Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Deeper Reason for Heter Mehira

As we have seen in the last post, Rav Kook held that Shmita was essential in order to build a moral nation on the land of Israel. It is used as a type of regulotary system which refreshes a nation which is required to be involved in actions of nation building which often force it to ignore the pure values it stands for such as caring for the less fortunate. Shmitta is therefore an extreme picture of those values in order to give back a spark of that morality which will last the next 6 years.

How then could Rav Kook institute a “heter mechira” which basically destroys the whole concept of shmitta by providing a loophole by which we will not need to follow it?

First of all, Rav Kook clearly said heter mechira should ONLY be used when no other option is available for the nation at the time. It is only in time of extreme need.

That being said, Rav Kook saw the resurrection of am Israel starting in the land of Israel. In my opinion, he was looking at all of the new yishuvim building up and told himself: We have two choice. We can either follow shmitta which is supposed to help build a moral nation, and loose our national resurrection. Or, we can use this heter, which is halachically correct (at least according to him), and preserve the nation building. We will worry about re-inserting the ideals of shmitta once the nation will have been better built.

In a type of tragic writing, Rav Kook wrote a whole halachic book on shmitta and his heter called Shabbat Haaretz. In the introduction, he wrote about the ideals which shmitta stands for. Maybe he meant to tell us that only a nation which will end up returning to the values expressed in the introduction can afford to temporarily go around shmitta. more...

4 comments:

Ben-Yehudah said...

B"H I'm afraid you missed Rav Kook's point. When he said we had no other option, he was talking the level of economy, even piqu'ah nefesh.

It is NOT supposed to be used as a stam combinah (rouse/loop hole).

Ever since Rav Kook's last ruling on heter mikirah, it has been used as a combinah unfortunately.

Otherwise, it is clearly forbiden to release land to goyim.

I think it's unfortunate that Jewish farmers to do not get subsidies during Shmitah year.

I also do not like buying from goyim, let alone Arabs/terrorists.

We do the best we can under the circumstances.

I wish that halachicly acceptable greenhouses and the Aravah were enough.

Otzar Beth Din, when done properly, and not used as a combinah, is also an option. Unfortunately, that, too, is not enough.

Dan said...

Agreed
but doesn't contract anything I said so I'm not sure which point I have missed.

You are saying it would be better to provide adequate support to farmers and do shmitta properly, I agree

Am Israel is not at that stage yet. Beezrat hashem, we will keep moving forward towards our gueoula.

Ben-Yehudah said...

B"H You said the following:

"In my opinion, he was looking at all of the new yishuvim building up and told himself: We have two choice. We can either follow shmitta which is supposed to help build a moral nation, and loose our national resurrection. Or, we can use this heter, which is halachically correct (at least according to him), and preserve the nation building. We will worry about re-inserting the ideals of shmitta once the nation will have been better built."

This is NOT what Rav Kook meant. It is halachicly correct according to him for the reasons I stated above only, not because it is inconvenient because we're building up the land.

In addition, "Am Israel is not at that stage yet." is irrelevant. When there are misswoth to do, we do the best we can. If we fail, that's one thing. But, the above statement is no excuse, certainly no halachic excuse.

It is a common excuse used by mamlakhtim, like why they don't believe we can bring the Qorban Pesah in this day and age.

Dan said...

lol your hate for mamlahtiim is funny

As for pikuach nefesh, one could have told Rav Kook (especially back then), that it was better not to have a yishuv hadash then for them to use heter mechira if it only applies in pikuach nefesh.
The survival of the yishuv is what he wanted to protect, and so my comment stands...

As for trying, again, we agree. We should try. I again just disagree with many of your ways. We should try to educate our jewish brothers so that by next shmitta, they will have elected a God Fearing government which will properly support shmitta. Yes.