific report in the Forward, it appears that Ultra-Orthodox rabbis warn of doom and destruction if the sabbatical year - the shmita - is not observed this year in Israel.
“The destruction and the exile of Israel were brought about because of those who did not observe the Shmita,” said Rabbi Aaron Feldman during a visit to a Haredi farm near Jerusalem.

Not all Orthodox have gone wild over this issue (just the meshuggenah Ultras). Some (saner Orthodox) favor a tried and tested legal solution.

Nationalist rabbis support the idea of selling permits that would symbolically transfer ownership of the land to non-Jews. This permit was first devised decades ago as a provisional measure meant to help struggling farmers during Israel’s early years. Since then it was renewed every seven years, allowing farmers belonging to the national-religious movement to maintain their crops.

And it seems like hypocrisy and double-standards come in to play here for the Ultras. For the sabbatical year prohibitions for produce - they are fundamentalists. But for the biblical law requiring the seventh year release of debts - whoa there pardner -
In dealing with the unwillingness of the Haredim to reconsider the religious law, Giat and other nationalists have pointed to biblical rules that also call for a financial sabbatical in which all debts are forgiven. This rule was amended in the Middle Ages, and Haredi groups gave up these rules, but they have proven less flexible on the rules about the land.
See the entire article for all the other entwined issues... Gaza, Palestinians, Cyprus etc.

4 comments:

bryce said...

"The destruction and the exile of Israel were brought about because of those who did not observe the Shmita,” said Rabbi Aaron Feldman during a visit to a Haredi farm near Jerusalem.

Not all Orthodox have gone wild over this issue (just the meshuggenah Ultras). Some (saner Orthodox)..."

Saner, like Rashi on Leviticus 26:34-35, and 26:43?

Robin said...

bs"d

Please visit

http://shemittahrediscovered.blogspot.com/

Feel free to comment or send me your comments.

Anonymous said...

It is ridiculous that Shmita brings huge income to Israeli enemies in Gaza and the Palestinian territories. Whatever are the religious overtones, they cannot excuse purchases from HAMAS voters. What do you think of Obadiah Shoher interpretating Shmita as charity obligation rather than agricultural rule? (Here, for example http://samsonblinded.org/blog/shmita-year-is-about-charity-not-agriculture.htm ) Anyway, I'll better buy from atheist kibbutzim than from Gaza.

Nikol said...

While I mostly agree with your post, this article by Obadiah Shoher presents the haredim in somewhat different light http://samsonblinded.org/blog/not-true-rabbis.htm Shoher argues against haredim isolating themselves from other Jews instead of bringing the religion to masses.