Thursday, 18 September 2014

Some Sh'mitta Guidelines

Guest Blogger,
Rav Reuven Tradburks
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Rav Schachter gave a shiur on Sh'mitta last week and discussed the heter mechira and the objections to it.  
However, he also spoke about whether the consumer may eat the produce from farmers who have used the heter mechira.  He concluded that though there are chumras, he felt that it is mutar to eat heter mechira produce.  

Here is the shiur, the discussion of consuming heter mechira produce begins at 16 minutes.

There are 2 issues in Sh'mitta.  
1. What the farmer should do and
2. What is mutar for the consumer.  

I personally am going to buy from otzar beit din in order to support the farmers who are trying to keep shmitta without relying on the heter mechira.  

But we ought to be careful to not disparage farmers who are using the heter mechira.  And certainly to not imply that the produce of heter mechira is assur to eat.  People have a right to their own chumras, as does the OU have the right to weigh its considerations when providing a lechatchila hashgacha in chutz laaretz, which is very different than the rabbanuts considerations here in israel.  

People traveling to israel this year will be very confused as to what to do.  I think it is important that rabbonim are aware of Rav Schachter's position and to not disparage rabbanut kashrut that relies on the heter mechira.

Reuven Tradburks

Kol Tuv,

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