Seven years have passed, and in the Tirat Yehuda settlement,
a moshav belonging to the national-religious stream,
they still fondly recall the residents of Bnei Brak, Petach
Tikvah, Jerusalem and Kiryat Sefer, through whom they were
able to keep shmittah kehilchoso, by their purchase
of kedushas shevi'is fruits and vegetables from
distribution depots in these cities even if the produce was
not always top quality. They also remember the warm
admiration displayed towards shmittah observers of
I think that some of the residents of Bnei Brak still
affectionately recall the shmittah fruits of Tirat
Yehuda, especially since during the other years of the cycle
some also enjoy produce from this settlement.
During the current shmittah year, HaRav Nissim
Karelitz has once more agreed to include Tirat Yehuda in the
Otzar Beis Din under his supervision.
Thanks to past positive experiences, more farmers on this
settlement have agreed to join the shmittah
observers, and this year we hope that there will be five
times as much produce as in the past shmittah.
Distribution arrangements are at their peak, but still
haven't been completed. We have distribution depots in many
neighborhoods in the country. A full list of depots will be
issued shortly, and the distribution depots will advertise
in their areas. In Bnei Brak, there are depots in the
central shuls, with signs stating: "Otzar Beis Din of HaRav
However, we need many more depots in Bnei Brak, Petach
Tikvah, Elad, Ganei Hadar and Jerusalem. I will be very
grateful to all those prepared to participate in this
important mitzvah by setting up a distribution depot in
their homes (for a fee). I may be reached at the following
telephone numbers: 052-565751, 056-367333, 056-308402.
A manager of a distribution depot told me that many
housewives prefer to buy produce from abroad at their local
vegetable stores, in order not to have to bother with
kedushas shevi'is and the shmittah bin.
Dear housewives: the farmers in Tirat Yehuda have made all-
out efforts to observe shmittah. Other farmers, who
want "an easy life," simply market their produce by means of
a "heter mechirah," as in past years or sell the
fruit on their trees to merchants.
In Tirat Yehuda, every task in the orchard undergoes
scrutiny by the beis din as to what is permitted and
what is forbidden. Everything takes place according to the
directives of HaRav Nissim Karelitz and his beis din.
The rabbonim visit the orchards often. Everyone knows that
the Otzar Beis Din isn't a bank for the subsidy of the
farmers' expenses, harvesting and transporting.
All expenses are covered only by the income from the produce
distributed at the depots. In order to lower the costs
(despite a steep rise in the price of water and the cost of
preventing infestation), we try not too incur too many
expenses. For this reason, the fruit is not sorted in Tnuva
plants; we don't rent refrigerated warehouses nor hire many
people to handle produce distribution.
As a result, we ask the housewives: Use Otzar Beis
Din produce even if it involves the extra effort of
keeping kedushas shevi'is! Your share in the mitzvos
of shmittah focuses on the effort to buy Otzar
Beis Din produce, and also in not being too fastidious
about the fruits over which many have made great efforts on
behalf of the mitzvah of shmittah. Don't try to avoid
the effort, when so important a mitzvah -- one that comes
our way only once in seven years -- comes your way: a
mitzvah which only we who live in Eretz Yisroel can
I constantly encounter farmers from non-chareidi settlements
who complain that it is impossible to keep shmittah
kehilchoso in Eretz Yisroel and that, as a result, the
heter mechirah is a necessity. Let's not give them
the opportunity to say that they are right. Reality proves
that they most certainly are not correct, as those from
Tirat Yehuda saw seven years ago.
I once again ask our loyal readers to make efforts on behalf
of the mitzvah of shevi'is and to publicly show that
Hashem has loyal soldiers in His world willing to strive on
behalf of the mitzvah of shmittah.
May we merit to see the hoped-for success at the end of the