In today’s times

 

In today’s times must one perform a Peruzbal in order to request the payment of loans after Shemitah?[1]

The widespread custom today [i.e. times of Rosh/Michaber/Admur] in these provinces is not to perform a Peruzbal and nevertheless allow one to demand the paying back of a loan even after the Shemitah year.[2] Nevertheless despite the above custom, it is proper for every G-D fearing Jew to be stringent upon himself to perform a Peruzbal being that one has nothing to lose by doing so and it is very simple to be done.[3] [Practically every Jew is to initially perform a Peruzbal to guarantee his collections of the loans and is not to rely on the above custom.[4]]

 

Q&A

What does one do if he forgot to make a Peruzbal? May he still collect the loans?[5]

If one did not write a Peruzbal towards a loan that requires a Peruzbal to be written for [See Halacha 8] then if he desires to collect it after the Shemitah year he may be lenient to do so.[6] This allowance applies even after Rosh Hashanah of the eighth year and certainly after the beginning of the seventh year.[7] This applies even today that the custom has become to perform a Peruzbal on Erev Rosh Hashanah.[8]

 

If one does not have any money that is owed to him by Erev Rosh Hashanah is he still to perform the Peruzbal?[9]

If one is not owed money by any person by the time Erev Rosh Hashanah of the end of the 6th year arrives then one is to specifically lend money to another person in order to merit the Mitzvah of performing a Peruzbal.[10]

 

Must a woman perform a Peruzbal?[11]

Women are obligated in the laws of Shemitas Kesafim just like men. Therefore if a [single[12]] woman is owed money, or is owed a food item that she lent to her neighbor[13], then she is to perform a Peruzbal just like is the law by a man.

 

Lending money without a Peruzbal in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of Shemitah:[14]

Some scrupulous[15] Jews are accustomed that after they perform the Peruzbal they loan a small amount of money to another Jew. The Peruzbal is not valid over this loan as it occurred after the performance of the Peruzbal. [Some[16] write that one is to specifically tell the borrower that he desires the loan to be paid back before Rosh Hashanah.] After Rosh Hashanah, when the friend comes to pay back the money, he then says to him “I forgive the loan” and does not accept the money. By doing so one fulfills the Mitzvah of “Shemitas Kesafim” in its literal form. “Praised be the Jewish people that love Mitzvos and perform them with joy”.[17]


[1] Admur 35

[2] Admur ibid; Shut Rosh 77/4 [Brings custom, states he protested against this custom but they did not listen to him]; Terumos Hadeshen 304 [“Even the great Rabbis have not been witnessed to do so”]; Tur 67/5; Rama 67/1 [Brings custom and rules that there are justifications behind this custom and one should not make issue with them about it.]; Raavad Gittin 37 [Holds a Peruzbal is merely a Midas Chassidus]; Razah [Rabbeinu Zerachia Halevi, brought in Biur Hagr”a rules Shemitas Kesafim is not applicable when there is no Yovel, even Rabbinically]; see Teshuvah Meahava 1/72; Igros Moshe Choshen Mishpat 2/15

The reason: The reason for the allowance to collect debts without a Peruzbal after Shemitah is because since the custom is to do so and the borrowers knows of this custom it is as if the loaner stipulated with the borrower at the time of the loan, that the loan is being given on condition that the borrower will never abolish the loan even due to Shemitah. It is thus found that the borrower obligated himself to pay back money what the Torah did not obligate him to pay, in which case the ruling is that his agreement to the condition is effective and he is thus now Biblically obligated to pay back the lender. [Admur ibid; Rosh ibid; Smeh 67/4] Alternatively the reason is because they hold that the laws of Shemitah do not apply in today’s times at all [in the Diaspora-Beir Hagoleh] even Rabbinically. [Rama 67/1] Alternatively the reason is because the Takana of Shemitas Kesafim was never applied to the Diaspora. [Razah ibid; Raavad ibid; Terumos Hadeshen ibid]

Other opinions: Many Poskim rule that Shemitas Kesafim applies even in today’s times [Riy; Rashi; Rabbeinu Tam; Geonim; Ramban; Majority of Poskim-brought in Ben Ish Chaiy Ki Savo 26] and that a Peruzbal is required from the letter of the law. [Michaber 67/1]

[3] Admur ibid; Shlah p. 79; Bach 67; Shach 67/2 “Is blessed”; Beir Hagoleh 67/8; Urim Vetumim 67/1 “Best to be stringent as majority of Rishonim hold it applies even today, and according to the Ramban it is a Biblical obligation even today, and even in the Diaspora”

[4] Likkutei Sichos 24 p. 316 based on Admur 36 that Lechatchila the Peruzbal is to be done at the end of the 6th year, hence implying that every Jew must do so and not just those that are G-d fearing.

[5] Teshuvah Meahava 1/72; Igros Moshe Choshen Mishpat 2/15; Nitei Gavriel 5/4

[6] The reason: As we [Ashkenazim] rule like the Rama, and Ashkenazi custom as brought in Rishonim, that do not require a Peruzbal to be done today. [Teshuvah Meahava ibid; Igros Moshe ibid]

Opinion of Admur: Admur 35 brings down the custom of the Ashkenazim not to require a Peruzbal and in his final arbitration he concludes that simply a “G-d fearing Jew is to be stringent” and even the G-d fearing Jew is only to be stringent “to himself”. Furthermore this is only regarding making a Peruzbal and not regarding not collecting the loan in the event that he did not make the Peruzbal. Hence it is clear from Admur that Bedieved certainly one may demand payment of the loan even if he did not make a Peruzbal.

[7] Admur 36 clearly rules that the making of the Peruzbal in the end of the 6th year is only “Lechatchila” and hence one may still collect the loan within the 7th year if he did not do so. Furthermore, based on the previous footnote, it is clear from Admur that this allowance applies even if he did not do a Peruzbal in the end of the 7th year, and so clearly rule the Poskim ibid.

[8] Igros Moshe ibid

The reason: As the fact the custom today is to perform a Peruzbal simply shows that people are extra scrupulous and follow the ruling of the Achronim listed above that it is best to be stringent. However it does not mean in any way that we now accepted the ruling of the Rishonim and Poskim that rule it must be performed and if it was not performed then the loan cannot be collected, as this opposes the ruling of the Rama and other Ashkenazi Poskim of whom their ruling is accepted in our provinces. [Igros Moshe ibid]

Ruling of Admur: The reason recorded in Admur for the leniency is because everyone knows that the money will be collected and it is hence like a stipulation on the loan. This remains applicable even today that we do a Peruzbal as a) The custom has not become to not collect the loan if a Peruzbal is not made. And mainly b) The fact everyone does a Peruzbal and collects the loan is itself the greatest revelation that the loaner has every intent to collect the loan after Shemitah, and hence even in the event that he personally did not do a Peruzbal nevertheless it remains valid, as the borrower took the loan with foreknowledge that he will have to pay it back even after Shemitah.

[9] Likkutei Sichos 24/316-317

[10] This is done out of the preciousness one shows towards performing the Rabbinical Takana of a Peruzbal in general, and in abiding by the ruling of the Alter Rebbe in particular. [ibid]

[11] Chinuch Mitzvah 448 or 477 [depends on print] “Applicable to male and female”; See also Nitei Gavriel 31 in name of glosses of Mahrikash 17 and Erech Hashulchan.

[12] If a married women lent money or foods of her family then it is included within the Peruzbal performed by her husband as it is considered as if he lent the money and not her. [See Nitei Gavriel 11/10 in name of Divrei Shalom 5/287]

[13] Chida in Chaim Sheol 2/38-13; Ben Ish Chaiy Ki Savo 26; See Q&A at end of supplement.

[14] Ben Ish Chaiy Ki Savo 26 [p. 269]; Shemitas Kesafim of Gra”ch Naah printed in Yagdil Torah 25 p. 80; See Nitei Gavriel 22/2

[15] “Custom of scrupulous Jews in Jerusalem” [Grach Naah]; “I taught the Jews in Bagdad to do so” [Ben Ish Chaiy ibid]

[16] Grach Naah ibid as otherwise it enters into the dispute in whether an undated loan made within 30 days before Rosh Hashanah requires a Peruzbal [see Halacha 8 in Q&A!], and hence in order to fulfill the Mitzvah according to all opinions one is to give a due date before Rosh Hashanah of that year. Regarding why this does not cause the borrower to transgress the prohibition of withholding payment from the lender, this is because seemingly the borrower only transgresses this prohibition if he has been asked for the money by the lender and he has the money to pay him. Thus here since the lender will not ask for the money to be paid back he therefore does not transgress any prohibition. [See Admur Halvaah 4 “One may not tell him come back another time”; Choshen Mishpat 74; 97/3]

[17] Wording of Ben Ish Chaiy ibid

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