Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Interesting Recent Links - Ha'azinu 5774/5775 II

Kidnappers'/Murderers' Elimination
כן יאבדו כל אויביך ה'

Murderers of the Three Kedoshim Shot Dead in Hebron
Murderer of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali Hy”D Killed in West Bank Raid

Mrs. Frenkel was Happy Not to See the Smiling Faces of the Terrorists in Court

Maran Rav Ovadia ZT"L - 12 Months Since His Passing

(Almost-23-minute video about Rav Ovadia with never-before-seen footage)



At Wed Sep 24, 01:26:00 AM 2014, Anonymous Ask NOah said...

The "Ger Toshav" article you linked to is not correct. Here is an explanation of what really transpired, in an open letter from Rav Avraham Bloomenstiel:

September 23, '14
To Whom It May Concern:
I have received numerous letters and inquiries in the previous 24 hours from Noahides and others regarding a recent news report. This report states that the Chief Rabbinate recently awarded ger toshav status to a non-Jew in Israel.
Unfortunately, this report is being circulated by dishonest persons as "proof" that ger toshav status
may, and possibly must, be given to Noahides today.
I have spoken with the office of the Chief Rabbi and confirmed that the official position of the Chief Rabbinate is that there is no status of ger toshav in our times.
The article in question must read carefully and in context to understand the issue at hand. The
upcoming Hebrew year of 5775 is a shemittah year. The Torah, at the beginning of Leviticus 25,
commands a Shabbat for the land of Israel, stating:

"Six years shall you sow your field, and six years shall you prune your vineyard and gather in their produce.
But the seventh year shall be a Shabbat of solemn rest for the land, a Shabbat to HaShem; you shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. That which grows of itself of your crops you may not reap, nor shall you gather the grapes of your vine; it shall be a year of rest for the land."

The observance of shemittah presented serious problems to the early pioneers who resettled the land
in the 19th century. Many poskim, authorities on Torah law, permitted the sale of farm land to non-Jews during the shemittah year. This sale permitted agriculture to continue and produce food and resources for the settlements. This sale is known as the heter mechira. Though controversial, many continue to rely upon it even today. The heter mechira is similar, conceptually, to the Jewish practice of selling chometz ~ leaven, to a non-Jew over Passover. By doing so, the Jew minimizes his liability for owning leaven during the Passover holiday. To ensure that the sale of leaven is incontestable in its validity, numerous stringencies in the Torah laws of purchasing and selling are observed in the transaction. Most of these stringencies are not required or observed in the normal course of business. Many are employed by the sale of leaven to remove any possible question as to the validity of the sale.
As with the possession of leaven over Passover, the Jewish cultivation of land during the Shemittah year is a serious transgression. To remove any possible question as to the validity of the sale of land to Mr. Streichman (the non-Jew mentioned in the report), the Chief Rabbinate included every possible stringency in the process. One such stringency was having Mr. Streichman take an oath as a ger toshav before a beit din, a Jewish court.
Non-Jews are not permitted by Torah law to own land in Israel. However, the Rabbinate has relied on the definition of ger toshav, explained in the Meiri, Raavad, and the Rambam as understood by the Kesef Mishna to Holchot lssurei Biah 14:8 and Hilchot Avodas Kokbavim 10:6 to permit any civilized, non-idolatrous person to own land and reside in Israel. The Rabbinate has never required anyone to become a ger toshav before a beis din. This is because because they acknowledge that the halacha is that we do not grant such a status anymore.
There is no transgression, though, in allowing a non-Jew to appear before a beis din and pledge to observe the Noahide laws. For the sake of heter mechira only was the Chief Rabbinate was strict to require such a pledge. Their official position, as confirmed today, is that no such pledge is necessary or made in our times to reside in Israel or otherwise be identified as a Noahide.
I hope that this brief letter will help to allay any confusion or
unfortunate misinformation.

Rabbi Avraham Chaim Bloomenstiel
General Editor
The Pirchei Shoshanim Noahide Laws Project


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